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Ordnance Survey welcomes improved standard for spatial addressing

Southampton, UK, 18 August 2006: BS 7666: Ordnance Survey has welcomed the launch of a British Standard designed to improve the way street, land, property and address data is identified and indexed.

BS 7666 : 2006 defines how information about locations should be supplied for IT systems so that it can be shared more easily across and among organisations. The standard builds on previous schema by introducing a new section on postal delivery points and offering greater flexibility for cross-referencing of all data through the notion of unique identifiers.

This approach reflects the thinking behind Ordnance Survey’s recently launched product OS MasterMap Address Layer 2, which is built around the TOID unique identifier for referencing and linking national information about topography, addressing and road networks.

BS 7666 is also close to the principles of the industry standard on which the OS MasterMap portfolio is based, the Digital National Framework (DNF). This promotes the integration and reuse of geographic and other business information from multiple sources.

“BS 7666 : 2006 comes as we see growing integration of geospatial technology into mainstream IT systems,” said Keith Murray, Ordnance Survey’s Head of Geographic Information Strategy. “The launch of the new standard is a welcome step in the right direction to support better information linkage, cross referencing and gazetteer management. It has the potential to help all communities of system designers who create and maintain databases for sharing land and property information, especially where indexes and gazetteers are concerned.”

Richard Mason, Ordnance Survey’s Senior Manager for Addressing, says: “An increasing number of our users have requested that our addressing data complies with BS 7666 and we have responded to that in OS MasterMap Address Layer 2 by specifically providing geographic alternative addresses in that format.”

BS 7666 : 2006 – published by BSI British Standards, the UK’s national standards body – replaces BS7666 : 2000 following a review that revealed a need for closer alignment with international standards. The revision has ensured that while BS 7666 : 2000 now becomes obsolete, its users will remain compliant with the new standard.

Funding for the BS 7666 revision was provided jointly from a review group of sponsors in the geographic information industry and the Department of Trade and Industry. Work is under way to prepare guidelines to support the new standard to ensure consistency in how it is adopted.