[Talk-GB] Postcode finder based on OSM data

Matt Williams lists at milliams.com
Wed Mar 16 19:51:23 GMT 2011

Greetings all,

For the last week I've been working on a sort of 'replacement' for the
Royal Mail's postcode/address finder (you know, the one with the ~5
queries a day limit without an account) [1] but based entirely on data
in the OSM database. You can find my site at [2].

It's features are:
- Covers the whole of Britain (based on the Geofabrik great_britain.osm.pbf
  file from 15 March)
- Can search by full or partial postcode
- Can search for street and house number or just for street name
- Largely based on the Karlsruhe Schema (including the associatedStreet
  relation for grouping houses together)
- Has a tagging guide [3] to help document the tags the system uses
- Fully open-source [4]
- 'Error' reporting - these are currently only shown at the bottom of the page
  with the error. I will probably make a map out of this at some point.

I currently measure about a quarter of a million 'address points' -
that is objects with a postcode or with both a housenumber and a
street (associates street or addr:street). This compares with the
reported 28 million entries in the Royal Mail's PAF. I will provide a
more detailed breakdown when I get a chance.

Of course in its current state it's not a competitor for the PAF but
I'm hoping that the "if you render it, they will map it" rule will
apply here to encourage people to add postcodes and addresses. I guess
a good postcode to look at is B72 [5] given the excellent work done at
[6]. I've also been doing a lot in CV4 so that should be quite good

Please take a look a the site and give me any feedback on anything you
like or don't like. As I said this is only about a week's part-time
work so it's unpolished in many places but I figure that RERO is a
good idea here.

There are a number of features I am still planning on implementing
which are recoded at [7,8].

The first time you connect to the site it might take a while to load
but after that it should be snappy enough.

Matt Williams


[1] http://postcode.royalmail.com
[2] http://milliams.dev.openstreetmap.org/postcodefinder/
[3] http://milliams.dev.openstreetmap.org/postcodefinder/tagging/
[4] http://gitorious.org/postcodefinder
[5] http://milliams.dev.openstreetmap.org/postcodefinder/search/?postcode=B72
[6] http://blog.mappa-mercia.org/2011/02/whats-in-postcode.html
[7] http://gitorious.org/postcodefinder/postcode-analyser/blobs/master/TODO.rst
[8] http://gitorious.org/postcodefinder/postcodefinder/blobs/master/TODO.rst

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