OS Places API on the OS DataHub
If you are a Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) member you can access and use the OS Places API for free via the OS DataHub. Register for an account or login at www.osdatahub.os.uk
What does the OS Places API do?
The OS Places API lets users identify addresses accurately. Searches interrogate the Local Authority and the Royal Mail address datasets.
Requests can be made using a full or partial address, a postcode, or a unique property ID. Searches can also find addresses closest to a given point or all the addresses known within a user-defined area or circle.
- Find a specific address accurately
- Reverse geocode an address from its location
- Search both Royal Mail and Local Authority address datasets
- Find addresses outside the United Kingdom (the data does include Isle of Man and Channel Islands)
- Locate general areas such as cities, forests
- Carry out bulk matching queries
How does the API do that?
This is a RESTful API, returning queries in either XML or JSON. The GeoSearch resources require coordinates in either EPSG:27700, EPSG:4326, EPSG:3857 or EPSG:4258. The find resource enables rapid searches of AddressBase Premium to drill down and isolate ambiguous addressing details. The match resource is for more granular matching and cleansing of existing address databases. Neither features needs any database management of AddressBase Premium. Postcode searches need the area and district integers as a minimum.
We’ll use our head office postcode as an example – SO16 0AS:
SO represents the area
SO16 the district
SO16 0 the sector
SO16 0AS the unit
SO16 0AS is the full postcode of our head office in Southampton. But searches for Ordnance Survey at SO16 will return details showing that our address is on Adanac Drive.
British National Grid (BNG)
X coordinates in BNG are also commonly referred to as Eastings, while Y coordinates are also known as Northings.
Which data source(s) does the API use?
AddressBase Premium provides the most detailed view of an address and its life cycle. It has more records than other AddressBase products as it provides all the information relating to an address or property from creation to retirement.
It contains local authority, Ordnance Survey and Royal Mail® addresses, current addresses, and alternatives for current addresses, provisional addresses (such as planning developments) and historic information, plus OWPAs and cross references to the OS MasterMap® TOIDs®.
AddressBase Premium is made up of -
- Up to date cross references to our large-scale data, such as OS MasterMap Topography Layer and Integrated Transport Network Layer via the TOID – but also references to objects that don’t have postal addresses, as well as coordinates that have been verified via our surveyors.
- Data from the Local Land and Property Gazetteer and One Scotland Gazetteer, which includes information captured under statutory obligation through the SNN process.
- The Royal Mail’s data, providing a Postcode Address File (PAF) containing the UDPRN and the delivery point address record.
- The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which provides cross references to council tax and non-domestic rates data.
Northern Ireland Addresses
OS Places contains addresses located within Northern Ireland; however they have a few unique characteristics due to not being derived from Address Base Premium. Addresses within Northern Ireland will not have a UPRN or status, and coordinates will be ‘0.0’ due to falling outside of the British National Grid.
The underlying data for OS Places is updated every six weeks. More information can be found here.