Improving service delivery with accurate address management
As a precursor to expanding its use of GIS, Norfolk County Council selected Esri’s LocatorHub solution to create a single gazetteer to deliver accurate and consistent address information to all its GIS systems. LocatorHub is easy to use, cost efficient to maintain and capable of meeting all the council’s current and future needs.
Norfolk County Council (NCC) provides services for one of the largest counties in England, covering around 2,000 square miles and home to 860,000 residents. The city of Norwich is the county town of Norfolk with other significant centres of population found in Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and Thetford, plus a number of smaller market towns.
Esri GIS has been used for several years by NCC to help achieve cost savings and improve decision making, within areas such as Planning, Environment, Transport and Highways. An enterprise geodatabase is used by around 80 desktop users plus multiple internal and external websites.
LocatorHub gives the council a single, centralised version of all its address data that is accurate and consistent
The solution underpins all of the council’s existing GIS services, including its ‘Where I Live’ service, used by the general public on the council’s website
LocatorHub is simple and easy for the council’s GIS team to maintain, saving employee time while reducing costs
NCC was looking to expand the footprint of GIS across the council as potential additional savings from using the technology became apparent. An essential part of this was the need for accurate address management, to underpin a wide variety of new websites and applications, as Tim Hudson, GIS Manager, Norfolk County Council explained: “We wanted to create one central version of all of our address data that was easy to maintain and find a straightforward approach to geocoding. Creating centralised address management would also deliver a very lean and cost effective approach to future GIS projects.”
LocatorHub offered everything we needed in a single package that is easy to integrate and work with
Tony Collins – Technical Lead at NCC for LocatorHub implementation
The GIS team used LocatorHub to create a single address gazetteer that every internal and external application can search against. Connected to OS AddressPoint data (soon to be OS AddressBase), LocatorHub is always working with the most up-to-date information available.
“LocatorHub offered everything we needed in a single package that is easy to integrate and work with,” commented Tony Collins, Technical Lead at NCC for LocatorHub implementation. “Connecting it to all of our GIS systems and mapping applications, across desktop, web or mobile platforms was very simple and has given us an easy-touse, responsive gazetteer.”
LocatorHub allows users to quickly find and view addresses when using NCC’s primary, internal web-based mapping browser, which has hundreds of users every day and over 600 unique users each month. For citizens, the main site that benefits from LocatorHub’s address search is called ‘Where I Live’, powered by Esri UK’s LocalView Fusion. The mobile version of Where I Live, developed in-house by NCC, also makes use of LocatorHub to provide a single query address search – perfect for the mobile user who demands a simple user experience.
LocatorHub has given us a single answer to all of our address management needs. The centralised gazetteer delivers very effective information management which translates into more efficient services for both staff and citizens
Tim Hudson – GIS Manager, Norfolk County Council
The overall benefit LocatorHub has brought to NCC is an accurate and easy to manage gazetteer which is robust enough to underpin all GIS-related websites and services, for both the staff and public.
LocatorHub seamlessly integrates with all new GIS applications, making the process of delivering map-related services more streamlined. Having a single source of address data is cheaper to maintain too.
“LocatorHub gives us a centralised, accurate source of address data across the whole organisation, which allows fast and reliable address searching,” said Tim. “Maintaining the gazetteer is now a very simple data load operation which saves a lot of time for the GIS team.”
Customer service staff are now able to pinpoint locations on a map very quickly when dealing with the public, while staff or residents can search for an address or location using only a partial address, making mapping apps very user friendly.
The geocoding ability of LocatorHub is also proving invaluable, allowing NCC to perform batch geocoding when processing large amounts of location data. For example, the GIS team was asked to produce an interactive map showing the council’s ICT network topology. Using LocatorHub, it was able to rapidly geocode hundreds of interconnecting sites to build a physical picture of all the points on the network.
Future plans for LocatorHub include using it more widely across the council, potentially moving centre stage to become the address solution supporting all the strategic systems including Finance, Children’s Services, Adult Care, Health, Transport and Highways. This will not only improve consistency of address data across the council but reduce costs by removing the need for other third party address solutions.
“LocatorHub has given us a single answer to all of our address management needs,” concluded Tim. “A centralised gazetteer delivers very effective information management which translates into more efficient services for both staff and citizens. Now we can create even more spatial apps and services, confident they have the best address search functionality built-in from the start.”