Written by Dinesh Thanigasalam, Commercial Director for Aligned Assets
Addresses Management – Linking streets and properties
As with so much to do with address management, addresses, numbering properties along a street isn’t as straightforward as one might imagine. There are three main conventions that are used in the world and advocated by the World Bank’s policy on numbering properties.
Each one has its advantages and disadvantages which will be covered in subsequent blogs. However, before any of the conventions are adopted, streets and properties need to be linked. Which street does the property belong to? This is a pre-requisite for most addressing conventions. This isn’t a point of contention for most properties as they are clearly located on the side of one street with an entrance to that street. However this isn’t the case for all properties. Some will be located on the corner of two streets, with entrances and access to both streets. Which street is used for the property numbering and address? Some properties will be located on a path or alley way between two streets. The path or alley may not be significant enough to have a name in its own right. How is the numbering and address derived for these scenarios? The same is applicable for properties that exist in court yards and disorganised dwellings such as slums settlements. Multi-occupancy buildings such as high rise towers also present their own issues with numbering.
The main principle is that you should associate a property with the named street used for access. Ideally, this would be done by on the ground surveying, where the most appropriate access to the property is used to determine the relevant street. This is not practical when resources and deadlines are tight and a large number of properties need to be addressed such as those in a national data set. If on the ground surveying is not possible, using an algorithm to link streets and properties is the most practical option. This involves applying an automated spatial function to all properties to determine the closest street. Although not straight forward to do, it can be done with Aligned Asset’s SNN International.
This technique will produce issues. A property might closer to one street, whilst having an access point from another. On the ground surveying will reveal this. An automated function is unlikely to ever differentiate. All is not lost however. As with any large scale addressing project, being practical and being aware of what brings most benefit should always be a guiding principle. If no address exists, in most cases allocating a unique address usually proves to be more beneficial than having no address. The fact that some addresses are not ideally allocated is something that can be refined and corrected over time. This makes the problem manageable whilst delivery maximum benefit. Clearly, the software and procedures used must be able to accommodate and embrace the idea of continual refinement, something that is at the heart of Symphony International.