The trickier problem of legacy addresses….

New Zealand Rural Mailboxes

Applying the new AS/NZS 4819 to new addresses in Victoria should be fairly straight-forward, with the help of the Standard and the 2010 Naming Guidelines.

However, it can be very difficult for Councils when they are required to make changes existing addresses. This can be a huge challenge and  things can even become a bit heated on occasion:  understandably, addresses can feel very personal… most of us form some kind attachment.  Changing an existing address can cause inconvenience and  have some short-term costs for a business.  However, where the address (or road name) poses a risk to public safety then the councils and the residents should have support in this endeavor.

  • Most Councils have practical arrangements in place to directly assist residents and businesses with changing addresses. (I’d like to gather some examples of these to share here)
  • The Office of Geographic Names has produced materials and number of tool kits  to support Councils tackling issues relating to “naming” and to engage other stakeholders in the process.
  • Managers and residents of residential developments might propose alternative road names and can make use of the OGN’s Vicnames tool to do their own web map “duplicate test”
  • The council can make suggestions about themes for road names that might be suitable. As an example, residents might be interested in the opportunity to rename roads in context of the ANZAC Initiative.

The Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) Spatial Information Infrastructure (SII) is our state mapping organization. [Note: The SII  name may change as a restructuring is underway, but for now  I will stick with “SII” until it is sorted out].  They manage the statewide framework spatial data sets, marketed as Vicmap data.  The principals of data custodianship are the central tenet behind the quality of Victoria’s authoritative map base.  The complexity means that state government is becoming ever more service oriented:  beyond  developing policy and receiving data from councils for mapping, experienced staff are increasingly required to step out from behind desks as skilled communicators who can provide coordination, knowledge and support to the local governments, to assist them in their role as address data custodians.

As a first major step the SII has built the ‘micro tasking’ portal  Notification for Edit System  to streamline notification of map errors. This has an easy map editor and simple interface to notify custodian of required data changes, display  Change Requests and their status. Behind all this are work flows for communication between different parts of government involved. This involves ‘roles’ such as notifiers, custodians and maintainers. The impact of this service goes way beyond its technical merit, or even the improvements it has brought about in streamlining workflows.  The untold story and  real value is in the trust and understanding that has evolved among the 160+ organizations using the service.

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About yvonnert

Extensive experience working in government spatial data infrastructure. Over ten years as a bridge maker in emergency services, with strong partnering skills providing leadership for spatial information strategy.

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