[Talk-GB] UPRN Locations Map

Robert Quincey robert.quincey at dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Fri Jul 3 08:43:15 UTC 2020

Hi list,

Just to give you some sort of local authority perspective on this. UPRNs are assigned to local authority in 'blocks', i.e. we are given a big range of them to use. These are given to us by GeoPlace, who are in charge of coordinating all the changes from local authorities LLPGs (Local Land and Property Gazetteer) and merging them into a national dataset. There is no hard and fast rule on how UPRNs should be assigned to a property. Generally, when a new development happens they will be assigned sequentially from the block of UPRNs they have, but not necessarily. When a new property is built it may be in the middle of a bunch of UPRNs that were created years ago, so the sequential numbering goes out of the window.

UPRNs are often assigned before a building is built, so it can be very useful for finding plans for new builds. From my experience they are generally placed in the middle of a building footprint from OS MasterMap, but not always as sometimes there is no footprint available or they have not been recently updated. Same with flats, generally all the individual 'seeds' are plonked on top of each other, but occasionally they are spread out.

As for their use, to us they are utterly vital and allow us to link datasets together from different departments and different organisations and know we are looking at the same thing. The opening up of the UPRN should allow better open data sharing, but I haven't delved into this much yet, its probably going to take time before we see the benefits.

For the OSM community, for now the use might be limited to what you've already done, i.e. identifying and verifying buildings, not sure what else you might be able to do beyond that without the actual address information, but I'm always amazed by the community's ingenuity.

GeoPlace have a decent FAQ section on UPRNs and USRNs - https://www.geoplace.co.uk/power-of-place/faqs - As well as a limited address/UPRN finder - https://www.findmyaddress.co.uk/search - (goes without saying that you shouldn't use data from that address finder in OSM!)

I hope that helps. Admittedly I'm just a developer and not involved in the day to day of UPRN and address creation. Bear in mind that each authority probably has slightly different ways of doing things, so what's true for Dorset might not be true for everyone else. If you have questions about data in your own area, look up your local District or County Councils LLPG officer and they will probably be able to help.


Rob Quincey - GIS Developer at Dorset Council

From: Peter Neale via Talk-GB <talk-gb at openstreetmap.org>
Sent: 03 July 2020 09:15
To: talk-gb <talk-gb at openstreetmap.org>; Nick <nick at foresters.org>
Subject: Re: [Talk-GB] UPRN Locations Map

Hi Nick,

Thanks for that.

I regret that my VBA and Python are about as good as my Swahili and Martian.  (i.e. NOT)

Many years ago, I did a bit (sic) of coding in Basic, Fortran and Algol (look them up in the history books) and I used Prolog for my AI project in 1984, but since then, I've been gradually relegated to management.

However, I am sure that there are others in this community, who will be much better placed than I am to use the code that you  have so kindly provided.


On Thursday, 2 July 2020, 23:19:06 BST, Nick <nick at foresters.org> wrote:

Hi Peter

re: "I am still not clear how best to use the data available" - I have written a simple bit of VBA that enables address data to be retrieved for a given UPRN (I attach the VBA used in a form for Excel) - this only works for Scotland but may be available elsewhere. Using the concept you can use Python (a friend has done some preliminary work) or similar. This is not elegant but is perhaps a first step in enabling a whole lot of development?



On 02/07/2020 18:38, Peter Neale via Talk-GB wrote:
Hi Robert,

Many thanks for producing that map.

I was able to look at my street and see a blue pin in each of the building outlines that I had mapped from aerial imagery, so that gave me a warm, smug feeling :)

I too noticed some not-yet-there properties in a nearby development that had UPRNs assigned - Not a problem really (IMHO).  There is also one allocated to a pond near me; I didn't know that was "addressable"!

However, I am still not clear how best to use the data available, if you can't use it to look up the address of the property.  Similarly, I am not sure how a data consumer could use the data, if we laboriously edited every property in OSM to include a "ref:GB:UPRN=" tag (or similar; other tags are available.....).

Sorry not to be able to contribute something more useful... :(


On Thursday, 2 July 2020, 17:40:51 BST, Robert Whittaker (OSM lists) <robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com><mailto:robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com> wrote:

I'm not completely sure if/how we can best make use of the new OS
OpenData (UPRNs, USRNs and related links) in OpenStreetMap, but as a
first step I've set up a quick slippy map with the UPRN locations

https://osm.mathmos.net/addresses/uprn/ (zoom in to level 16 to show the data)

The UPRN dataset literally just contains the UPRN number and its
coordinates (both OS National Grid and WGS lat/lon). There are some
additional linking datasets that link these ids to other ids (e.g.
USRNs, TOIDs). But no address information is available directly. (You
may be able to get street names by matching to OS Open Roads via TOIDs
though. Coupled with Code-Point Open, you might be able to assign
quite a few postcodes in cases where there's only one unit for a whole

The UPRN data has already helped me find a mapping error I made
locally though -- it looks like I'd accidentally missed drawing a
house outline from aerial imagery, and also classified a large garage
a few doors down as a house. The two errors cancelled out when the
houses were numbered sequentially, so I didn't notice until now. Today
though I spotted a UPRN marker over some blank space on the map, and
no marker over the mapped house that's probably a garage.

Now a few initial thoughts on the data that I've explored so far:

I believe that the UPRNs are assigned by local authorities, so
conventions may vary from place to place. I don't know who actually
assigns the coordinates (authority or OS). Looking at those for rows
of houses around me, they don't seem to have been automatically given
coordinates from the house footprint, it looks more like someone
manually clicking on a map.

The UPRN dataset should include all addressable properties. It is also
ahead of reality in some places, as it includes locations for houses
on a new development near me that have yet to be built yet. For blocks
of apartments/flats, the UPRN nodes may all have the same coordinates
or may be displaced from each other, possibly in an artificial manner.

Other objects also appear to have UPRNs. Likely things I've noticed so
far include: car parks, post boxes, telephone boxes (even after
they've been removed), electricity sub-stations, roads and recorded
footpaths (the UPRN locations seem to be at one end of the street, so
usually lie at a junction), recreation grounds / play areas,
floodlight poles (around sports pitches), and allotments. There's no
information about the object type in the UPRN data unfortunately.

Anyway, I hope some of this is useful / interesting. I hope to be on
the OSMUK call on Saturday to discuss things further. Best wishes,


Robert Whittaker

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