Written by Andy Hird who is the Managing Director for address management specialist Aligned Assets
AR and the UPRN
“Oh no! – He didn’t just cite ‘80% of data is geographic’ did he?”
I never thought I would have need to cite ‘80% of data is geographic’ and frankly I thought long and hard about using it within this blog. So let me stop right there and say it doesn’t actually matter if its 60%, 70% or 90% the point is I think we can all agree that data which has a geographic/spatial location is used every day to provide services to consumers, citizens and businesses. For me the interesting thing here is data which has this geographic element is easily represented within Augmented Reality (AR). In this blog post I wanted to explore the ways in which all Public Sector organisations in the UK have the ability to utilise Augmented Reality due to a location identifier known as the UPRN (Unique Property Reference Number).
In the UK both Local Government and the Emergency Services have access to the very best address data in the form of a Local Land & Property Gazetteer (LLPG) or as part of Ordnance Survey’s AddressBase product. Addresses held within this address register are tagged with a UPRN which has an associated geographic element against it (the physical location of an ‘address’ in terms of Easting & Northing).
What this means is that any organisation who is using an LLPG or AddressBase data is able to link data to the UPRN. Seeing as every Local Authority in the UK is legally mandated to maintain a register of land and property (LLPG), this address data propagates into every department within a council from council tax, planning, environmental health to social care through the use of that UPRN.
Local Authorities have performed an excellent job of creating and maintaining the address register which includes an accurate geographic position for every property. It is this component that really makes the introduction of AR to be a very interesting and an obvious next step. Whether it’s the existence of vacant commercial properties, identifying the nearest library or showing Tourist Information attractions, AR can be used to represent this in the real world for staff or indeed the public.
Emergency Services are able to use the Address dataset under terms of the PSMA which is a collective agreement between the Ordnance Survey and the government allowing public sector organisations in England & Wales to share and use OS digital products. There are many applications for AR to be used by the emergency services from the display of risk information to visual representation of social demographic information.
In this blog we have outlined how an organisation can utilise the UPRN and its associated Easting/Northing when using our Augmented Reality solution. Here at Aligned Assets we have already successfully linked the following using AR and the UPRN:
- Associated Risk Data held against a property. Risk information can be related to people at a location or an attribute of the property itself (Listed building, storage of chemicals or dangerous animals)
- Display of address data as held in Ordnance Survey’s AddressBase Premium.
- Display of address data as held in a councils LLPG.
- Displaying a subset of addresses based on their LLPG/AddressBase classification or the existence of a cross reference identifier.
- Displaying Planning data such as Tree Preservation Orders, Listed Buildings etc
- Display Business names Information against a property for Revenue Ratings Assistance.
Other use cases include:
- Display other GIS data as held in a spatial database such as GeoStore.
- Display Food Standards Ratings for Food Hygiene Information related to a business
- Showing Vacant Commercial properties which clearly have an occupier.
- Using AR to make available a range of services to its citizens , perhaps tourist information features, where’s my nearest library or doctors surgery.
In 2013 it was assessed that Augmented Reality is set to reach 1 billion people by 2020 and you cannot fail to notice just how much PR this technology has attracted over the last year. It is clear that the technology is here and is being garnered both by computer game designers (Pokémon Go) and solution providers. With the major players (Microsoft, Google & Apple) all committing to the use of Augmented Reality this is a technology that is here to stay.
I feel that the future for Augmented Reality within the Public Sector is not only a natural step, but one which has been greatly facilitated due to the significant groundwork laid down by both the UPRN and the associated geographic location against each property. Whatever data your organisation holds its likely it relates to a location and you should be considering how displaying that information in an Augmented fashion can help deliver tangible benefits to staff and your customers.
We are always looking for new partners who want to try the use of AR within their organisation for new and exciting use cases, so if you are interested in exploring AR and the UPRN further give us a call.