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Full digit postcode routing?
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Retty
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:26 am    Post subject: Full digit postcode routing? Reply with quote

I just saw a demo of iGO 8 at a local market.

One problem struck whilst playing with the software for about 10 minutes: whilst it is able to find any UK postcode it is not possible to use the results to navigate to the postcode.

Instead iGO requires the inputting of a house number - you cannot bypass this field and simply navigate to the postcode location.

This seemed to be a problem. iGO seems to convert UK postcodes to street names; it then *requires* you to enter a house name. If the street crosses postcode districts you are then required to select the required postcode district from a list of several; the full postoce information is not displayed in this list and the specirfic postcode information cannot then be used for mapping.

For simple streets which do not cross postcode districts this is still a problem because your only way of accessing route options, other than to enter a house number, is to select "street midpoint" or "intersections".

So am I right in concluding the iGO 8 does not support full postcode destination routing (as opposed to having a full postcode database which cannot be used)?

Edit:

I realise that iGO8 dos not even support accurate postcode location - it converts postcodes to street names and then requires you to specify the location by entering a house number (often apparently not in its database). If you don't enter a house number it automatically selects the street midpoint.

This is odd because both Miomap and 2006 allowed immediate route planning based on postcode entry.

If there is no easy workaround for this then I have to question how this software managed to get such good reviews on this site which, after all, is primarily an English language and UK user site. Surely the reviewers didn't miss this?

It probably won't be a problem for continental users where pstcodes and postcode expectations are less ambitious but for UK users this product, if the demo I saw is typical, is basically useless for navigating to a postcode.
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Retty
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an example I used:

Postcode entered was: SE5 0EZ (Camberwell Road) which according to internet reverse postcode lookup covers addresses in the range 7 - 85A Camberwell Road.

If the address is entered as a postcode in iGO8 the software correctly addresses it as Camberwell Road, London.

Now the problems start. Confirming the address merely causes the "Find Address" entry screen to reappear. The "House Number" field or "Street Midpoint" button must be used to go any further. Using back arrow does nothing with the data just entered.

Okay, so I don't know the number of the house or company I'm going to - I just have the postcode. What do I do now?

I have to enter a "House Number" (or Street Midpoint). Let's try "House Number". Pressing "Done" without entering anything (I don't know the number) brings up three possibilities - all Camberwell Road but different postcode districts or sequences: SE5 0*, SE17 2* and SE17 3*.

This shouldn't happen in any decent software iteration of a 7 digit postcode database. Anyway, if I select the first one (the only SE5 * option in the list) the mapping cursor is helpfully (not) placed at 156 Camberwell Road - way out of the postcode range selected and in an incorrect position.

If I press the "Info" button I see that the postcode reference has gone completely.

With a problem like this - assuming it is not version specific and has been fixed already - it is not possible to recoomend this software for UK use. The software seems to have a fatal route planning flaw which prevents use of 7 digit postcodes as routing points (as opposed to street naming points). In fact what is happening is that the software is not using the 7 digit postcodes at all as routing points - merely as street naming references.

Not good.
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linknet
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Retty wrote:
Okay, so I don't know the number of the house or company I'm going to - I just have the postcode. What do I do now?


It's far from ideal, as with almost all other consumer satellite navigation systems, the postcode data is only stored as single point locations from which the nearest road, and a possible list of house numbers within a certain radius, is generated.

The solution is to enter a house number approximately halfway between the lower and upper values in the range offered in the address field (this may give a house not found warning which can just be ignored).

This procedure will take you to the approximate centre of the postcode whereas selecting "street midpoint" takes you to the midpoint of the full length of the street.


Edit:

This screenshot shows the range of house numbers suggested:



@Retty: I would have thought that was clear enough to see.

linknet


Last edited by linknet on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:51 am; edited 2 times in total
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Retty
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

linknet wrote:
Retty wrote:
Okay, so I don't know the number of the house or company I'm going to - I just have the postcode. What do I do now?


