In 2008, a handful of counties had developed situs address points, and more were exploring the idea of positioning coordinates at physical addresses. The primary driver for this data was the need to efficiently locate and direct 9-1-1 emergency service response. A coordinate positioned at an address was far superior to a road centerline range alone. The concept of coordinating a statewide address point file was born out of the success of the existing centerline file program. In 2008, the GIS Office developed a standardized publication schema and began publishing the data one county at a time. Together, these two databases would yield a robust geocoding solution for a rural state often overlooked by the largest commercial geocoding data providers. A second business driver was the state’s desire to participate in the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Initiative, which was designed to aid state and local revenue by collecting sales tax at the point of delivery from the burgeoning growth of online sales and home delivery. The surest means of assigning the correct tax jurisdiction was through the use of address points.
In 2016, the program received a dramatic boost when broadband mapping from the NTIA and FCC ignited a three-year run that saw about twenty-eight counties in the state receive funding to accelerate the development of the data that would support analysis to reveal broadband service locations.
In every city and county that tackled the program, the methods have been largely the same: boots on the ground, many miles of driving, field verification, and an extraordinary amount of data entry by local staff who know the area.
Over the years, the address point file has seen an increase in utilization with the addition of each new county file. Fast forward to 2023, some fifteen years later, we turn the page and begin writing a new chapter in the life of this mission-critical data, which is the ongoing maintenance of the address points.
Join us in celebrating the addition of Conway and Independence Counties as we published these, the last two counties to complete their address point file. The statewide file now stores 1.6 million records covering all 75 counties.
In addition to Independence and Conway County, the Arkansas GIS Office is also pleased to announce with this update we have updated Izard, Marion, and Howard Counties Address data on the Arkansas Spatial Data Infrastructure.
The Arkansas GIS Office is forever grateful for the hard work and dedication of all the counties in the state who joined forces with us to bring this data to life. We would especially like to acknowledge both Conway and Independence counties for their contribution to this goal.
There are several ways to access this data. You can visit the Situs Address Point product page at https://gis.arkansas.gov/product/situs-address-points/ for more information to download or access this valuable dataset.