Ordnance Survey takes Britain’s spatial address data to the next level
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Ordnance Survey takes Britain’s spatial address data to the next level

May 10, 2006 -- A powerful series of enhancements to Ordnance Survey’s most detailed digital address data is launched today, offering significant benefits to customers across Great Britain’s commercial and government sectors.

The flexibility and national consistency of OS MasterMap Address Layer 2 will support analysis, decision making and service delivery by utility companies, insurers, retailers, local and central government and emergency services.

As part of Ordnance Survey’s continually maintained geographic framework of Great Britain, the enriched data is fully integrated with the unique identifiers or TOIDs referencing the topographic and road network information in other OS MasterMap Layers.

To build and maintain OS MasterMap Address Layer 2, Ordnance Survey field surveyors across the country add high-resolution spatial references to more than 27 million postal addresses contained in the Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF). A new Royal Mail dataset of multiple residences, which provides complete address details of flats and apartments without individual postal delivery points, has been incorporated. These are supplied with the reference details of their parent delivery address, enabling easy identification of all properties receiving utility and other non-postal services.

All addresses have been classified into residential or commercial, together with a geographic alternative address such as the locality or district name where this is not normally included. Business premises are placed in sub-categories where their trading or brand name provides clear details of their function.

More than half a million aliases, such as the name of the property as well as its number and street, have been added, and in Wales Welsh language alternatives are supplied.

In addition, more than a million properties that do not have postal addresses have been included. Among them are utility plants, community halls, churches and public conveniences. Their locations are vital for emergency response, civil contingency planning, risk assessment, asset insurance, planning, customer services and maintenance. They have been given an intuitively useful address referenced to road, locality and postcode. They are also allocated alternative classifications derived from Ordnance Survey, Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and the National Land Use Database.

A cross-reference table that links unique address identifiers is designed to provide navigability between the various themes within OS MasterMap Address Layer 2 and address data created by other organisations. The aim is to make it as straightforward as possible to share and integrate different address information. The table includes unique identifiers from Royal Mail, VOA and Ordnance Survey. It is available free of charge from Ordnance Survey and there are plans to link it to other datasets in the future.

OS MasterMap Address Layer 2 is available in both GML (Geography Mark-up Language) and CSV (Comma Separated Values) format, making it easy and flexible to implement. The new data also meets the BS7666 part 3 standard.

“Combining addressable and non-addressable elements into OS MasterMap Address Layer 2 represents a major advance in Great Britain’s geographic information,” says Ordnance Survey’s Director General and Chief Executive, Vanessa Lawrence. “We are offering data that is more flexible, more adaptable and more suited to the needs of spatial address users than ever before. This is a prime example of focusing on customer need. By working with other organisations creating and maintaining address data, we are enabling the widest possible access to the most comprehensive database available.”

Derek Reid-Hughes, Royal Mail Group’s Head of Address Management Unit, says: “We are especially delighted that Ordnance Survey is enhancing its most highly detailed spatial address product with our new multiple-residence data. We have already been providing PAF to the addressing market for many years, benefiting services in both the private and public sectors. The new spatial address data is a welcome innovation in line with market demand.”

Andrew Hudson, Valuation Office Agency’s Chief Executive, says: “Linking address datasets, particularly those with high quality and consistent national cover, offers considerable benefits for users and we are delighted to be working with Ordnance Survey on strengthening the power of address geography.”

The launch of OS MasterMap Address Layer 2 follows extensive trials and feedback from more than 40 organisations on Ordnance Survey’s OS Insight product development programme.

For more information from Ordnance Survey, please contact:
Scott Sinclair – Chief Press Officer on 023 8079 2265 or Email Contact

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