It's far from ideal, as with almost all other consumer satellite navigation systems, the postcode data is only stored as single point locations from which the nearest road, and a possible list of house numbers within a certain radius, is generated.

The solution is to enter a house number approximately halfway between the lower and upper values in the range offered in the address field (this may give a house not found warning which can just be ignored).

This procedure will take you to the approximate centre of the postcode whereas selecting "street midpoint" takes you to the midpoint of the full length of the street.


linknet


You are incorrect - even if what you were suggesting is correct (it is not) the iGO8 software does not provide this function.

Previous iterations of iGO (Miomap and 2006) handled the postcode routing perfectly well.

With respect, and after having attempted to clearly describe the problem, it is responses like yours (appearing to be knowledge based and citing "evidence") that prevent software companies from being pressured to fix these continental centric software features that do not apply to the peculiarities of UK postcode location.

Can I state the problem again: iGO8 postcode routing does not confine itself to the list of addresses that fall within a specific postcode range (SE5 0EZ for example). Instead iGO loses the postcode information by replacing it with real name street based information - there is no way of specifying the postcode for actual routing purposes with iGO8.

Postcode routing works perfectly with Miomap, iGO 2006, TomTom, Medion and other full UK postcode devices - logically it is therefore a *serious* problem with the iGO software.

Your solution is not a solution - it is at best an inefficient workaround which would in any case depend upon you knowing the address range for a particular postcode (there is no way of knowing this aside from a reverse postcode lookup using an online service). Besides, iGO 2008 does not even have correct address (house number) entries for particular postcode ranges.

Just for people to be aware: iGO 8 does *not* support routing based upon UK postcodes. The map does contain the required information but the software cannot process it.
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are also postcodes, or parts of them missing. My postcode for instance, I can get up to the last letter, but the correct letter (J) is not an option. If I then enter the 'next along' that is available (L) as the last letter, I can enter the house number and it finds the correct location. But if I enter the 'previous' letter (H), it's not my road, so my house number does not exist in that postcode. MioMap 3.2 handled postcodes OK, and as this was a derivative of the Igo software, I just can't understand why they have screwed up postcode routeing in Igo. It would be good if they sorted it though.
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Retty
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
There are also postcodes, or parts of them missing. My postcode for instance, I can get up to the last letter, but the correct letter (J) is not an option. If I then enter the 'next along' that is available (L) as the last letter, I can enter the house number and it finds the correct location. But if I enter the 'previous' letter (H), it's not my road, so my house number does not exist in that postcode. MioMap 3.2 handled postcodes OK, and as this was a derivative of the Igo software, I just can't understand why they have screwed up postcode routeing in Igo. It would be good if they sorted it though.


Well, the problem you mention - incomplete postcode entry database - has been fixed in the most recent map release. You can now enter all 7 digit UK postcodes in to the find menu box. But it isn't going to help you one little bit.

The software, ubelievably, can still not route to the 7 digit postcodes - it uses street names instead and requires you to enter a house number and ignores the postcode information. The only thing that the 7 digit postcode does is to correctly identify the road name.

You sometimes miss that this problem is happening with small roads but when you come to navigate to a location you don't know (or you only have the postcode for the location) it will come as a big blow. I'm glad I tried this before buying.

How many versions of the software have there been so far? The one I saw today is the latest version and the problem is still there.

It's a really strange oversight. But then again it is clearly based on European address entry protocols where postcodes do not identify such specific geographical areas. Miomap and iGO 2006 worked well with UK addresses but the iGO 2008 software has not been designed with UK postcode functionality it mind it seems.

It's a shame because having tried the SD card in my C710 it otherwise works very well indeed - I would buy this in a shot but for the postcode problem. I explained it to the guy who was trying to sell it to me and he agreed that it is a big problem. He's not going to tell other customers though but mentioned that he will not be stocking the software again until he knows it's fixed.

