I was in a Black Cab last week, talking to the driver about postcodes and address data, because we all talk to the cabbie about whatever is occupying our thoughts….. “Do you know,” he said, “my navigation system is hopeless – I put the postcode in and quite often I end up two or three streets away from the address I am trying to find. It wastes my time and some people get really mad with me.”
There is a simple underlying reason for this – the freely available Open Data from the Ordnance Survey, although useful for many applications, will only allow the central point of a postcode area to be located on a map. So, whatever postcode you put in, you get sent to the same place at the centre of the postcode area.
This is one of a multitude of simple, obvious arguments for the release of an Open National Address Dataset. But we still need to do more to persuade the government to do this. So this week the Open Data User Group (ODUG) is publishing a further paper to set out more details about benefits of an Open National Address dataset which would be useful to us all:
Further Benefits of an Open National Address Dataset – this paper shows how the direct benefits to the UK economy of releasing an Open National Address Dataset could easily exceed £1bn per annum:
We know that the costs of doing so are relatively small, so there is a potential for at least a 100 to 1 return on investment here for the UK economy and society, realisable from the first year of investment.
This data is already provided for free to public sector organisations – so there is nothing new to develop. The data could, literally, be release for free tomorrow.
Incredible isn’t it!? Please read the paper where a number of examples and case studies set out why and how this is true.
We are making a strong case for the release of an Open National Address Dataset. We know that many of you within the data, business and public sector communities support this call, as do many individual citizens. Please post your comments below as we always welcome your feedback: