Using the search

What format should I use to enter a postcode?

The system is quite forgiving. It doesn't mind whether you use capitals or lowercase, or if you enter a space between the two parts of the postcode or not. It can also search on partial postcodes, returning a calculated mean of postcodes that start with the search criteria. If you use partial postcodes we recommend that you include the space, where applicable, to avoid ambiguity.

What does the 'Exact match only' check box do?

The default behaviour if an exact match is not found for the requested postcode is to check increasingly large units until a match is found. For example, if you search on LS20 6JB, if no match is found for that full postcode, a check will be made for the sector, LS20 6. If that doesn't match, the district is tried, LS20. If that too fails a check is made on the area, LS.

If you check the 'Exact match only' check box only exact matches will be returned.

The results

What does the 'Quality' value mean?

The quality value gives some indication of the accuracy of the result. For full postcodes in England, Scotland and Wales this value is taken straight from the Ordnance Survey Code Point Open data and has the same meaning it has there.

For partial postcodes we use the value 60 to indicate that these are calculated means.

Postcodes in Northern Ireland have a different source and are given the value 70 to indicate this.

The data

Where does the data come from?

The data we use comes from a number of different sources. For postcodes in England, Scotland and Wales we use Ordnance Survey Code Point Open data.

Data for Northern Ireland is sourced from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

We also use some data from http://www.npemap.org.uk/, particular for the Isle of Man

What licence applies to this data?

The complication of using data sourced from various sources is that it is subject to different licences. The licence applicable to a particular result is given in the meta section of the result. The OS Code Point Open data is relicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence v3 and may be reused providing the following attribution is retained:

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2010. Contains Royal Mail data © Royal Mail copyright and database right 2010

Data for Northern Ireland is © Crown copyright and is reproduced by us under the terms of the Click-use PSI licence. You may have to obtain your own Click-use licnce to reuse it.


Are there any alternatives to your service?

Sure. Here are a few that we know about:

Which service should I choose then?

They're all great, and they're all different. Have a look around and see which best matches your needs. A couple of things that make geopostcode.org.uk different:

Other services have their own unique selling points. UK Geocoding, for example, returns all matching full postcodes when a search is done on a partial. UK Postcodes has some neat reverse geocoding features and can search for all postcodes within a given distance.