I also see that the iGO software is using Trafficmaster again for TMC. The last time this happened was when Mio was provided with an unlicensed TMC service for Trafficmaster (Miomap 3.1). That one was never explained either.
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linknet
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Retty wrote:

You are incorrect - even if what you were suggesting is correct (it is not) the iGO8 software does not provide this function.


No, what I stated is perfectly correct.

Edit:

This screenshot shows the range of house numbers suggested:



@Retty: I would have thought that was clear enough to see.


Retty wrote:

Previous iterations of iGO (Miomap and 2006) handled the postcode routing perfectly well.


They certainly did not.


Retty wrote:

With respect, and after having attempted to clearly describe the problem, it is responses like yours (appearing to be knowledge based and citing "evidence") that prevent software companies from being pressured to fix these continental centric software features that do not apply to the peculiarities of UK postcode location.


Now that's just down right rude. This forum exists mainly to help people with their software and offer workarounds for problems. If you want to pressurise Nav'N'Go then you're wasting your time by ranting on here. Contact them directly or post a bug report on their own forum.


Retty wrote:

Can I state the problem again: iGO8 postcode routing does not confine itself to the list of addresses that fall within a specific postcode range (SE5 0EZ for example). Instead iGO loses the postcode information by replacing it with real name street based information - there is no way of specifying the postcode for actual routing purposes with iGO8.


No need to repeat yourself, I understood perfectly well the first time.

Unfortunately I now have to repeat myself - "as with almost all other consumer satellite navigation systems, the postcode data is only stored as single point locations."

Retty wrote:

Postcode routing works perfectly with Miomap, iGO 2006, TomTom, Medion and other full UK postcode devices.


In your dreams.


Retty wrote:

Your solution is not a solution - it is at best an inefficient workaround which would in any case depend upon you knowing the address range for a particular postcode (there is no way of knowing this aside from a reverse postcode lookup using an online service). Besides, iGO 2008 does not even have correct address (house number) entries for particular postcode ranges.


If you had bothered to read my post you would see that the address range information is provided in the address field.

Retty wrote:

Just for people to be aware: iGO 8 does *not* support routing based upon UK postcodes. The map does contain the required information but the software cannot process it.


If you want to make a point, try somewhere where it might be read by the developers.

Ah, but you'll need to be polite to the Nav'N'Go team or they will simply just ban you from their forum.


linknet


Last edited by linknet on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

linknet wrote:

Retty wrote:

Previous iterations of iGO (Miomap and 2006) handled the postcode routing perfectly well.


They certainly did not.


But IMO they did work better in MioMap 3.2 than they do in Igo. Very Happy
I have just entered three 7 digit postcodes that I know into my MM 3.2 and in all three cases they indicated a point pretty close to where I wanted to go.

It seems that you have to enter a house number in IGO, and if you don't know it, you have to guess. That is even if it recognises all 7 characters.

Onthe opposite side of the coin, MM3.2 does not give you the oportunity to enter a house number after a PC search, even if you know it. So It's a bit horses for courses, with neither providing the ideal, but IMHO the MM3.2 is the better solution for a PC destination.
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Retty
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

linknet wrote:
Retty wrote:

You are incorrect - even if what you were suggesting is correct (it is not) the iGO8 software does not provide this function.


No, what I stated is perfectly correct.



Can I just warn people reading this thread not to take any notice of what this guy is saying on this issue. Even his workaround - copying house number ranges from the"Find address" screen - does not work because house number address ranges are not displayed in there. I wish I had taken a photo of the problem!

iGO8 does not support 7 digit postcode routing for UK addresses and I have suggested evidence for why I say this.

Both Miomap and iGO 2006 did - you entered the postcode and you were immediately taken to the midpoint of the postcode area you entered.

In iGO8 the postcode is instead converted in to the correct street name. You are then required to enter a house number; you cannot, having entered the postcode, escape to the route calculation screen; with Miomap and iGO 2006 you could; if you do not have a house number you will, if the street spans more than 1 postcode, be taken to a list of 4 digit postcode options which you must select from. [The house number database is not correct either: my house does not exist and nor do 3 out of 4 of the other test addresses I entered].

