Address Points Pass the Million Mark

One million physical address records have been digitally mapped and processed through the official State of Arkansas’ Master Address Program (AMAP). This project was started by the Arkansas Geographic Information Office (AGIO), in 2009, under the direction and authority of the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems Board. Though presently incomplete, the data are distributed at no fee via the State’s GIS platform known as GeoStor. This file contains address points for 37 counties. The remaining 38 are expected to be included in the system by 2014 (final record count should be about 1.4 million).

The AMAP records are being constructed as geographic information system features and, at its core, is the statewide Enhanced 9-1-1 system data. This includes road centerlines and correlated address points positioned over highly accurate aerial photography.  The original mapping and maintenance tasks are performed at the county and city level by 9-1-1 coordinators or other local government staff, then passed to the AGIO for scrubbing, standardization, and publication. The project is a collaborative effort between the Arkansas Geographic Information Office, the Connect Arkansas (a non-profit broadband research organization), and local government agencies in all 75 counties. Prior to the online system, geographically referenced roads and addresses existed in only a few metropolitan areas. With the new AMAP database, anyone doing business with the state of Arkansas can take advantage of either the mapped points or download a table of addresses for any given area of the state. The system will eventually allow state agencies to access accurate address records directly, as part of their normal business processes; thereby, enhancing their ability to deliver services, while eliminating waste and redundant tasks.

One example of the many ways the AMAP is benefiting state and local governments is by insuring accurate point-of-sale tax collection and distribution. Officially known as the Streamline Sales Tax Database, this program is run by the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) and heavily leverages the accuracy of the information within AMAP.  “By comparing our point-of-sale transactions (locations) against AMAP, we have been able to greatly improve the accuracy of our reimbursements to local taxing authorities and are experiencing major reductions in incorrect tax rate charges (due to its geographic accuracy),” said Beau Crawford, GIS Analyst for DFA.

The national next generation of E9-1-1 also known as NextGen 9-1-1 will be driven by internet protocols instead of traditional telephone systems.  The NextGen 9-1-1 system has to be built to accommodate the explosive growth of smart mobile devices that can send text, photos, videos and location coordinates.  The underlying architecture relies on the system’s ability to execute location functions that aid dispatchers in finding emergencies.  The building block to enabling this new system in Arkansas counties will be the availability of the coordinate location of existing address data.  Having the address coordinates already mapped will mean the system can locate calls quickly and more accurately than ever before.  This address coordinate database will help save lives.  

AMAP is the framework dataset that will allow open access to a single, standardized, and highly accurate physical address listing.  We all have and use physical addresses: from getting a fireman to our door in an emergency – to getting an on-line order delivered to our home or business. This is one of the ways AGIO continues to “Put Arkansas on the Map”.