Mapcodes. Do They Work On Garmin And Other Makes.

Discussion in 'GPS Navigation' started by DJA, May 19, 2015.

  1. DJA

    DJA Funster

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    Tomtom satnavs have been able to recognise Mapcodes for years. Do other makes.

    Mapcodes are like Post Codes except that whilst a UK a Postcode may only get you within 1/2 a mile or in say Portugal can cover a whole village or a large part of a Town a Mapcode is almost capable of specifying a parking space in a car park.

    For example if you type in the address search box on a Tomtom the Mapcode CK.X0 it will take you to the entrance gate to the Royal Mews where they keep the carriages. Mapcodes are capable of specifying specific spots on the earths surface and are not just in the UK.

    Recently we went to a Rally and the Postcode was 1/4 mile before the Campsite and a slightly different Postcode for the same Campsite taken from the Internet was 1/4 of a mile past it. The campsite does not have a sign at the turnoff from the road and so we and others had trouble finding it. A Mapcode would have meant the Satnav would have instructed us to take the turnoff.

    You can find details about Mapcodes on the internet. Many places ask you not to use Postcodes because it does not take you to a site entrance. If they provided Mapcodes, which are as memorable as Post codes are, they can take you exactly to the entrance. This does seem the solution to a Satnav problem.

    Doug
     
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  2. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    Ashamed to admit I've not heard of Mapcodes :cry:
    I usually look for destination on Google Earth and use coordinates. Again,gets you right to the door-if you put cursor in right place (y)
     
  3. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    Just had a look at Mapcodes. Seems like a good idea-only drawback seems to be that no-ones ever given me their Mapcode with their address.
     
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  4. DJA

    DJA Funster

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    Hi MikeandCarolyn

    I use google earth as well at the moment but then if you use the Co-ordinates it is a long series of figures etc that you would have to put in the Satnav.

    Aires/Campsites/Nat Trust sites etc etc could publish a Mapcode no bigger than a Post Code and memorable enough for people to quote it in an email or telephone conversation and nail exactly where you should go to.

    You can get a mapcode from the Mapcode website.

    Doug
     
  5. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    Also never heard of Mapcodes, I find post codes usually get near enough or I also use the satelite images in google maps to find the exact co-ordinates if required. The offical guide to Aires has had GPS co-ords for the past two or three years. I find it useful that my Garmin allows for entry of GPS co-ords in three different formats.

    My pet hate is the CCC they never give co-ords for THS etc. but rely on the old fashioned "turn left at the Dog and Duck, site on right after 2 miles".
    I've commented on this on their web pages but no response. When I've mentioned this to site stewards they moan the they have to supply postcodes and co-ords to the club but they disapear into a black hole.

    I can't see the nead for another coding system GPS works fine.
     
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  6. DJA

    DJA Funster

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    Hi Someoneelse

    Could you please advise if you put the Mapcode in your Garmin whether or not it works.

    The advantage of Mapcodes as I see it is that they are much shorter than Co-ordinates, memorable, you don't need to type in the house number as well as the Postcode and far more targeted than Post Codes.

    I agree about the CCC but maybe they resort to this because of the fact that Post Codes are not accurate enough for Campsites etc. and that they want to ensure those that still use map books can find the place.

    Doug
     
  7. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    There is nowhere to enter a mapcode. The postcode section is so tied to them that it knows that no UK post code start with Q, U or V that those letters are shaded out. Of course different countries use different post code the shading out changes when a different country is selected. Germany use only numbers so all the letters are shaded out.

    After reading about mapcodes I find they are a Tom-Tom developed idea so I would guess only they use them.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MapCode
     
  8. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    Realistically I would think that for Mapcodes to become widely used our Postal Service would need to adopt the system and do away with post codes.
    Googling around I've found several threads from different countries talking about this.
    A common theme seems to be that 'Ok,I've got myself a Mapcode,who else knows how to use it and what can they use it with?'
     
  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    They were mentioned on here a couple of years ago, and the OP of this thread used it for a meet in Spain.. no idea how useful it was ..

    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/spain-malaga-2014-5th-25th-march-update.67688/

    Good idea, but until they are widely adopted, used like Post Codes and can be entered into a sat nav.. not much use.. a bit like Betamax .. better than VHS but never caught on... so it died.

    Lat - Long co ords are universal used .. and understood by all nations and all traffic, be they Ships, Aircraft, Military etc .. can't see them being replaced any time soon..
     
  10. DJA

    DJA Funster

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    Thank you Someonelse

    I assume from what you say that on a Garmin you select Post Code as an option in order to be able to type it in. On the Tomtom you can just type a Mapcode or Post Code where you would type an address so there are no greyed out letters.

    As you say it was developed by Tomtom, in fact by 2 of the 4 original people who started the Tomtom company. They developed it in 2001 and it is now free to anyone who wants to find a Mapcode for anywhere.

    It is likely that Garmin avoid it because of its origins which is a shame in view of it being much shorter than Co-ords.

