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Geocoding

Get grid references and longitude/latitude for an address

Overview

Get location information for an address

Get the location of UK addresses as latitude & longitude, easting & northing and OS grid references.

Use the FindLocation method if you have a full postcode, or Geocode if you have a partial postcode or free-text address or partial address.

Accuracy and Coverage

The location of a postcode is defined as the average of the location of all the addresses in that postcode.

The location returned from this service is accurate to 1 metre of this average location in most cases, but 100 metres in some areas.

The location of a town, street or other free-format address element is defined as the average of locations of all the postcodes in that area, weighted by the number of addresses that use that postcode. This may differ slightly from the locally-known "heart" of the area.

Missing Locations

Locations are not available for certain postcodes, including:

  • Some PO Boxes. Postcodes related to PO Boxes are generally not considered to have a physical location.
  • Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey are not covered by Ordnance Survey. The service covers Great Britain and Northern Ireland only.

Longitude and Latitude

The locations provided by Ordnance Survey are produced according to the OS national grid. GPS based systems and many other worldwide systems such as online mapping tools use latitude and longitude on the WGS84 datum. The latitude and longitude returned from this service is in the WGS84 datum by default.

The following methods are available in the Geocoding service.

FindLocation

Returns the physical coordinates for a postcode.

Geocode

Returns the physical coordinates for a free-text address element.

FindMyNearest

Returns a list of results sorted by shortest distance from the given point.

AutoCompleteTowns

Gets the full name of a town based off a partial name.

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