HDB Database changelog

Buy it from http://www.teoalida.com/singapore/hdbdatabase/

History – original HDB database made for my personal research

  • In late 2008 I started studying architecture.
  • In early 2009 I started the HDB database, a table with 4 columns: block number, floors, units per floor, total units. I took from map the names/numbers of HDB blocks as well as schools, religious structures and every other building within HDB estates.
  • I was smart enough to identify number of units per floor by looking in satellite photos, and guessed the number of floors by measuring shadow length and compare with the shadow of a block with known height, multiplied to get an estimated number of units per block and per precint.
  • I made for each town a summary, list of HDB precints with their number of units land area in hectares, plus condos, landed, park, industrial land, to calculate land usage and housing density. In the same time I collected floor plans and learned the history of HDB, at end of year I published this page HDB Floor Plans 1930-2010s.
  • In Dec 2009, Google launched Street View in Singapore, which was very helpful for me. I re-checked the database, corrected block heights and got more precise estimation of number of units. Also added building year.
  • In 2010 HDB website shows the number of units in upgrading programmes. I started re-making database and replace the estimated numbers with correct official numbers. By this way I also added street address and upgrading programmes announced for each block.
  • In 2011 I abandoned the work because after re-making and re-re-remaking the database… sounds like a waste of time and I did not saw a real usage of such database. With all new ideas that came meantime, several hundred hours would have been necessary to complete database nationwide with number of floors, units per floor, precise number of units, upgrading programmes, etc.

HDB Database covered about 20% (western part of Singapore) in the simple 2009 layout and another 20% in the improved 2010 layout (pre-1980 towns). This 40% was more than enough for the original purpose (personal research). The format was a MESS:

  • Number of columns in database varied from one town to another.
  • Some street names were abbreviated, others were full names.
  • Blocks with varying height were in towns done in 2010 a single row, but in towns done in 2009 were split on separate rows for each height.
  • BTO names were sometimes above list of blocks, sometimes on the left.
  • And few more…

Note that in 2009 I had no school or job, thus all day was free time… but since 2012 I work for people, customers paying me to do various things, thus I no longer have time for voluntary (non-paid) works

In the same time I made a map of Singapore using AutoCAD, drawing all roads in certain HDB estates, and measured land size of various housing areas. Purpose: personal research about housing density in selected estates and use the results in designing own apartments.

History – new HDB database that I intend to sell for professional use

In mid-2012, one of my other hobbies, the Car Database, had an unexpected turnout into a business. Since 2003 I was compiling car data in Excel for personal research, then in 2011 posted it on website, and after 1 year I realized that there are people willing to pay $ for such data.
So, I tried do do the same with HDB Database, for the first time published it on website, a SAMPLE Excel file with one town only… to test the market and see if anyone is interested and how can be used such directory of HDB blocks, to continue this megalithic work and sell it for money. But first, need to know what data people need, to not spend unnecessary time on unneeded data, standardize the table format for all towns and clean up the mess.

I was facing with LAZY people and lack of feedback, as happened in case of Car Database too, where took one year to figure out how to make a database appealing for customers to do the 1st sale, for one year.
People praised my initiative, many students wanted the HDB database for personal research, counting blocks, etc, flat buyers wanted the database to know lease year, etc. Sorry, but a 400-hour project is NOT something to do for free to help students and flat buyers.
I also met non-serious customers (see the comments at bottom of page), in the top of list is this this customer asking me if I am selling database but not answering my questions (it’s also my fault for not saying “I am selling the SERVICE of compiling a database“, not a ready-made database).

If BUYERS do not tell me exactly what data they want to BUY, how I am supposed to know what data to compile and SELL ????

I made 2 polls. As you can see, people voted to WAIT for a customer then do the megalithic work, however I never succeeded to make a DEAL in this way.
Seems that I need to complete the database in advance, to be ready for sale when the next customer are coming, taking the risk that customers may be looking for SOMETHING ELSE than what I am doing.

