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OS Names API

With OS Names API, you’ll have access to a straightforward, rapid lookup service: drilling down into the details we hold in our OS Open Names dataset.

The API uses the OS Open Names dataset, a gazetteer or directory hosting detailed information about 2.5 million identifiable places in Great Britain including postcodes, roads and settlements.

Integrating easily with your own GIS or web and mobile based apps, the ‘find my nearest’ resource in OS Names API can make the results within customer facing applications more efficient.

No need to download, store and manage large and complex datasets, we take care of that so you can focus on adding value.

Detailed, searchable data

OS Names API gives you smooth access to brilliantly detailed, searchable data – The details of nearly 44,000 individual settlements over 870,000 named and numbered roads and 1.7 million postcodes all matched/mapped to the National Grid.

You may be hunting for statistical data, analysing trends, or using details for purely consumer-oriented service. It also supports the discovery or identification and visualisation of a named place, geocoding, routing and navigation.

Functionality of the API

The service offers two resources. The ‘find’ tool is a string-based lookup service, and the ‘nearest’ tool uses a pair of British National Grid (BNG) coordinates to return the nearest feature.

Easy to integrate

OS Names API is a RESTful web service, which makes it easy to integrate with your own apps and existing GIS.


Key FeaturesWhat this product offers
Data StructureJSON and XML
Update FrequencyQuarterly - January, April, July & October
ProjectionBritish National Grid (EPSG: 27700)
Availability99.9% uptime
SupplyAccess via the OS Data Hub
CoverageGreat Britain



OS Open Names is available under the following Licence

  • You’ll benefit from free unlimited transactions using this plan.
  • This plan gives you access to OS OpenData within the API.
  • It can be used any anyone, whether you are a lone developer, a small company, or a big business.
  • You can use our OpenData for any purpose, under the Open Government Licence (OGL), including for your own use or for use by third parties.
  • See the OS Data Hub Plans page for more information.