Who are GeoPlace?
GeoPlace are responsible for managing the definitive, national database of addresses and streets in England and Wales. The team is proud to have a reputation for excellence and to be seen as experts in managing address and street data.
Local highway authorities are required by law to create and maintain a database of all the streets in their area. Data from England and Wales is brought together into a single National Street Gazetteer, which amongst other things is used by local highway authorities and utility companies to plan and coordinate street works.
GeoPlace supports local highway authorities in England and Wales as they create and manage information about those streets. We act as the co-ordinator, validating and collating the data as it comes in, before publishing it as the National Street Gazetteer and passing it on to Ordnance Survey who make it available through their Highways range of products.
Further information can be found on the GeoPlace website.
Why FindMyStreet has been created
The purpose of FindMyStreet is to support local highway authorities in meeting their Highways Act Section 36 (6) obligation in providing a list of publicly maintainable streets to public, therefore reducing the burden on authorities to create this individually.
Additionally, with FindMyStreet, you can find every street that’s recorded in the National Street Gazetteer. It may also help you to find out which streets aren’t.
The service is funded by the Local Government Association (LGA) and managed by GeoPlace.
What is the National Street Gazetteer (NSG)?
A gazetteer is a geographical index. The National Street Gazetteer is the definitive source of information about streets in England and Wales. FindMyStreet uses data that’s held in the most up to date version of the NSG.
How is the National Street Gazetteer created?
Street details are collected locally by 175 local highway authorities. Each local highway authority uses the data it collects to create a Local Street Gazetteer. Once a month, that updated information is sent to the team at GeoPlace.
The GeoPlace team verifies this data and combines it with other details sent in by bodies such as Transport for London (TfL), Welsh Government, and Network Rail. As one large dataset, this information then populates the National Street Gazetteer.
Changing street details in the National Street Gazetteer
FindMyStreet takes its information from the National Street Gazetteer. Updates to the National Street Gazetteer can only be made by the approved highway authorities.
Unique Street Reference Numbers (USRNs)
The Unique Street Reference Number (USRN) is the unique identifier for every street across Great Britain.
USRNs are enablers. They link authoritative information, and the requirement to provide this information is embedded in legislation. It also provides an ideal evidence-base for performance measurement and efficiency and enables the data needed for accurate planning in streetworks with the intention to reduces the costs of collaboration.
Because it never changes, the USRN is a highly valued asset. A USRN guarantees which street is being identified.
In addition, as a machine-readable code, it is easy to share and use a USRN in any kind of dataset – which also makes it easier for organisations using different data to link those datasets, confidently knowing they're all identifying the same street.
Find out more about USRNs in our blog ‘So what are these UPRNs and USRNs that everyone is talking about?'
The importance of good street data
USRNs and the National Street Gazetteer are key in street works coordination and are used by local authorities, statutory undertakers (organisations with a legal right to dig in the street such as utility and telecoms companies), contractors and anyone who needs to work with authoritative street information in England and Wales.
Local authorities use the National Street Gazetteer and more specifically street information to underpin all kinds of public services. Everything from rubbish collection to planning for new housing developments and organising street works (or roadworks) in their area.
The additional information about a street is also designed to help minimise disruption on the network and improve public safety.
Above all, accurate addressing and street information is essential for the emergency services where location-based information and journey times really can be a matter of life or death.
In Great Britain, most of these services depend on the information that is produced by local authorities and managed by GeoPlace.
Excellent addressing and accurate street data has the power to transform people’s lives. GeoPlace is the guardian and champion of that information on a national scale.
You can find more detailed information about us on our main website.