HDB Database

After 4 years of indecision, I resumed working in June 2014

If in 2009-2011 I was adding all possible data for one estate then move to next estate, NOW I am planning to complete in stages: finalize block numbers (taken from map), then start adding street addresses and then years (taken from HDB Resale flat prices), only after finalizing these, start adding number of units (highest time-consuming part of database), and so on.

– Due to limited amount of time available for voluntary jobs, I compiled remaining 60% of Singapore as block numbers only. Other towns remain as done in 2009-2011, never updated.
– Visually enhanced the table using vertical colored columns (a style used for all my Excel works since 2010).
– Deleted the land parcel areas and housing density calculation (I believe that nobody will be interested in this), reorganized the summary table by Public and Private housing (instead of condos mixed with HDB if they are on same perimeter of streets).
– Few additional changes…

Total: 9800 residential blocks, including about ~500 demolished blocks, excluding MSCP, pavilions, markets and other non-residential buildings.

I posted the incomplete database FOR SALE in Store, inviting people to tell me their requirements, negotiate a price, buy existing database for $100, then I will do the remaining part of job. Some wanna-be customers are so LAZY even to tell me what profession they are and what data they need about each block!

November 2014:

  • Took one-week break from my other projects, updated all towns (block numbers and BTO names), added all under construction HDBs launched up to 2013 . Number of units and upgrading programmes remain NOT updated since 2009-2011.
  • Added old HDB blocks demolished before 2000, corrected old estate names (using hm.onemap.sg, historical maps released in September 2014), previously I was using Google Maps, which until 2011 was still showing buildings demolished after 2000 together with new buildings.
  • New column: Building type tag (Residential / Carpark / Pavilion / Other). Previously MSCPs and Pavilions were indicated in BLOCK column together with block number. (idea came after a student asked me how many carparks and residential blocks are currently in Singapore – this column will allow easy count).
  • New column: BTO/precint names. Previously was a header row above the list of blocks in the BTO/precint.
  • Reorganized the list, instead of sorting by geographical location and divide each town in precints, it now sorted by phases of construction (see screenshot). For example: Sengkang: instead of 50+ separate precints and BTOs, now there is a continuous list of all blocks. Toa Payoh: instead of a list from blk 1 to blk 260 mixed old and new blocks, I sorted it as Phase 1 (1966-1976) blk 1-235, Phase II (1986-1989) blk 236-360, and Redevelopment phase (1993-present) with BTO and SERS blocks.
  • Then, instead of a summary of precints in each town sheet and another summary of towns, there is single summary sheet of towns and phases of construction. Moreover I can combine all 27 towns in a single sheet, to allow nationwide block filter.

Free SAMPLES (these samples were posted at top of page until June 2015 when new version was ready)
HDB Database 2011 – original version as I done it in 2009-2010 for my research.
HDB Database 2014 DETAILED – coloured, visually enhanced, table no longer divided by precints, town summary removed, proposed to breakdown units by flat type – few hundreds hours are needed to complete database in this format.
HDB Database 2014 LITE – street, block, lease year = fewer data fields = only 100 hours are needed to reach 100% completion…
Breakdown by flat type is done only for Jurong West and Holland for purpose of showing in the SAMPLE, for the rest of towns will be done after getting 50% of payment.

HDB Database

December 2014

December 2014:

  • Got a week of free time… COMPLETED street address and Lease year for all remaining blocks.
  • Total: 13210 buildings. Residential blocks: 10038 + 1198 demolished. MSCP: 941 + 3 demolished. Pavilions: 592 + 2 demolished. Other buildings: 359 + 77 demolished.

March to May 2015: I am BUSY expanding Car Database which generate far more sales than HDB Database. Further work at HDB database can be done starting from June 2015.

First customer! On 3 May 2015, a real estate agent doing flyer distribution, wanted to view the number of units per all blocks at once. Too bad he purchased Yishun only. I started the job of adding number of units for Yishun, and next day I finished and we made the deal.
Anyone else wants number of units in ONE town? Will be ready in 2 days (or immediately in case of pre-1980 towns).

