Simplifying access to National Address Gazetteer data. An application for loading address data from the National Address Gazetteer (NAG) into industry standard spatial databases

Converting files into databases

All National Address Gazetteer data is supplied by Ordnance Survey as a range of data products: AddressBase, AddressBase Plus, and AddressBase Premium. These products typically have to be loaded into a database before they can be used. Users are provided with detailed database schema to assist them. However, the task of implementing these and populating database systems is left to the user. The Cadcorp SIS Address Loader removes the necessity for this task.

The Loader reads all three AddressBase data products as zipped CSV files. It is able to load the data into predefined schema in the following widely-used database products: Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, PostGIS, and Oracle® The Loader also provides a valuable enhancement to AddressBase data by preparing a database for direct use by Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and web mapping systems.

Converting databases into spatial databases

A written address can be translated into an X-Y location on the ground, through a process known as geocoding. X-Y values are provided with AddressBase data. However, for GIS to take advantage of the locational information associated with an address, it is usually necessary to represent the address as a feature or object in the GIS or database. The Address Loader provides this enhancement. It is able to do so by exploiting the ability of Oracle, PostGIS and SQLServer to handle spatial data. The Loader automatically creates the necessary geometry fields in the database schema, and populates these fields as part of the data loading process.


The Loader is essentially an enabling tool that may be used by any organisation wanting to use address data. Using the Loader brings the following benefits:

  • a wizard-driven workflow which removes the effort and complexity involved in accessing AddressBase data in its raw format
  • it makes AddressBase data quickly and easily available even to non-expert users
  • by adding geometry to the database schema it makes address data available not only to users of Cadcorp SIS, but also to users of other GIS and web mapping technologies
  • it allows users of Cadcorp SIS to take advantage of Cadcorp’s support for multiple data formats, and to convert structured address data into other data formats if they wish

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