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GeoPlace to work with Government to investigate opening up unique identifiers for addresses and streets

As part of the Prime Minister's London Tech Week roundtable today, the Government has announced that key parts of the Ordnance Survey MasterMap will be made openly available for the public and businesses to use.

GeoPlace will work with the Geospatial Commission, the LGA, the Improvement Service (on behalf of Scottish Local Government), and Ordnance Survey to investigate opening up the key identifiers UPRN and USRN, together with their respective geometries, for the whole of Great Britain under OGL terms. 

This work will protect the integrity and authority of these identifiers, to provide both businesses and public-sector organisations with the confidence to continue to rely on these within their own products and services, without restricting their ability to use and benefit from them. The generation and management of the UPRN and USRN will remain in the ownership of GeoPlace. 

GeoPlace is a Limited Liability Partnership jointly owned by the Local Government Association (LGA) and Ordnance Survey.  It was set up in 2011 to bring together the feeds of address and street data from the definitive sources in England and Wales - 348 local authorities and 174 Highway authorities - into a pair of consistent, coherent inter-related national spatially enabled gazetteers.  

GeoPlace integrates and validates address data from local authorities and several national organisations to produce the AddressBase product set that is licensed to the market by Ordnance Survey.  Similarly, it brings together street data from 174 local highway authorities and four other national organisations to aggregate the National Street Gazetteer where the USRN is used to underpin the coordination of street works through a noticing application.  This street data is an important part of OS MasterMap Highways Network which following today's announcement will be made available for free up to a threshold of transactions through the APIs.

The UK is a global leader in geographic address and street data. Local authorities and GeoPlace are critical to maintaining that data quality. As part of the initiative to open UPRNs and USRNs, active measures will be sought to mitigate risks on creating an extra burden for local authorities and consequent impact on data quality.  

Nick Chapallaz, Managing Director of GeoPlace said: "GeoPlace is central to the continued provision of a definitive high-quality source of UPRNs and USRNs. These unique identifiers automate data sharing - delivering better services and outcomes for businesses and citizens.  We welcome the Government's commitment to supporting the wider public-sector use of definitive addressing and streets information. The objective is that no public-sector address appears without a UPRN and no street without a USRN."

Chapallaz continued: "Government recognises that the quality of the data is sacrosanct. We will work with Government, the Local Government Association and Ordnance Survey to maintain data quality, without impacting on the workload of local authority data Custodians and our other key data supply partners."

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