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The Intelligent Address

By [email protected] - 26th August 2008 - 12:42

If you have ever been the first occupier of a new house you may well have faced a series of problems associated with the fact that nobody knows where you live.Gayle Gander, Head of Marketing, Intelligent Addressing, explains and reassures.
Hopefully the service companies connecting your new house to their grids will ensure that you have a supply of water, gas and electricity but maybe you donât have a new phone number or broadband connection. And what about other vital services such as refuse collection and, the emergency services in the event of a fire or illness? Then of course there is that book you want to order from Amazon, and that new HD television and sofa for the living room that you want delivered to your door, or even insurance to cover your property or car. Trouble is many systems do not âknowâ or recognise your new address. Even with houses that have been around for many years problems still arise. The previous owner stopped using the house number and started using a house name; or the owner has converted a building to multiple occupancy creating four new flats where previously there was a single residence. The problems arise because traditional geographic address datasets get their information through a time consuming process reliant on third parties rather than from the source, the local authorities, which track each and every property throughout its lifecycle.However, all this is changing with a project being championed in conjunction with local government by the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA). Local Authorities in partnership with the private sector have created a new address system for the whole of England and Wales. The National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) is a process, which charts the lifecycle of every residential, business and non-mailable property throughout the length and breadth of the countries. The NLPG for England and Wales has 28 million entries and is being maintained every working day. Describing the process goes a long way to understanding why the NLPG is such a valuable national asset. The NLPG central hub is a composite of 376 Local Land and Property Gazetteers maintained by the local authorities. When new streets and numbers are created at the planning stage, the entries go straight into the gazetteer, sometimes many months before the buildings are occupied. That way the authority knows about extra refuse collection, the provision of schools, street lighting, registering for elections and of course the Council Tax and Non Domestic Rates; just some of the reasons they have a particular interest in maintaining it. Instead of maintaining multiple address lists each authority now has a function managing the central list of addresses, which either is or will be used by just about every department, council wide, resulting in very significant cost savings. When a property is demolished, the planning department communicates notice of its demise and the gazetteer gets updated. In other words cradle to grave tracking of every single property in the country, each identified by a 12 digit unique property reference number (UPRN). Every entry is associated with a precise grid reference to provide accurate location for use with aerial photography, mapping, location devices, such as in car navigation systems and for spatial analysis. Think how useful that could be. Well thatâs exactly what the Fire Services think too as they will be using the NLPG throughout England and Wales when the FiReControl project is completed in 2009. Many fire services are already using it and whatâs more, because the NLPG is essentially a collaborative process, they are contributing valuable information and intelligence gained whilst carrying out their work. Police Forces are also getting in on the act and the Ministry of Justice have recently mandated the use of the NLPG to validate local authoritiesâ electoral registers.The big news of course is that the NLPG has grown wings and is now available to the private sector. A complete address list for the whole country will prove useful to government, the emergency services and the utilities but also the private sector. There are a huge number of companies that invest heavily in direct marketing and profiling including:⢠insurance companies⢠banks, building societies and other financial services ⢠transport and logistics⢠retail⢠development and construction⢠environmental⢠demographics ⢠mobile working and field service⢠healthcareAt last the service sector can get access to accurate, comprehensive, current and consistent addresses, which are updated on a daily basis by over 750 local authority professionals.The NLPG is a joint venture between the Local Government Information House part of the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) and Intelligent Addressing Limited.

Author: Gayle Gander

Bio.: Head of Marketing, IA - ggander@intelligent-addres

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