Jump to the following:

We use cookies to improve this website. Read about cookies

Code-Point support

Code-Point provides a precise geographical location for 1.7 million postcode units in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Each one contains an average of 15 adjoining addresses.

February 2016 release – change to address points feed

The source of data to create Code-Point has changed from ADDRESS-POINT® to the Postal Address Location Feed (PALF) from GeoPlace. This has resulted in a more granular capture of address points, to 2 decimal places.

You will notice that some of the address points have moved, generally by less than 1 metre. This is a one-off change because of the change in feeds.

I have recently moved into a new house and the point shown for my postcode is wrong; it is a couple of streets away from my address. Why is this?

It can take some time for a new postcode to work its way through the system into Code-Point®. Until our surveyors have visited the area to complete the very precise large-scale mapping, we allocate a calculated map reference to the postcode that, depending on the level of development in the area, can be somewhat inaccurate. When this has been done, a positional quality indicator in the Code-Point record makes it clear that the coordinates provided are temporary, and will be improved to a full quality match as soon as possible.

Does Code-Point include postcodes in the Isle of Man?

Code-Point includes 121 postcode areas in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but does not include the postcode areas for the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.

How often is Code-Point updated?

The product is updated every three months (February, May, August and November).

What is Gridlink®?

Gridlink is the joint consortium dataset that provides geo spatial referenced postcode data. Consisting of UK postcodes, administration areas and health authority codes.

Each consortium member; Royal Mail Group®, the Office for National Statistics, General Register Office for Scotland, Land & Property Services and Ordnance Survey®, supplies component data to create the Gridlink dataset.

What should I do if I cannot find a particular postcode in Code-Point?

More often than not, this is the result of the recoding of an area by Royal Mail. This can happen for various reasons, usually because there are more postcodes required than there is capacity within the higher-level aggregations of postcodes, known as postcode sectors, districts and areas. The postcodes will therefore change, for example, from RG1 1AA to RG10 1AA.

Changes to Royal Mail postcodes may result in some postcodes being deleted and therefore no longer represented in the product.

The postcodes in Code-Point Open and Code-Point are for ‘live’ postcodes only that Royal Mail are currently delivering too. If Royal Mail aren’t delivering to these addresses then the postcodes won’t be in any of the Ordnance Survey postcode products. They will be reinstated if, and when, Royal Mail deliver post to those addresses again.

How accurate is Code-Point?

To answer this question, it is important to understand the difference between accuracy and resolution.

Code-Point is created by taking the average of the coordinates of all the individual addresses in a postcode (provided we have any of sufficient quality), then snapping to the nearest of those addresses. Code-Point then delivers the coordinates of that address, as representative of the whole postcode, to a resolution of 1 metre.

The accuracy of a Code-Point Open record could be expressed as, that the coordinated position will always be within the notional geographical extent of the postcode. The accuracy of each postcode unit coordinate pair is defined by the positional quality indicator (PQI) which provides a quality statement of a Code-Point record.

Why is the postcode field supplied with a varying number of spaces?

When used in an address the inward code (incode) should be separated from the outward code (outcode) by a single space, however, within the supplied Code-Point products there may be 0, 1 or 2 spaces between these two elements. The postcode field is set at seven characters. The varying number of spaces in this field is determined by the number of characters in the postcode and parameters within the production system that stipulate the use of seven characters. Instructions are provided within the User Guide (link) for how to create single space postcodes.

When I draw up Northern Ireland Code-Point data within my GIS to view the Belfast (BT) postcode area, it appears to be in north-west England. Why is this?

Northern Ireland postcode information within Code-Point includes Irish Grid co-ordinates, as used by Ordnance Survey Ireland and Ordnance Survey Northern Ireland, rather than British Grid co-ordinates. Thus the BT postcode area will need to be geo-referenced to the Irish Grid within a GIS.

Please also see the document below on the Irish Grid co-ordinate reference system.

The Irish Grid

Why do some BT postcodes not have co-ordinates?

These are either PO Boxes or Council Area postcodes, neither of which are assigned co-ordinates by Land & Property Services. They will have a positional quality indicator (PQI) of 90 in the data.

Why are the Admin Ward codes for the Isles of Scilly not included in the Codelist supplied?

Code-Point contains five admin ward codes for postcodes on the Isles of Scilly. These have been issued by ONS for statistical purposes only, because there are no wards on the Isles of Scilly. The Codelist.xls file supplied with Code-Point is generated from Boundary-Line. Boundary-Line does not contain these ward codes as they do not exist for political purposes. Therefore, these codes are not available in the Codelist.xls file supplied in the Doc folder with Code-Point. All other ward codes should exist in both Code-Point and the Codelist.xls file.

What administrative and NHS codes are included in each Administrative and NHS field?


Object definition

Administrative County

  • · Counties

Administrative District

  • · Unitary Authorities
  • · Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan Districts
  • · London Boroughs
  • · Scottish Council Areas

Administrative Ward

  • · Electoral Wards/Divisions

NHS Regional Health Authority

  • · English Pan Strategic Health Authorities

NHS Health Authority

  • · English Strategic Health Authorities
  • · Scottish Health Board areas
The object definitions are taken from the ONS Codes database

It's very time consuming loading all the CSV files into my GIS or database application. Is there a quicker way than loading them all individually?
Combining (concatenating) multiple CSV files

It may be beneficial to combine all CSV files to ensure that the user does not have to follow the import procedure for each of the individual files, which can be time consuming and repetitive. Here is an explanation of one way to combine all the individual CSV files in to a single file by using a .bat batch file.
To use the batch function:

  • Copy the following text and paste it into a new Notepad document: copy *.csv outputfile.csv
    N.B., outputfile.csv can be any user defined file name with the extension .csv, e.g. CPO_National.csv
  • Save the Notepad document with the file extension .bat (e.g. combine.bat) in the same directory as the CSV files.
  • Close the .bat file, and navigate to the directory where it was saved. Double click on the .bat file (i.e. merge.bat) and an MS-DOS window will appear, once the process is complete the MS-DOS screen will close automatically.
  • If you navigate to the location where all of the CSV files were originally downloaded and where the .bat file was created, you will notice that there is a new CSV file with the user defined name inserted in the .bat file.

Note:The CSV file that is created comes to approximately 150Mb, and 1.7 million records. If this is opened in Microsoft Excel only the first 65,536 records can be seen as the software cannot display more than this number of records.

Back to top
© Ordnance Survey 2016
Be sure to take a look at our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy