OS Names API

OS Names API is a geographic directory giving you access to a straightforward, rapid lookup service: drilling down into the details we hold in our OS Open Names dataset.

  • Addressing and location
  • API
  • Energy & Infrastructure Plan
  • OS OpenData Plan (FREE)
  • Premium Plan
  • Public Sector Plan

This product is updated quarterly

Representation of data provided
Representation of data provided
© Crown copyright and database rights. Ordnance Survey 2024

What OS Names API provides you with

2.5 million identifiable places in Great Britain

The OS Names 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.

Easy integration

The API integrates 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.

Detailed, searchable data

OS Names API gives you access to 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.

Two resource functionalities

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.

OS Names API

Technical information

© Crown copyright and database rights. Ordnance Survey 2024


Use cases

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

  • API
Data theme
  • Administrative and Statistical Units
  • Geographical Names
  • Transport
Data structure
Vector - Points
Great Britain
1:1250 to 1:10,000
  • RESTful API
Publication months
  • January
  • April
  • July
  • October
OS Data Hub plan
  • Energy & Infrastructure Plan
  • OS OpenData Plan (FREE)
  • Premium Plan
  • Public Sector Plan

Documents and Support

Getting started guides

  • OS Names API - Getting started guide
    This guide explains how to generate an API key to access the OS Names API, and then how to use that API key with a Web Development IDE to create a web-based application.

Technical specification

Additional information

Multi-lingual searches

The API supports more than one name for places, including multilingual names (English/Welsh or English/Gaelic), for example, Cardiff (English) and Caerdydd (Welsh).

Address data requirements

OS Names API won’t return a specific address in detail, or perform bulk searches. If you require address we recommend AddressBase or OS Places API.


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OS Names API

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What you get

Key features
  • 2.5 million identifiable places in Great Britain
  • Easy integration
  • Detailed, searchable data
  • Two resource functionalities
Addressing and location
  • API
Data structure
Vector - Points
Update frequency

How to access

OS OpenData APIs are free

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Further support

For further help about how our data can transform your organisation, contact us today

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