If the street only has one postcode for the first 4 or 5 digits - and you do not select a house number - iGO8 will calculate the location according to the mid-point of the street.

Having been caught myself on a number of occasions (including buying map updates for 100 only to find that nothing had been updated) I just want to warn people that this software really is not all it is cracked up to be - it lacks the sort of postcode navigation functionality that even a 3 year old Miomap 3.1 device has. It is not good.

If I'm being a bit assertive about this then it is because I only narrowly avoided buying the product because I insisted on testing it. Had I bought it I would have had no right of refund. I want to pass this information on to other people who obviously don't have to take my word for the problem but can hopefully test it themselves before buying.

As for the developers reading here. My understanding is that they do. Their product is problematic in terms of how it manages UK postcode data. A simple software fix would probably solve the problem - instead of converting postcode to street name and then processing street name as the relevant variable it should simply allow location to be determined on the basis of postcode. It's like Vic 20 Basic surely.
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Retty
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
linknet wrote:

Retty wrote:

Previous iterations of iGO (Miomap and 2006) handled the postcode routing perfectly well.


They certainly did not.



Onthe opposite side of the coin, MM3.2 does not give you the oportunity to enter a house number after a PC search, even if you know it. So It's a bit horses for courses, with neither providing the ideal, but IMHO the MM3.2 is the better solution for a PC destination.


Hmm, the difference is that with Miomap 3.1/3.2/3.2 and iGO 2006 you can enter the postcode and that will identify the street name. You can then, if you have the house number, enter the details as road name and number (without postcode) as a new entry taking 20 seconds or so. Thus the best of both worlds.

With iGO 2008 there's no way of doing that. It's also worth remembering that the house number database is more than a bit flaky in terms of accuracy.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The solution is to enter a house number approximately halfway between the lower and upper values in the range offered in the address field (this may give a house not found warning which can just be ignored).

This procedure will take you to the approximate centre of the postcode whereas selecting "street midpoint" takes you to the midpoint of the full length of the street.


Quote:
You are incorrect - even if what you were suggesting is correct (it is not) the iGO8 software does not provide this function.


Doing as Linknet suggests puts you at number 44 Camberwell Road.

Should you decide to purchase iGO8, I'd recommend you download Linknet's excellent iGO 8 Ultra Skin 6.0.21 which is a big improvement on the standard one as it adds a number of extras.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Can I just warn people reading this thread not to take any notice of what this guy is saying on this issue.


You're obviously not aware of Linknet's abilities and his knowledge of iGO.

Quote:
I just want to warn people that this software really is not all it is cracked up to be


In that case all other software must be really rubbish.

Quote:
I want to pass this information on to other people who obviously don't have to take my word for the problem but can hopefully test it themselves before buying.


Thank you, I won't, and I have and travelled all over the UK and France without problems.
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Retty
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lost_Property wrote:
Quote:
Can I just warn people reading this thread not to take any notice of what this guy is saying on this issue.


You're obviously not aware of Linknet's abilities and his knowledge of iGO.

Quote:
I just want to warn people that this software really is not all it is cracked up to be


In that case all other software must be really rubbish.

Quote:
I want to pass this information on to other people who obviously don't have to take my word for the problem but can hopefully test it themselves before buying.


Thank you, I won't, and I have and travelled all over the UK and France without problems.


I was commenting on what was being said on *this* issue and I made that clear - not questioning undoubted, respected and valued skills and contributions in other areas.

Skins are good (very, very good) but most non enthusiast users don't encounter them and so are limited to the functionality of the vanilla software. That isn't usually a big issue but iGO8 is so screwy in handling UK postcode routhing that it is worth commenting on.

The house number address range is not provided in the postcode entry field - an incorrect range is, iirc, presented in the house number field as a reverse postcode checkup will show (for the example I gave).

