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Can the South African address standard (SANS 1883) work for small local municipalities?

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Serena Coetzee, Antony K Cooper

03 October 2008


Antony Cooper

Conference paper

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

South Africa

The aim of the South African address standard (SANS 1883), currently being developed under the auspices of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), is not to devise a new system of addressing or to build a national address database, but rather to enable interoperability in address data, which in turn will facilitate developing a national address database.  The standard defines twelve address types that describe all forms of addresses currently in use in South Africa.  The UML data model for these includes 60 elements.  The question arises as to whether such an all-encompassing model is practical in a local municipality with the responsibility to produce and maintain official addresses for only two of the address types in SANS 1883, namely the Street Address and Site Address types. 


The objectives of this paper are to 1) point out complexities in SANS 1883 relating to the Street and Site address types; 2) propose a simplified data model for these address types; 3) show how address data based on this model can be maintained in lock-step with other datasets such as the cadastre and municipal boundaries; 4) recommend content for SANS 1883 guidelines for assisting, in particular, small local municipalities implement an address database that can be exchanged according to SANS 1883.  While our paper is based on the South African address standard, the Street address type, consisting of a street number, street name and place name, is common to many countries and our findings are thus applicable to an international audience.


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