In October 2013, the NSGIC Address Working Group conducted a survey to describe the level of activity of states and territories with address location databases and programs that support them. Address program points of contact had previously been identified via NSGIC state and territory liaisons.
The results of the survey were presented at the NSGIC 2013 Annual Conference in Kansas City. In addition, state-specific slides were made available for comparisons in a deck and via the NSGIC State Information sub-site. Responses were also made available for download in spreadsheet form for further analysis at will.
What was most remarkable was the level of response. 49 of 57 states and territories expressed whether they had programs for or plans to develop an address dataset for their jurisdiction. 19 of these admitted to no formal program, however at least half of these reported a high level of interest or activities in the planning or informal implementation stages. And none of these responders selected “No Interest/No Demand” as a reason for not administering an addressing program. Lack of personnel, funding, or coordination were instead listed as the primary reasons.
Of the 30 states and territories reporting a program, most reported representations of over 80% of their population or jurisdictions. Their profiles of activity show that address data aggregation was the principle role of states and territories, although coordination, distribution, standardization, quality assurance, technical assistance and standards promulgation were also common roles. Less than five states or territories indicated that they were address assigners.
911 Dispatch, Emergency Management, Broadband Mapping, and Enterprise Geocoding needs were the most common drivers among those states and territories reporting addressing programs, each with differing weights for both use and contributions. Funding for these programs ,as reported by 17 of the 30 states administering address programs, is predominantly supported via federal grants and telephone service charges. The costs for start-up and maintenance reported varied widely.
Data collection from local jurisdictions is predominantly via lower technological means, specifically email, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers or other Managed File Transfers (MFT) services, or on physical discs, although collection via database and web service access may be growing. Distribution after collection was primarily reported to be via address-matching (geocoding) services, FTP/MFT, web map services, and static data download websites. Data is largely being stored in spatial relational databases.
For collection and re-distribution of address data, 40% of the respondents reported no formal agreements were necessary AND their data was made available to the public, while agreements to make data available to state and/or federal governments were still common for others.
The use of internal or State standards was most common. The use of national address standards (FGDC, NENA, USPS) were significant but not predominantly used in quality assessments. Rather general aspects of attribute and spatial accuracy and database normalization or integrity constraints were common among them.
The data for at least a quarter of those reporting addressing programs is field verified, and likely over half of the data contains “subaddresses” or additional location information most often indicating in which building and at which unit an address is located. Many address datasets describe at what feature (building, driveway, parcel) the address point is being located.
For more information regarding the survey, please contact Russell Provost or Nathan Lowry. Those who are interested in this topic more broadly are invited to join the Address Committee by contacting Russell Provost.
Sincerely, Nathan Lowry
GIS Outreach Coordinator
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