So you have to guess a non real world mid range number just to prompt the device to calculate a mid range postcode location? Where does the manual say this? Where does the manual say that if no number is entered the postcode data will collapse in to dumb street name data even if postcode boundaries are crossed? How is that explained to a non enthusiast user used to using TomTom? "Oh, for iGO8 you have to guess the house number and even if you know the real one it could throw up an error and then dump you to a picklist which will throw your destination way off course...." Yeah, right.

If no house number is entered, in the example I gave, and the user knows to select the "correct" option the cursor is still placed at something like 180 Camberwell Road iirc (about half a mile away from the route).

At best it is therefore an inefficient and unofficial workaround which gives too much credibility to badly designed software.

If comments are made about the quality of a vanilla product which are simply and factually incorrect then it's right to say so in order to prevent people from spending hard earned money on a product which is not as good as most non UK postcode search reviews suggest - that was and is my intention. Anyone who tries to enter a known house number following a valid postcode is also going to find that the numbering database is very badly implemented (probably the "fault" of TeleAtlas rather than NavNGo).

iGO 8 does not work well with UK postcodes and when a postcode is all you often have to get to an address that's pretty poor.

Miomap, iGO 2006. TomTom, Garmin, Navigon, Becker and Medion products do not behave in this counter intuitive and flawed way.

Maybe iGO 8 is just so good that only those who have been persuaded to buy it can see its genius. I'm, fortunately, not so clever.
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linknet
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Retty wrote:
Can I just warn people reading this thread not to take any notice of what this guy is saying on this issue. Even his workaround - copying house number ranges from the"Find address" screen - does not work because house number address ranges are not displayed in there. I wish I had taken a photo of the problem!


Here is a photo and this looks very much like a suggested address range to me:



I think you'll find that it is suggesting a range of 26 to 119.

Now perhaps an apology is due. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

The Royal Mail site shows a range of 1 to 91 so the above is a reasonably close estimation considering that the postcode information is only stored as point data and not as a complete database of all numbers and names associated with the postcode.

If you think about it the extra postcode information in the UK map is around 10 megabytes, whereas the full postcode database is several hundred megabytes, so there just isn't room for all of the UK house postcode data.


linknet


Last edited by linknet on Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Retty
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

linknet wrote:
Retty wrote:
Can I just warn people reading this thread not to take any notice of what this guy is saying on this issue. Even his workaround - copying house number ranges from the"Find address" screen - does not work because house number address ranges are not displayed in there. I wish I had taken a photo of the problem!


Here is a photo and this looks very much like a suggested address range to me:



I think you'll find that it is suggesting a range of 26 to 119.

Now perhaps an apology is due. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

The Royal Mail site shows a range of 1 to 91 so the above is a reasonably close estimation considering that the postcode information is only stored as point data and not as a complete database of all numbers and names associated with the postcode.

If you think about it the extra postcode information in the UK map is around 10 megabytes, whereas the full postcode database is several hundred megabytes, so there just isn't room for all of the UK house postcode data.


linknet


Apologies for the tone of the first posts. On re-reading them they do seem a bit sharp but were meant as a criticism of the software from someone who had nearly just spent 100.

Apologies too about the number ranges - I see what you mean about the ranges.

The problem is that if you don't guess a house number and do what most people would do and enter nothing then the postcode information will be replaced by street information. This also happens if you enter an invalid number.

I accept that it's unrealistic for software of this cost and size to contain a complete postcode database. This means though that many valid addresseses are lacking. So why then can't iGO8 provide a mid point postcode location option? Miomap and iGO 2006 did this. Expecting users to guess an address (and find that a real address does not exist) is bad design at best.

The find address feature of this software is going to baffle a lot of end users - only enthusiast users who see positive features in other aspects of the software are going to be able to grasp the poor workaround and make allowances for its limits. Most users would be lost at the need to guess not just a house number but also a valid house number (some numbers in the range are not valid presumably because of the odd/even postcode split).
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