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These Guidelines are intended for use with BS 7666: 2006 Spatial datasets for geographical referencing. (Copies of the Standard may be purchased from AGI). The Guidelines complement the Standard with more detailed explanation of the content and a general approach to creation of gazetteers. They are not specific to any particular implementation, for which it is expected that specific data specifications and capture and maintenance rules will be produced. 

The Guidelines are aimed at:

  • gazetteer owners - those with ultimate responsibility for the gazetteer;
  • gazetteer custodians - those responsible for the creation, maintenance and quality of gazetteers;
  • suppliers of gazetteer software;
  • those developing and implementing gazetteer systems;
  • providers of gazetteer data;
  • others who are responsible for aspects of the quality management of gazetteers.

The Guidelines are currently in six sections, which may be downloaded separately:

Section 1. Introduction to BS 7666   

This Section provides a general introduction to all Sections of the Guidelines. It gives a general introduction to the subject of gazetteers and addressing. It also provides an introduction to standards, describes what BS 7666 is and identifies the main changes made in the 2006 edition. It provides an overview of the other Sections of the Guidelines Annexes.       

These contain a Glossary of Terms, list of abbreviations and an explanation of the UML data modelling convention used in the Standard.

Section 2. How to create a gazetteer of a new type of geographic object  

This Section of the Guidelines covers how to create a gazetteer of a new class of geographic object. Part 0 of BS 7666 defines a generic gazetteer model that can be used for any class of geographic object, and this section describes how to implement this. It describes the planning and initiation of such an implementation and general principles of gazetteer construction. Finally the process of creating a new part of BS 7666 is outlined.

Section 3. Quality assessment and reporting 

This section of the Guidelines covers quality assessment and reporting. It introduces the principles and concepts of data quality in the context of gazetteer creation, maintenance and utilisation and provides general guidance on how to test and report on gazetteer quality in conformance with BS 7666: 2006. This includes a description of some basic data quality measures and quality evaluation procedures, some quality test methods, the outline of a data quality report and an overall process for controlling quality of a gazetteer. It is at a generic level, and will be expanded in later sections in the context of particular types of gazetteer.

Section 4. How to create a national gazetteer 

This Section of the Guidelines deals with how to create a 'national' gazetteer. It describes how to amalgamate 'local' gazetteers into a 'national' one. It identifies quality issues between the two types of gazetteer and in particular, issues relating to how a national gazetteer should be maintained.

Section 5. Creating a street gazetteer  

This Section provides detailed guidance on how to create a street gazetteer. It explains aspects of BS 7666 Part 1: Specification for a street gazetteer, and should be read in conjunction with that document. However it does not cover Public Rights of Way. It is aimed at those compiling such gazetteers, particularly in local authorities. The guidelines are general and not aimed at any particular implementation such as the National Street Gazetteer, for which specific guidelines will apply.

Section 6. Creating a land and property gazetteer 

This Section provides detailed guidance on how to create a land and property gazetteer. It explains aspects of BS 7666 Part 2: Specification for a land and property gazetteer, and should be read in conjunction with that document. It is aimed at those compiling such gazetteers, particularly in local authorities. The guidelines are general and not aimed at any specific implementation such as the National Land and Property Gazetteer, for which specific guidelines will apply.


Sections 1-4 combined may be downloaded from here:

Sections 5 and 6 combined may be downloaded from here: 

Comments on these Guidelines are welcomed, and should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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