    Regarding others comments about the Post Office I assume they use the codes to get items of post together for final sorting. Mapcodes would be far to individualistic unless they introduced sorting machines that would put complete rounds in exact order for the Postie to deliver.

    Doug
     
  11. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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    If you really think about it then this has to be the answer. Find a specific point in the Sahara or a specific entrance/exit to the O2 Arena. Postcode won't do it but this will........

    If you like it look up < price.code.march > as this was a property I tried to buy in 1973 with a bid of £12,000, the ministry wouldn't accept less than £15,000.

    They sell now for between 1-3 million. Typical
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
  12. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    It sounds like a good idea but until people like Google and other big players adopt it then it's going nowhere. Incidentally ck.xo on Google maps takes you to a kalvin Klein shop .
    Also individuals and companies would have to adopt it too. I just don't see the appetite . .
     
  13. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    Doug I don't use the full capability of the Garmin, but one of about twelve options is to enter an address, which allows you to enter a town, street and house number, alternatively which I use occassionally is to enter a postcode and house number, which gets you to within a few yards of the destination required.

    Most offen with Garmin I search a catogory, which may be a Vet, Gym, Post office, Church, Petrol station, Hospital, Police station, Restaurants, Shops etc etc. I just looked there are eleven catorgies of shops to choose from. By default it searches near to your current location, but you can ask it to search about another location, and there are at least half a dozen ways to define the search location.

    I have several custom POI lists so I rarely enter a destination directly. Its like entering a phone number, a pain when entering a full number but most numbers I use are in the phone so there is rarely a need to enter one.

    Forgot to say there are three ways built-in to find a campsite (one of them is a dirty word on this web site) plus my custom POIs.
     
  14. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Perhaps the reason other makes do not use Mapcodes (to my knowledge) is the TomTom has a patent application pending on the system. However, the Mapcode system is 'open source' provided no modifications are made to the algorithms or data table.
    Maybe it will become more widely adopted in future, but it would require all POI datasets to be converted. There is an exe file available on the Mapcode website that can make the conversion for a whole database or spreadsheet at a time (not available for Macs though by the look of things).
     
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  15. DJA

    DJA Funster

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    Hi sdc 77

    It would appear that Google do not use Mapcodes. By the way the last digit is a Zero not a O.
     
  16. DJA

    DJA Funster

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    Hi SomeoneElse

    By the looks of it you know more about what you can do on your Garmin than many. I generally agree that Postcodes are okay but in the countryside it can be more problematic. We have had to use Google to find a destination because the Post Code takes you 1/2 a mile away and totally out of site of the Destination. We finished up in a Village centre with another Motorhomer the other weekend who also could not find the Campsite and we had to phone to find out where it was. Wev were within 300 yrds.
     
  17. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I have a Garmin Dezl 560 and rarely use post codes. Mostly, I rely on POI files that I have loaded or I input Lat/Long directly. It is true that the C&CC POI set (available via their website) is far from perfect as I believe it was created by applying a Lat/Long converter to the previously held post codes. This can make CS locations a bit 'hit or miss'. However, for most purposes it works quite well. In practice, If I know which sites I am likely to be using before setting off on a tour, I look at Google Maps (or more likely Bing Maps now Google has screwed up their map format) and view the coordinates directly once I can see the camp site.
    Abroad, I find the POI sets from CC-Infos, Camper Contact, Bord Atlas or directly read off Camper Stop Europe, to be perfectly adequate.
     
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  18. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Mapcodes were invented by the founders of TomTom so not a snowballs I think of any other satnav manufacturer taking them up!
     
  19. rijnb

    rijnb

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    Hi, Mapcodes were indeed initially invented by the founders of TomTom, but they have subsequently put all of the intellectual property of mapcodes into a foundation, the Mapcode Foundation, separate from TomTom. The purpose of that foundation is to keep mapcodes free for everyone (it's a non-profit foundation). Since then other companies are picking this up, such as giant Nokia HERE: their maps and their apps recognize mapcodes as an address.
     
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  20. DJA

    DJA Funster

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    If I was to give you an example it may help the understanding of the simplicity of the system

    The Campsite we go to occasionally is very private and not advertised. It is well maintained behind a modern farmhouse within a short walk of the village of Appledore. There is no campsite sign at the turn into the farm so unless you know it is there you can easily, will like us, miss it.

    The Post Code for it is TN26 2DE and the Long/Lat is 51.028329,0.791619. The Post Code on Google is about 400yrds East of the Site whilst the Long/Lat is down the turning into the farm at the point the Campsite sign is displayed.

    The Mapcode is gbr RY4.GZ0 and that is all you have to put into a Tomtom address search. This equates exactly to the Long/Lat position but is far easier for someone to remember and give out like a Post Code. A point less than 5yrds away wil have a very different Mapcode. A similar looking code will apply to a point elsewhere in the world. So for example the Code fra 3DP.QNM is at the middle of the Aire at La Mailleraye Sur Seine.

    I can recommend the site which has always been very peaceful and reasonable but point out there is no electric.

    Doug
     
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