We have been made aware of yet another case of Eircode misrouting where an ambulance was delayed as a result. For this reason, we have added a new "Point 5" to our list for checking an Eircode here -/>
On the afternoon of the 3rd November last, we received a call from a lady who had called an ambulance for her father a few days earlier but the ambulance was delayed as a result of Eircode misrouting. She made contact with us to confirm she could use a Loc8 Code when calling for an ambulance in the future.
In this case, Google Maps had been corrected to include a short private driveway;- so if she had done our check and had not read our NewsBlog articles she would have assumed misrouting could not take place. However, there was another road running along a different side of her house from which there was no driveway but it was closer. CoPilot, which the ambulance service uses, did not have the corrected driveway to the house, so the ambulance ended up on the closer road from which there was no access to their patient and no visibility to or from the house. This caused a delay until all realised that there had been a misrouting error.
For that reason, our new Point 5. states as follows: "5. If there is a road shown on Google Maps between your road access & your house, this road may not be on other mapping systems such as "CoPilot" which the ambulance service uses. If there is another road on the maps closer to your house than your own road access then, misrouting could occur and, therefore, you should also create & use a Loc8 Code to be safe. As different emergency responders and other service providers use different Navigation systems with different map suppliers, it is not possible to check them all. For that reason, best to be safe & use a Loc8 Code."
In addition, because the actual access to this property from the road is very narrow and bordered on 2 sides by other houses, even with a Loc8 Code generated just inside the access point, there could still be doubt. For that reason we would recommend Confirmation Signage at the gate which would say "Access to Eircode &/or Loc8 Code xxxxxxxxx" This would remove any possibility of doubt amongst the paramedics navigating the ambulance. Confirmatory signage like this is very useful in navigation and is highly recommended where there might be any doubt. The responsibility for this kind of confirmation is on the property owner;- not the paramedics or other service providers trying to find them.
It is extremely regrettable that those behind Eircode are not even warning the public about the possibility of errors or misrouting;- let alone advising how to check and resolve issues before they happen and cause risk to public safety.
If you need any clarifications on any of this, please contact us here -/>
Evidence of Eircode misrouting continues and neither the Dept of Communications nor Eircode (Capita) are warning the Public about it.
We know that people who notice that their Eircode is not in Google Maps are being told by Eircode to contact Google themselves. People are not being told to check for misrouting and our last post shows that at least one person received an admission from an advisor to Minister Hildegarde Naughton that Eircode can have problems (misrouting) when used in navigation systems but, again, their advice is to contact the mapping or navigation company yourself to sort it out. We have already highlighted how this is an abdication of responsibility by those responsible for Eircode so let's leave that for now.
What is more important to highlight is that if you manage to solve misrouting in Google Maps by communicating with Google itself, that DOES NOT address the possibility of misrouting for the Ambulance Service. The Ambulance Service uses the "CoPilot" navigation system in its data terminals in response vehicles. This DOES NOT use Google Maps. It instead uses Trimble Maps. So if a misrouting issue exists in that, then it will remain. You can try contact Trimble Maps here -/>
Of course, logistics companies and other 1st responders may well use other solutions using other mapping systems which would all have to be contacted individually to try ensure nobody trying to find your property is led astray by Eircode induced misrouting. It is important to understand that not everyone uses Google Maps and that professionals whose work involves road navigation very often have dedicated systems suitable for their differing needs.
Furthermore, this does not take into account that there may be several different access points to your location with only one appropriate for different service providers or at different times of the day. Contacting all the mapping companies in the world will never resolve this. The only solution would be to be able to move the location of an Eircode so that it can positively identify the required access point. However, the rules enforced by An Post over the use of Eircode prevent that from happening.
It should also be noted that even if you do make contact with every mapping company and they agree to help, it can take time (months) for them to apply corrections, then to disseminate them in their databases, then for navigation companies to apply updates and then for the user to ensure their product is updated as well. Meanwhile, those serving you will still be misrouted whilst all that is going on.
An immediate solution is to use a Loc8 Code which can be placed just inside the desired access from the nearest mapped public road and no matter what mapping is used, the service provider or emergency responder will always be guided to the correct access point. If there is any ambiguity at that point then the property owner simply has to put up a sign confirming arrival at the correct Eircode or Loc8 Code or Property name and perhaps adding a directional arrow to the sign if required to guide the way to the final destination. Property occupiers do have to take some responsibility in that regard.
You can generate a Loc8 Code for any location at this link and, after clicking on the desired spot and generating a Loc8 Code, by pressing the "Route" option you can also prove that the routing will guide to the right location. Loc8 Code is fully integrated into the response systems of the National Ambulance Service side-by-side with Eircode.
Loc8 Code offers a FREE WebApp which can be used on multiple devices.
In summary, please do not assume that if you manage to solve misrouting in Google Maps that that is the end of misrouting issues. The problem may still remain for Ambulances, other emergency responders and others trying to get to you. However, at least if you are aware of the problem you have some chance of resolving it. It remains that fact, though, that many are not aware because they have not been warned by those behind Eircode. All of the Department of Communications, their Minister and Eircode (Capita) know that the problem exists but to date have chosen not to warn the public to check their code for misrouting or other issues.