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Government initiative for national addressing

Posted: 03 December 2010

Government recognises the substantial social and economic benefits that a single definitive national spatial address register would bring.

It is therefore significantly improving on the historic arrangements in which there are multiple sources of addressing information.

In an important step forward, it will bring together address information from Ordnance Survey and local authorities to create a 'national address gazetteer database', providing one definitive source of accurate publicly-owned spatial address data, for the whole of the public sector.

To deliver this, Ordnance Survey and the Local Government Group have entered into a joint venture partnership, 'GeoPlace' from which spatial address products will be created. Subject to approval from the Office of Fair Trading, it will combine local government's address and streets gazetteers, the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) and the National Street Gazetteer (NSG) with Ordnance Survey's OS MasterMap® Address Layer 2.

The initiative supports the Location Strategy's concept of a 'Core Reference Geography' and the key principles of the INSPIRE directive, including that data should only be collected once and kept where it can be maintained most effectively.

The new products will bring together the currency and consistency of existing address products and allow organisations to readily exchange address information with each other, streamline government services, reduce duplication and facilitate partnership working. This will deliver significant efficiency savings and improvements for both the public and commercial sectors.

The joint venture includes the acquisition of Intelligent Addressing (Holdings) Limited (IA), the company currently running the NLPG and NSG hubs on behalf of local government.

The parties are working closely to define detailed requirements and specifications and to put in place the necessary technical infrastructure to create and maintain the national address gazetteer database. These requirements include features such as local government's Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN), Ordnance Survey's TOID® (unique identifier) and Royal Mail's® Postcode Address File (PAF®.).The national address gazetteer database will have product quality content by April 2011, allowing customer engagement prior to product release between July and September 2011.

Existing address products provided by Ordnance Survey and local government will continue to be available for some time after 1 April 2011 and current users will continue to get the data they require. The additional benefits and data content that the products created from the national address gazetteer database will, in time, steer the market towards an improved product range. The parties will work closely with customers to discuss migration options and arrangements and there will be a migration plan that will enable existing addressing customers to transfer to the new national address gazetteer product.

A single national address gazetteer database will provide a platform for collaborative working throughout the public and private sectors. Ordnance Survey, on behalf of GeoPlace, will make the products from the national address gazetteer database widely available to the market through its extensive network of Licensed Partners and to its direct customers.

Subject to the payment of Royal Mail fees, the products created from the national address gazetteer database will be made available free at the point of use for all public sector bodies under the centrally funded Public Sector Mapping Agreement.

Local government in Scotland and the Scottish Government are supportive of the goal to create a national address gazetteer database for the whole of Great Britain and are working with local government and Ordnance Survey to explore options for achieving this goal.

Department of Communities and Local Government announcement - New national 'address book' to be free to emergency services

Local Government Group announcement - New agreement set to create single address database

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