[Talk-GB] UK street addressing

Robert Whittaker (OSM lists) robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com
Mon Dec 21 17:46:44 UTC 2020

As others have said, having some uniform national scheme of
places/areas that each address is assigned to is useful for anyone
using addresses. No-one outside the local area will know which postal
districts correspond to which areas, or even where many remote postal
areas are. Local authorities would be better than postcode districts,
but again they may not always be well-known (even amongst local
residents), and their boundaries can change. Post towns provide a more
recognisable way for people to identify the rough location of an
address. They're also good for error checking / correction within

In any case, if OSM is going to be a useful source of addresses for
businesses and the public, we need to replicate the official addresses
that everyone is currently used to using.

On Mon, 21 Dec 2020 at 16:19, Chris Hill <osm at raggedred.net> wrote:
> How are they verifiable? There is no open source that is compatible with
> the OSM licence that I am aware of that lets us look up an address.

There are plenty of open sources for addresses. They won't be
complete, but if you know the postcode of the address you're
interested in, in the vast majority of cases you should be able to
find an open address that's close enough to be able to infer the post
town. In particular, there is an open dataset of addresses for all
post office branches: https://osm.mathmos.net/postoffice/data/ . This
should cover pretty much all the post towns, and if you add in the
(admittedly imperfect) FHRS data, I'd have thought that you should be
able to deduce the correct post town in almost every case.


Robert Whittaker

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