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OS Places support

What is the OS Places API?

OS Places comprises a range of data querying service products and developer tools that enable you to accomplish business tasks. They are:

  • Capture and Verification – a service product that is intended for client side events and activities, such as address form filling.
  • Matching and Cleansing – a service product that is intended for server-side activities, such as cleansing addresses in databases.
  • GeoSearch – a service product that is intended to enable address queries based on geographical information, such as returning the addresses in a bounding box.

They are intended to make queries to the database faster and simpler, while retaining all the data found within the AddressBase Premium dataset. The service is based on a RESTful API service with API key authentication, allowing the API to be called with the correct URL structure, a query and an API key.

What is the UPRN?

The UPRN – unique property reference number – is the persistent key identifier providing consistency across the AddressBase products range. Each address record has a UPRN, which provides a reference key to join related address records across different datasets.

Throughout its life cycle, information on the address of a property can change. This may be due to a change of name, change of use, such as from single occupancy to multiple occupancies or the eventual demolition of the p roperty. All of these historic, alternative and provisional addresses are recorded against the same UPRN.

How do I use the Find Resource?

The find resource is a service request based on either a full or partial address, intended to be a more ambiguous search function than the match resource. You can append a range of parameters to its URL.

For full details, please refer to the user guide and technical specification.

How do I use the Match Resource?

The match resource is more accurate than the find resource, but is stricter on which addresses are matched. Like the find resource, it uses a free text search based on the query parameter. Both the DPA and LPI datasets can be searched. You can append a range of parameters to its URL.

To use the match resource effectively, a relatively complete address is required – searching for only the first line of an address will not be adequate to get results from the service and the search query is too ambiguous. Such searches are better suited for the find resource.

For full details, please refer to the user guide and technical specification.

How do I use the Postcode resource?

The postcode resource returns addresses based on a postcode. The queried postcode can be a partial postcode consisting of just the area and district, or the area, district and sector, or a full postcode consisting of the area, district, sector and unit. You can append a range of parameters to its URL.

For full details, please refer to the user guide and technical specification.

What formats should I expect to get a response in?

The results of queries via the APIs are returned in JSON and XML.

For full details, please refer to the user guide and technical specification.

Is there a maximum number of results for my query?

Up to 100 results are returned per request.

For further information, please refer to the user guide and technical specification.

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