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IA and NLPG welcome acacia report

Posted: 08 January 2004

The NLPG Management Team has welcomed the Project Acacia Pilot Report published on 17th December 2003.

It follows an initial report published in July 2002, which was commissioned by the Acacia Project Technical Team to provide an independent assessment of the suitability of the NLPG as the basis for definitive national addresses for England and Wales. The 2002 report concluded that NLPG was suitable and proposed the next steps in the Acacia programme.

One of the next steps initiated by Acacia was to test a "pilot" in parallel with the NLPG. This new 2003 report examines aspects of the pilot and other related issues. The report's conclusions are supportive of the processes used by the NLPG Hub Infrastructure (see summary below).

"We would fully endorse the report's emphasis on the importance of standardising descriptions of non-postal addressables across government;" says Michael Nicholson, the Project Director of NLPG "We are also pleased that the review has confirmed that the new street information flows being introduced by the NLPG are viable and should be encouraged and widely adopted."

Dr Andrew Larner, Director of Local Government Information House (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Improvement and Development Agency), which develops national infrastructure projects for local government, adds "Some of the work on data quality and comparisons in specific small areas has proved very valuable but we would caution that some aspects will not necessarily prove typical for the rest of the country. However, this work has strongly confirmed the need for local knowledge in the maintenance process and we agree that this is a critical factor and a core benefit of the NLPG."

Acacia has not yet made any substantive progress on resolving outstanding data licensing matters or in investigating the best business model for the future. The report acknowledges that these are critical issues for potential users across the public and private sectors if the adoption and value of the NLPG are to be maximised.
Read the full Acacia Pilot Project Report and the latest Acacia Programme Progress Report at http://www.idea.gov.uk/transformation/?id=acacia

Acacia Pilot Report
17th December 2003

Synopsis of key Conclusions

1. National Street Gazetteer

a) A central source of street names is required by all users, but does not exist to the satisfaction of any. The lack of such a source of street names leads to unnecessary duplication of effort in creating an address infrastructure.

b) The currency of the National Street Gazetteer and the consistency between it and the National Land and Property Gazetteer is improved by Street Naming Authorities using the âNew NSG Process'. This process should be encouraged. Local Authority processes are being modified so that Unique Street Reference Numbers are assigned by Street Naming and Numbering Authorities to streets needed for addressing in Land and Property Gazetteers.

c) The Traffic Management Act, announced in the Queen's speech on 26 November 2003, will build on the NSG to support street works applications. This initiative potentially offers an opportunity to combine the street name information (NSG) held by local authorities and mapping from Ordnance Survey.

d) Case studies and best practice guides for local street gazetteer creation by Local Authorities should be enhanced.

e) The NLPG and NSG are currently not widely available to users. It is strongly recommended that commercial and IPR issues are resolved as a matter of urgency in order to make them available to all potential users.

2. Non-Postal Addressables

a) Issues of addressing are generic to all geographical objects, and non-postal addresses should be considered in this context. Postal addresses are a subset of all addresses identified for a specific application â the delivery of mail. The requirements of the Acacia partners for inclusion of objects without postal addresses are widely different. The priority has been agreed to be those needed by VOA, HMLR and local government linking through the NLPG.

b) Geocoding is likely to be of immense benefit for identification of objects without postal addresses. However, geo-references are not in themselves likely to be an adequate single reference.

c) Geographic referencing should use the BS7666 address structure of primary addressable objects (those with their own address) and secondary addressable objects (those addressed relative to a primary addressable object). No requirement has as yet been identified for lower levels of object.

3. Data matching trials

a) There are a wide range of address structures in use within Acacia stakeholders' datasets. BS 7666 should be used, and Implementation Guidelines for this should be produced.

b) The current guidelines to build Local Land & Property Gazetteers (LLPGs) are not comprehensive enough and cause problems. These guidelines should be enhanced for the process of creating gazetteers and also for the address lifecycle.

c) Creation of the LLPGs, including resolving addresses not matched by software, took 3-5 man years in the trial areas. Little use was made of Address-Point due to lack of confidence in the coordinates.

d) A comprehensive and accurate Local Street Gazetteer is required prior to Land and Property Gazetteer creation.

4. Cross-referencing

a) The need for cross-referencing between entries in different datasets is agreed between Acacia partners. This is for purposes of accessing other organisations' data, promulgating updates and supporting user needs to bridge the divide of the different national address datasets.

b) The work on this topic is incomplete. Further work is now required to implement this approach with the trial datasets. That output should then be reviewed with the current NLPG approach and users consulted.

8th January 2004

Notes to Editors:
The NLPG was initiated in 1999 to become the master address dataset for England and Wales and the central hub for the 376 address creating Local Authorities and their Local Land and Property Gazetteers (LLPGs). Based on unique property reference numbers (UPRNs) the underlying principle of these gazetteers is to provide a single definitive ad dress database for all departments and systems across a local authority in order to cut costs, improve efficiency and service delivery.

Required under the New Roads and Street Works Act, the National Street Gazetteer (NSG) is a comprehensive list of over 1 million named and un-named streets, footpaths and thoroughfares, the definitive source for anyone with an interest in streets and their usage. There are over 300 organisations, utilities such as gas, water and electricity, BT, plus cable and communications companies, named as âStatutory Undertakers' approved by the Department of Transport to download this data, which conforms to the BS7666:1-2000 Standard.

Intelligent Addressing is a specialist private sector consultancy (an SME) employing recognised experts in addressing. It was originally set up to help develop the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) on behalf of local government and now manages the NLPG and NSG central data hubs under the terms of the Mapping Services Agreement (MSA) with local government.

Intelligent Addressing contact:
Michael Nicholson, Managing Director, Tony Black, Operations Director | 0207 747 3500 | Email: [email protected] | www.intelligent-addressing.co.uk, www.thensg.org.uk, www.nlpg.org.uk
The Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) The IDeA works in partnership with all councils, to enhance the performance of the best, accelerate the speed of improvement of the rest, and develop the sector as a whole. IDeA has brokered the Mapping Services Agreement (MSA) with Intelligent Addressing to develop the NLPG and NSG, through the Local Government Information House (LGIH), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Agency.

Working in partnership with the local government community developing national infrastructure projects that enable councils to deliver local services more effectively, LGIH acts as an intermediary between the public and the private sector enabling it to negotiate with private companies on behalf of local authorities in order to provide key parts of a technical infrastructure for improved service delivery.

The NLPG is a joint venture between the Information House and Intelligent Addressing Limited.

IDeA contacts:

Steve Brandwood, Programme Manager | 020 7296 6615 | Email: [email protected] | www.idea.gov.uk

Media: Paul Bailey | 020 7296 6529

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