Royal Mail to offer GPS database

Royal Mail is planning to create a highly detailed GPS database – pinpointing the exact location of every home and business in the UK – and build extra revenues by offering it to marketers, SatNav makers and the emergency services.
The scheme, which will be rolled out across the UK later in the year if trials in East Anglia are a success, is being created by posties on their rounds.
Each postal worker will map the longitude, latitude and altitude co-ordinates of every property using a satellite receiver – a distance measurement device which looks like a pair of binoculars.
The company stressed it will not collect any personal or confidential information, saying the initiative will help improve the accuracy of location-based data.
Royal Mail claims the new technology offers an advance on the traditional system of postcodes, street names and house numbers. It sees the database as a potential money-maker.
Royal Mail said: “With mail volumes in decline, it is important that we continue to expand our range of trusted services.”
Keith Jones, who is leading the initiative, said: “For individuals and companies, many everyday activities involve using information which is based on the location of an address. The emergency services, satellite navigation systems used by motorists and smartphone applications use this information.
“Mapping the co-ordinates which are accurate to the front door of addresses across the UK will help improve the accuracy of this information. Royal Mail has a long history of providing location-based information used by the emergency services, government departments, local authorities and tens of thousands of businesses across the UK.”
Letters have been sent to residents in East Anglia explaining the scheme which Royal Mail said it was undertaking in response to a need by businesses and consumers for more accurate information.
A spokesman for the Communication Workers Union said: “We believe Royal Mail is the best organisation to capture and maintain address data – it should improve the existing delivery point database and enhance the Postal Address File which is managed by Royal Mail.
“We raised concerns about resource and customer reaction to this new work and Royal Mail has taken these concerns on board.
“It’s an ambitious project which could significantly improve the accuracy of positional data and it seems right to us that the UK’s leading postal company undertakes this work.”

Print Friendly