Blog: How to deal with changing addresses with a stable identifier

Managing address information can be challenging due to frequent updates, large data volumes, and varying formats. Errors in data entry and standardization can lead to miscommunications, logistical issues, and increased costs. Ensuring accuracy and compliance adds to the complexity, making it a crucial yet difficult task for organizations. Implementing an identifier that remains stable over time can be a smart solution for many organizations. 

In this article, we highlight the importance of keeping addresses up to date and demonstrate how to achieve this efficiently with a Stable Identifier. We use an example from a water company, though this solution is universal and works perfectly for other applications.  

The problem with classical address linking 

Imagine we have three houses with the numbers 12, 12a, and 14. The water company connects these houses to the drinking water network via three home connections. Later, the company wants to link crucial information, such as water consumption, to these addresses. 

In a classical approach, all the data regarding these water connections would be linked directly to the textual addresses. The textual address consists of the combination of country, postal code, town name, street name, and house number (and sometimes a box number if applicable). 


However, if the municipality decides to change the house numbers—for example, 12 stays 12, 12a becomes 14, and 14 becomes 16—a major problem arises. The water company must correctly update all address changes; if not, information will either no longer be linked, as with the building in the middle, or will be incorrectly linked, as with the building on the right.  

 Managing these address changes daily is a costly and labor-intensive task for the water company. 

The solution: a stable identifier 

Now, let's consider the alternative approach. In this solution, the water company links the connections not to the textual addresses but to an identifier that remains stable over time.

This identifier is a unique code added to every address. The strength of using this code is that it remains the same as long as the address refers to the same physical building. This way, the links between the address, the additional internal information (such as water consumption), and the address information are always maintained. 

Additional benefits of using a stable identifier 

Another advantage of working with a stable identifier is the ability to link multiple addresses to the same address ID. This allows you to retain the old address if desired or to store the same address in another language. 

A universal solution for flawless address management 

Belmap is GIM's digital twin that contains all information about buildings, addresses, and their surroundings. Our smart solution for managing changing address information is the Belmap Stable ID. No matter what data you link to an address, the Belmap StableID is a smart way of dealing with changing address information. Addresses can be updated easily and without errors because the StableID is used. Street renumberings or municipality mergers can be managed fully automatically by integrating updated address information from Belmap. 

By implementing Belmap’s address management solution, the water company no longer has to worry about address changes. These happen automatically based on the StableID through the Belmap API service

Ready to streamline your address management process? Contact us today to learn more about how the Belmap StableID can benefit your organization! 

Bruno De Lat   

Product Manager Belmap at GIM 


Further reading 

- Blog: Is the address management in your organisation ready for the new municipal mergers? 

- Master Address Management with Belmap 



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