It is widely known that location can add considerable value to the decision making process. The challenge is to influence the process so that location becomes part of the thinking. Traditional business processes are not inherently spatial. They do not consider the location dimension. This is not surprising as the technology and data necessary to support such a process has been expensive, difficult to master and information hard to source.
To achieve spatial enablement then, the first step is recognising that location can easily be used to improve business outcomes and for the thinking that underlies the process to include consideration of the 'where'. The second step is to be able to introduce location into the process itself but do so simply, quickly and cost effectively. This paper will explore two critical aspects to the achievement of 'spatial enablement'. The first is the central focus on address, the key to extracting value from location. Address is the one attribute that is virtually universal across business and government. It provides the link between complex spatial information and business applications. Once addresses are geocoded, a whole world of location opportunity is opened up. The governments of Australia have recognised the important role of address by establishing, across all governments, a framework for its management. The second part is the application of web services to allow the seamless shift from 'thinking location' to business processes 'using location'. Through the use of web services, location is applied to existing processes, workflows and applications in an easy and reliable way. By using address as the key entry point, it makes it possible to easily integrate existing business systems with a wide range of address management, validation, spatial directories look-up and geocoding services. By combining address and web services to include 'location' in your thinking, problem solving and decision-making, it is possible to make spatial enablement a reality.
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