[Talk-GB] Import UK postcode data?

SK53 sk53.osm at gmail.com
Wed Oct 2 14:52:23 UTC 2019

I really see no point. The data are already present in Nominatim  (albeit
perhaps not up-to-date) and search is the ONLY thing that so-called
postcode centroids can help with. DE24 (Sinfin) was imported long ago, see
this overpass query <http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/MNZ>.

What can be done is attempt to assign postcodes to streets, and various
incomplete efforts have been made over the years. Open Data provides full
addresses for around 70% of UK postcodes (principally Companies House, Food
Hygiene & National Register of Social Housing).

What would be useful is a maintained set of postcode information based on
codepoint open/ONS postcode data/OS Local. The sorts of things which it
would be useful to know are:

   - Is the postcode centroid co-located with others (e.g., delivery
   offices, some businesses, blocks of flats)
   - Can the postcode be unambiguously assigned to a street & post town?
   - Is the post code in use or not (ONS is now obviously 8 years old, but
   still potentially useful). Greg's FHRS tracker does appear to indicate a
   degree of churn with inner-city postcodes (although some of this will be
   inadvertent use of more general rather than specific postcodes by people
   filling in the FHRS forms)
   - Is a postcode the sole postcode for that street?

Somewhere I have an old CPO table with some of this data populated. I think
Geolytix had summary info associated with their post code sector shape
files as well.

Adding addr:postcode to streets which have a single postcode is in my book
fine: numerous LAs put this on street signs (Rushcliffe & Gedling for
sure); it's an intermediate step to adding the addresses to houses  Once
the postcodes which obviously belong to a single street are eliminated it's
often easier to work out where the others belong.

Note that other than for FHRS we have no good source for Northern Ireland
postcodes at all. Equally assignment of rural postcodes is quite a bit
harder than urban ones. In re-reading bits of Chris's blog last night I
came across a post of his
<https://chris-osm.blogspot.com/2017/03/have-you-moved.html> showing that
some postcodes move huge distances between releases.


PS. The Sinfin postcodes possibly should be removed as they were added IIRC
before Mike Collinson's discussions with OSGB about OS Open Data.

On Wed, 2 Oct 2019 at 13:44, Russ Phillips via Talk-GB <
talk-gb at openstreetmap.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm wondering if it would be feasible and advisable to import the UK
> postcode data from OS OpenData Codepoint
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Ordnance_Survey_OpenData#Code-Point_Open>
> .
> The licence is OSM compatible. My thinking was that we could create a node
> for each data point and set the addr:postcode tag. This would be useful for
> routing software like OsmAnd, since it would allow a user to enter a
> postcode as a destination.
> I'm happy to do the work, but the import guidelines
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Import/Guidelines> say that imports
> should be discussed on the imports@ list and the appropriate local
> communities, hence this email.
> Russ Phillips
> _______________________________________________
> Talk-GB mailing list
> Talk-GB at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-gb
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