FindMyAddress – Making official addresses and UPRNs accessible to the public, for the first time
Luke Studden, Data Integration and Development Manager, GeoPlace. Luke is responsible for project managing the FindMyAddress service and bringing it to life.
As a GIS Professional working in the address data sector for the past 11 years, I see the 1st July 2020 as an extremely significant date.
It marks the day on which the UK Government published the open Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) dataset and when the Government Digital Service (GDS) mandated the UPRN to be the public sector standard for referencing and sharing property information. The UPRN being a unique identifier proven to enhance services for citizens, reduce costs, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of data sharing in many ways. I could talk volumes about the benefits of UPRNs but I’ll let the GeoPlace website do the talking here.
Never before has this data been “unlocked” for all to use, this is massive step forward; UPRNs are now available and tangible to all, people can view them, use them and most importantly link them to other datasets or link datasets to it. UPRNs can now permeate unrestricted throughout all spheres of sectors, industries and use cases imparting its value as a “golden thread”, unifying and tying together property level location data.
But there are considerations for those using this open dataset…
With open, unique identifiers comes great responsibility
Whilst the open data publication contains just the UPRN and its associated grid co-ordinate, how will a user of the data know what the UPRN actually relates to i.e. its official address? Or alternatively, how can an open data user guarantee the information they have linked through their own processes to UPRN 200000072372 is for certain St Paul’s Cathedral, London?
In my opinion, there is a degree of responsibility that needs to be exercised by those linking to the UPRN otherwise there could be unwarranted implications of making a “bad link” to the wrong property. There then exists a need to decode what the UPRN is.
Enter FindMyAddress; a new website for members of the public enabling them (for personal use only) to:
- Search for a UPRN, view its official address and see its location on a map
- Search for an official address, view its UPRN and see its location on a map
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