Sunday 1 March 2009

Keyword KN57CDF

In the foreground, someone commuting on an Orange MTB. In the background, someone doing sprog dropoff on the school-no-parking zone of Christchurch School, Clifton, on the road that is the homeland of the say-no-to-CPZ organisation -that being the house in the background with the posters in the window.

But not just a" someone in a car", that's someone dropping off the kid from the Audi A3 KN57CDF. Which is a keyword to be used in searches in your favourite index datacentre, be it Google or Yahoo!, will lead to the car advert when it was last on sale, listing it as a 2.0TD vehicle registered in November 2007 and sold for £16,995 pounds for just under 10K miles.

This is why we encourage all web sites which list car number plates, to omit the spaces from their listings, it makes it easier to index. For cross-site listing we need consistency. I think we can take it as a given that the DVLA and other authorities operate similarly, at least in the IT infrastructure. We need the same from sites like Crap Cycling in Waltham Forest, else we will never get national coverage.

The fact that the second hand car retailers all list number plates not only gives us vehicle history, it reinforces that number plate listing online is not itself against any data protection/privacy rules. So that's OK then.

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