  • – Updated all towns, added BTOs launched in 2014 (about 200 buildings,block numbers and street address).
  • – Added early HUDC (about 100 buildings, although their place is NOT in HDB Database as they were never managed by HDB)
  • – Re-re-rewrote the page, added the BUY NOW button directly on page instead of telling potential customers “to buy from Store“, also added individual towns with their price, not just “whole Singapore”.

5 new customers contacted me in 20 May – 5 June. Don’t know if is a coincidence, or displaying the prices directly on page, per whole Singapore and per town, encouraged website visitors to contact me. There were 2 mini-customers, one wanted a list post-2000 blocks with 3-room flats. I sold him the list for ONLY $20.
But someone wants number of units in whole Singapore… and deadline set on mid-June!

  • I hardly find 100 hours to add number of units in every block. Fortunately one of my school-age friends, was willing to help me during the school vacation of June 2015.
  • Also added postal codes (customer request), sourced from HDB Centralized Map (an easy job that took me only 20 hours to complete).
  • While adding postal codes, I added also lease day and month beside year, but since no customer ever requested this info, I stopped after 20% and remaining 80% I will do later if is needed.
  • Added 2 more columns: Building year (if different than lease year) and Demolition year. Now the upgrading programme column show ONLY the info from HDB upgrading programmes, previously it was saying for example “SERS 2010, demolished 2016” and for rental blocks it said “demolished 2016” which isn’t an upgrading programme.
  • otal: 13699 buildings.

23 July 2015:

  • New release, requested by a customer. Total: 13773 buildings. Residential flats: 10305 + 1298 demolished. MSCP: 993 + 3 demolished. Pavilions: 698 + 5 demolished. Other buildings: 389 + 82 demolished.
  • Published 3 packages: postal code and lease commence date, number of units, all details.

October 2015: Total: 13794 buildings. Added few missing blocks.

May 2016:

  • Added a column Building era, to quickly filter blocks, because last few months I done few sales to people who wanted a list of blocks built after year X.
  • Added BTO launch date / SERS announcement date in Block name column (personal idea).
  • Added construction code and unit number ranges for blocks that does have site plans in Sale of Balance Flats (requested by a customer in February, I offered to add him this info free of charge, but he never replied, thinking that other customers would be interested), by this way I added about 100 more buildings, mostly Electrical Sub-Stations from under construction BTOs which were missing on OneMap.sg.

June 2016: 14455 buildings (including 109 houses, 46 industrial, 42 unknown buildings not counted previously).

  • Being tired of waiting for OneMap.sg update I decided to add BTO launched in 2015 and first half of 2016 using site plans from HDB brochures. As coincidence, near end of June OneMap.sg was updated with BTO launched up to end-2015.
  • Added number of units for under construction blocks, not just for completed blocks.
  • Published 5 packages (new ones: unit numbers, GPS coordinates).

January 2017: 14586 buildings.

  • Added BTO launched in second half of 2016.
  • I noticed that HDB Map Services added info boxes for under construction blocks, not just for completed ones, so I improved my database by adding street address and postal code for under construction blocks too.

Starting from 2017 I offer 3-month updates adding new BTO flats because along my customers I have a telecommunication company who is the first to demand fequent updates. Data for existing BTO such as lease commence date will be checked 2 times per year.

February 2017: 14635 buildings.

May 2017: 14688 buildings, added Town Council (suggestion from a customer).

August 2017: 14727 buildings.

September 2017: added electoral division, added lease day-month for all blocks, added GPS coordinates from HDB Centralized Map, added SERS prediction, added floor plans for some blocks.

November 2017: 14789 buildings. Because 2 people purchased package with number of units breakdown by flat types and asked for postal code too, I decided to include postal code by default in all packages. The package with lease commence date also include GPS coordinates, and the cheapest package does not include additional details.

February 2018: 14827 buildings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.