Improvements to OS Address APIs – our complete UK address data

OS Places API updated with some enhancements in December 2021

4 minute read
OS Places API offers a simple way to connect to detailed, authoritative address data.

Available via the Ordnance Survey Data Hub, it is a great option if you want to add geocoding, form-filling, or indeed any form of addressing to your applications where addressing matters. OS Places API is an Application Programming Interface (API) that lets you request AddressBase Premium® records as and when you need them...and it’s getting some enhancements!

AddressBase Premium® is our flagship address product and gives you up-to-date, detailed information about addresses, properties, and land areas. It has over 40 million addresses and 100 million cross references, as well as providing all the information relating to an address from creation to retirement. Alongside accurate co-ordinates, each address is referenced by the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN), a consistent identifier for each address allowing you to manage addresses throughout their lifecycle and making your processes more efficient.

OS Places API

Improve efficiency – use OS Places API to verify the data you’re capturing against Ordnance Survey’s AddressBase® Premium dataset. It gives you direct access to rich address data for geocoding, postcode searching, form-filling, and much more. Make requests using a full or partial address, a postcode, or a UPRN. Searches can also find addresses closest to a given point or all the addresses known within a user-defined area or circle.

OS Places API has 7 endpoints, each giving you a different way to find addresses:

Capture and Verification

  • Find – Free text search/type-ahead search (geocoding)
  • Postcode – Search by postcode
  • UPRN – Search by Unique Property Reference Number


  • Nearest – Find addresses near to a given location (reverse geocoding)
  • Bounding Box – Find all addresses within a given bounding box
  • Radius – Find all addresses within a given radius
  • Polygon – Find all addresses within a given area of interest
OS Places API

Adding real value

NHS Digital has used the OS Places API to efficiently capture the addresses of people requesting Covid-19 home testing kits via the website, as part of the government’s national testing strategy. With a national demand for testing kits, NHS Digital required trusted and accurate addressing data to support their operations.

The OS Places API could be quickly integrated with the NHS Digital’s online ordering systems, and the ‘Capture and Verification’ feature meant that when ordering a home testing kit, users could simply enter a postcode and easily select their address from a drop-down list. Only ‘clean’ and up-to-date addresses are captured, optimising efficient delivery of tests to anywhere in Great Britain.

The OS Places API crucially sped up the online user journey and removed the need for manual address entries, which can result in less successful deliveries.

Complete UK address solution

We are enhancing the quality of addresses within Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey by introducing data from AddressBase Premium Islands.

The attribution across all address records will be improved by this upgrade. All addresses will now include a UPRN, co-ordinates (apart from those in Jersey and Guernsey), and much more information. We are also introducing the Country Code and Delivery Point Suffix, and addresses can be filtered based on their country of residence.

As part of this OS Data Hub release (1.7), the Error Reporting tool will also be updated to include the ability to report errors or omissions against our AddressBase Islands products.

Visit the OS Data Hub to learn more about the OS Places API, where you can also access additional helpful documents, such as our Getting started guide, Technical specification, and code examples.

Explore OS Data

Learn about the geospatial data you can get and the plans available

Our data platform provides access to all Ordnance Survey datasets through a suite of APIs and data downloads. 

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Products and solutions featured in this blog

  • OS Places API

    Perform accurate geocoding and reverse geocoding with our secure, scalable, and resilient address API.