National address database launched

The Government has launched a joint programme to develop a national infrastructure of address and map data to underpin government...

The Government has launched a joint programme to develop a national infrastructure of address and map data to underpin government and business services.

As predicted in Computer Weekly in June, the Acacia programme aims to support e-government services and improve online business services to the public. It will link property and address data from a range of sources and hold them as a layer in the Ordnance Survey's digital map database, OS MasterMap.

A key application could be online conveyancing, which promises to end time-consuming land searches for house-buyers and help to reduce gazumping.

The new national list of addresses, gathered from a variety of sources including the local authorities' National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG), will replace thousands of separate databases, although a timetable has yet to be set.

Last month, a survey found that the NLPG was marginally less accurate than the Postal Address File built in the 1970s. The Government has yet to say who will own or maintain the Acacia data, or how it will be priced, although discussions have been under way for more than 18 months.

The announcement, by the Improvement and Development Agency, said a memorandum of understanding had been agreed between the HM Land Registry, Registers of Scotland, Local Government Information House, Ordnance Survey, Royal Mail and the Valuation Office Agency.

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