Comprehensive address data for Australia
What is G-NAF?
G-NAF is the Geocoded National Address File for Australia, produced by PSMA Australia. It is a database of more than 13 million physical addresses for all of Australia.
In December 2015, the Australian federal government announced that G-NAF data would be made freely available under an open data licence as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
So what does this announcement mean for the spatial industry?
The Government’s intention is to foster more collaboration and innovation through the wider use of spatial information. Many spatial practitioners see this as a positive move as the importance of spatial data is now being recognised at the highest levels of government and by the Prime Minister himself. This will have a positive impact on the development of the spatial industry in Australia. It will also lead to increased awareness of the value of spatial information across businesses and government alike.
What is being provided?
If you have used G-NAF previously, you may have used a premium or value-added version of it from a PSMA reseller such as Pitney Bowes. The G-NAF data that is being made openly available is the raw G-NAF data which is a complex database consisting of more than 30 tables of data. That makes it difficult to use without considerable manipulation.
What is G-NAF Premium?
The standard G-NAF data is a complex database consisting of over 30 tables. These tables cannot easily be opened in a mapping application. It also has inconsistent and incomplete data fields. G-NAF Premium has been created to make the raw G-NAF data usable by adding incomplete data and simplifying the structure so that it can be easily opened in your mapping software.
Is G-NAF a Geocoder?
Geocoding is the process of transforming addresses or locations into coordinates on a map so that they can be visualised and analysed. Having a consistent and easy to use G-NAF premium data set still does not provide the means to convert a number of records containing addresses into properly georeferenced data. Addresses are often recorded inconsistently. Small spelling errors, inconsistent road types (is it Pl or Place?), vanity suburbs and differences in numbering (are 23a and 23b at the same location?) make it nearly impossible to simply match client addresses with raw G-NAF data. Geocoders are software applications that match these inconsistent real world addresses with geocoding “dictionaries” built from G-NAF and other sources. If you have a significant amount of address data that you need to visualise and analyse, you'll need a superior geocoding solution.
Benefits of a geocoding solution
Geocoding engines are software applications that match these inconsistent real world addresses with geocoding “dictionaries” built from G-NAF and other sources. Geocoders process the data quickly, return a result telling you how good the match is and also “fall back” to lower quality data such as street networks if a high quality address point match can’t be found. Geocoders bring the G-NAF premium data to life and allow users to extract the full value from the location information embedded in their databases. Pitney Bowes provide world-class geocoding and address validation solutions that incorporate G-NAF data dictionaries.
Pitney Bowes provide world-class geocoding and address validation solutions that incorporate G-NAF data dictionaries. For more information, visit our geocoding page.