[Talk-GB] Import UK postcode data?

Mark Goodge mark at good-stuff.co.uk
Fri Oct 4 18:51:07 UTC 2019

On 04/10/2019 01:52, ndrw6 at redhazel.co.uk wrote:
> This may not be a perfect solution but the information CPO/ONSPD 
> contains is still extremely useful for geocoding. Search for a postcode 
> and you are _guaranteed_ to get an address in a close vicinity to a 
> place you are looking for. How about not needing to start Google Maps 
> when searching for a location on the go?

I entirely agree with this. You can search for any postcode on Google 
Maps, Bing Maps, Here Maps and Michelin Maps, to name just the ones I've 
checked right now. The reality is that people expect postcodes to be a 
functional search term on online mapping, at least in the UK, and not 
having it places OSM at a distinct disadvantage compared to the 
commercial mapping operators. Given that postcode data is itself 
available under a compatible licence, refusing to use it because of 
purist notions of what a map should be is, in my opinion, simply a case 
of cutting off our noses to spite our face. It's important that OSM 
gives users what they want from a map, not just what mapping geeks want 
from a map. And users want postcodes - all of them - to be a functional 
search term.

In fact, OSM can easily do better than Google et al when it comes to 
postcodes. One of their biggest faults is the lag on adding new 
postcodes - it can take up to 18 months before new postcodes become 
usable search terms on Google Maps. With an automated import, OSM can be 
as up to date as the latest release of CPO/ONSPD. And that's a positive 
selling point for our data.


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