[Talk-ca] Postal Codes

Bernie Connors bernie.connors at unb.ca
Tue Dec 30 23:22:22 UTC 2014

Nominatim uses a postal code database created by geocoder.ca.  I presume
they get periodic updates from geocoder.ca.  If you find an address that is
not properly geocoded by Nominatim (OSM) you can update the geocoder.ca
database by entering the entire address including the postal code at

Here is a sample screen capture - http://goo.gl/UuX8Kr


On Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 1:40 PM, berniejconnors <berniejconnors at gmail.com>

> I believe gecoder.ca already provides a method to collect postal codes
> from citizens. I had a quick look at the website but it was not readily
> obvious to me. I have sent them an email and when I get the response I will
> share it here.
> Bernie.
> --
> Bernie Connors
> New Maryland, NB
> -------- Original message --------
> From: Adam Martin
> Date:12-30-2014 10:37 AM (GMT-04:00)
> To: talk-ca at openstreetmap.org
> Subject: [Talk-ca] Postal Codes
> Hey all,
> I was reading over the previous discussions held here regarding the issue
> of obtaining postal codes for use with civic addresses in Canada. I
> understand that, unless specific permission is obtained, there is no way to
> utilize the information stored in the Canada Post database, even if that
> information is manually acquired from the database during a lookup. The use
> is restricted to a very limited personal or business application - ie, I
> want to send a package and I use the database to get the postal code of the
> address.
> It initially appears odd that Canada Post would be very restrictive with
> the code data. I understand that they maintain consumer names with the
> address data, but the OSM project would not be seeking that connective
> data, just the bare address to attach to a civic or business address.
> Looking about their site, I eventually encountered this little gem --->
> https://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/business/productsservices/mailing/pcdp.jsf
> It would appear that Canada Post sells a data product that is,
> effectively, the postal code data attached to a map. It is provided to
> businesses for the purposes of datamining, allowing them to hone their
> mailings or identify exploitable market areas. The cynic in me figures that
> this is the real reason that they won't give OSM the permission to use the
> data. Not for protection of the consumer or for privacy, but to make money.
> Fair enough - it is technically a business.
> Anyway, it would appear that obtaining the information from Canada Post
> is, basically, a dead end. Might I suggest an alternative? Why not a
> volunteer effort? I can't look up a code and reproduce it on the map, but I
> can surely put my own postal code and those of my previous addresses into
> the map. That knowledge has nothing to do with looking it up on their
> website. I also know the code for my small hometown in Newfoundland as I
> lived there for years and the entire town uses the same code. Perhaps there
> is a way to gather the information voluntarily from Canadian citizens and
> businesses. Basically go around them? For example, a survey on the Reddit
> forum for Canada could be asked or something like that. The more we can get
> without using the post office, the better. Business websites are easily
> some of the best sources - they offer their mail address without any
> restriction so that is fair use too.
> Just a thought!
> Adam

Bernie Connors
New Maryland, NB
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