For more than a decade, creating a national address point database has been at the top of the advocacy agenda of the National States Geographic Information Council’s (NSGIC).

Address data are duplicated more often than any other type of data produced by government agencies, at every level of government, says Chris Diller, president of NSGIC. “We are hopeful that this federal initiative will result in a coordinated effort to support state and local government addressing authorities in the compilation and maintenance of a national address database that provides open access to current and complete authoritative address data for every structure and landmark in the United States.”

On Oct. 27, the White House released “The Open Government Partnership – Third Open Government National Action Plan for the U.S.”

In its February 2015 report on geospatial data, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget brought its focus on the problems associated with creating a national address point database through the following recommendations.

  • To Congress: To increase coordination between various levels of government and reduce duplication of effort, resources and costs associated with collecting and maintaining accurate address data, Congress should consider assessing the impact of the disclosure restrictions ...[and]… consider revising those statutes to authorize the limited release of addresses, without any personally identifiable information… Such a change, if deemed appropriate, could potentially result in significant savings across federal, state, and local governments.
  • To the Federal Geographic Data Committee: Create an address data theme with associated subcommittees and working groups to assist in furthering a national address database.

The authors of this OMB report visited five states across the nation to learn how they were using address data and coordinating the development of consistent address point data with their respective local governments that are responsible for assigning addresses. Local governments also have the most demanding requirements for accurate data to support 9-1-1 services that ensure police, fire and ambulance services get to the right location as quickly as possible — on a daily basis and during major disasters.

Many aspects of government services depend on address data, and an authoritative national database will consistently improve the delivery of services in the public and private sectors, NSGIC says. The council finds that accurate address data coupled with high-quality transportation data can significantly reduce repair and fuel expenses for fleet managers. Other important improvements to service delivery can be found in NSGIC’s flyer title A National Address Point Database Will Improve Government Services.


The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) is an organization committed to effective and efficient government through the prudent adoption and use of geospatial information and technologies. NSGIC’s members are interested in the coordination of state spatial data infrastructures. They represent state geographic information officers (GIO’s), state agency GIS leads, leaders of the statewide coordination councils, federal agencies, tribal government, local government, the private sector, academia and other professional organizations. The NSGIC membership is a diverse group that includes nationally and internationally recognized experts in geospatial technologies, geospatial data creation and management, and information technology policy.