Dr Laura Kostanski

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“Where the streets have no name” – Innovations in Addressing

Dr Laura Kostanski, Senior Executive Designer – ThinkPlace


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Things You Will Learn

  1. Why traditional addressing doesn’t meet 21st century expectations
  2. What are the use-cases
  3. What alternatives exist and are emerging
  4. How do these compare and what are the benefits?

Target Audience

Anyone who needs to communicate location App developers Anyone in e-commerce, insurance, emergency management, farming, resources, human services, logistics, etc.

Presentation Overview

Only 11% of Australia’s landmass can be referenced through street addressing. However Addressing doesn’t help when your car is broken down on a country road, when trying to get flood insurance for your farm shed, or when receiving a drone delivery in your back yard, but not in the pool. Until recently, if we wanted to reference locations in the remaining 89% of Australia, or in developing countries, or in new subdivisions, we had to revert to using coordinates. But humans don’t remember or communicate strings of up to 16 digits particularly well. And getting it wrong can be expensive, or even worse. In the last few years, several initiatives have emerged that tackle this issue, usually with some type of coding system to replace coordinates. Geepers, MapCode and what3words are some of the more well-known examples of such solutions. This presentation looks at the pros and cons of innovative addressing solutions, and how they can and will save money and lives, and how they deliver significant economic and social benefits, contributing to our prosperity.


Laura has recently joined ThinkPlace as a Senior Executive Designer to establish their Melbourne Studio and support sectoral development in the geospatial/environmental domain. She is an innovator in the digital domain, a geospatial expert and an established researcher in Indigenous cultural heritage. Her work has been on complex systems, policy development and stakeholder engagement, particularly for Governments and NGOs. Laura has worked on the design of innovative practices for a wide range of organisations, including the United Nations, International Standards Organisation, Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, CSIRO, the Murray Darling Basin Authority, NSW Planning, Office of Surveyor-General Victoria amongst others.

Laura’s professional and research interests centre on developing robust, joined-up strategies, policies and architectures for government and private sector systems. Her passion is understanding what the user will need and designing the thing that will support end-to-end procedures and result in beautifully functional products.

Laura was Director of Geonaming Solutions 2011 – 2016, a consulting company in the domain of geospatial science and policy- particularly as they relate to geographic naming and addressing.  Laura has also been Director of start-up AddEx 2015-2016, a company founded to develop a Linked Data system for exchanging address data between government and non-government entities.