User Milestone for Addressing Data in British Utility Sector

There are now 100,000 individual users of Ordnance Survey’s most advanced digital addressing data in the utility sector, according to the national mapping agency.

OS MasterMap Address Layer 2 uniquely provides a geographic location for every address point in Britain, helping to put them into their wider context. One hundred thousand individual users working in gas, electricity, water and telecoms suppliers across the country are now using it to underpin their work, including for customer address verification, incident notification, capacity planning and emergency call routing.

Marc Hobell, Ordnance Survey’s Strategic Development Manager for the utilities sector, says: “This is a key milestone for us. It means national infrastructure suppliers across the country have realised the value of geographic information and are using Address Layer 2 to help improve the way they work, the services they provide to their customers and to make real efficiency savings.”

Each of the 27 million address points in Address Layer 2 has its own topographic identifier, or TOID. This allows a user to hook their own data to it, making it an invaluable tool for storing customer and asset information such as water quality levels, repair schedules or recent billing transactions.

United Utilities is one of the suppliers making use of the data and claim to have saved £1 million through their use of geographic information. Peter Mahon, Asset Information Services Manager comments: “The management, placement and quality of addresses are just as important as the pipework and vital to our strategic vision for the best use of business-critical geospatial intelligence. Fundamentally, without accurately geocoded addresses we can’t link the customers’ locations to the network.”

Marc Hobell adds: “The ability to refer to a particular address with confidence is also helping cross-organisational working, such as with a local council, to better coordinate street works. With 4 million road excavations every year in Britain, it’s never been more important to use the most reliable data available.”

Address Layer 2 also includes information on multiple occupancy addresses, like flats, and the whereabouts of features without a postal address, such as public toilets, community centres and electricity substations. This information is vital for ensuring utility suppliers know where their assets are and emergency incident plans can be accurately made. 

Alaric Parsons, GIS Analyst, for Anglian Water adds: “We place water bowsers in public places where there is no postal address. Car parks for example, do not have postal addresses, so Address Layer 2, which provides coordinates, is very helpful.”