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NSGIC issues guidance for states to strengthen address data programs

Guidance issued for states to strengthen address data programs complete and accurate data necessary for emergency response, other government services

Cover: NSGIC reportA report issued by the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) targets a key dataset for state governments. “Best Practices for State Geospatial Maturity: Addresses” is available now.

“Addresses are created by local address authorities in city, county, and tribal agencies,” explained NSGIC Executive Director Molly Schar. “The data support delivery of services like utilities and emergency response, so getting it right is absolutely critical. NSGIC advocates the process of rolling up local address point records to the state to aggregate and then to the national level to save lives, reduce costs, avoid duplication, increase revenues, improve service and foster efficient and effective government.”

The roll-up process is at the heart of an effort led by the U.S. Department of Transportation and supported by NSGIC to develop a National Address Database. Only 23 states have provided statewide address data to the national database, with five states providing partial data, and three states in the queue.

For this publication, NSGIC tapped state geospatial information officers in Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Utah and Vermont to identify key factors to the successful organization and coordination necessary to create and maintain strong address programs. These honor roll states scored in the top of the country in the area of address data in NSGIC’s 2019 Geospatial Maturity Assessment (GMA).

NSGIC recently finalized an interactive GMA geospatial web map application with dashboards customized for each data theme allows users to take a deeper dive into the 2019 results, interacting with individual state and collective national results to bring to life the visual patterns and trends in the data.

Geospatial data dashboards have become much more familiar to the public in recent months as most states and municipalities have adopted the interactive platforms to transparently display coronavirus information.

Launched in 2009 to document geospatial development practices and uses, the GMA has provided a biennial snapshot of each state’s geospatial maturity. Inspired by the National Spatial Data Infrastructure theme grading undertaken by the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations (of which NSGIC is a founding member), an entirely new process was developed for the 2019 GMA.

Nine-grade “report cards” were produced for individual state spatial data infrastructures and state geospatial coordination, in addition to overall theme and topical analysis.

Over the next 18 months, additional focused guidance will be issued in the areas of overall statewide coordination and the key datasets for next generation 9-1-1, transportation, parcels, hydrography, elevation, and orthoimagery.

“Collaboration, transparency, and increased efficiency in government are hallmarks of mature state GIS programs,” Schar said. “Through the Geospatial Maturity Assessment research and products, NSGIC is helping states set goals, identify opportunities for collaboration, shine a light on areas requiring attention, and build resources.”

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