The Showdown: Parcels vs. Addresses

When we started Farragut back in ’94, I used to say that parcels were the key to everything happening inside of a city or a county. Maybe that was because we were doing a lot of work with parcels and we were integrating parcel data with all kinds of other applications (e.g., CAMA systems, permitting applications).

Well, I was wrong. About 10 years ago, we started to get involved with addressing and I began to realize that addresses are actually much more critical to a local government. Yes, there are addresses associated with parcels (the situs addresses that we all know and love), but what about all of the other addresses that may or may not be tied into a parcel such as incidence reports, E911 addresses, units, condos, meters, signage, etc? Let’s not forget about mailing addresses, which may or may not be directly tied to a physical address.

I was recently talking to a friend about the importance of addressing (which may help explain why I rarely get invited to parties), and, of course, he mentioned the address on his house. That launched me into my usual spiel. Until you start dealing with addressing in local government, you don’t really realize how addressing is the hub around which everything else in a local governments rotates—from tax collection, to collecting garbage, to emergency services. It all goes back to the address.

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