The Open Postcode Finder

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The Postcode Finder is a tool developed to encourage the addition of UK address data and postcodes into the OSM database. By providing a useful search and navigation facility, address data is usable by the consumer. The talk will focus on details of the data processing needed to put things into a useful format as well as challenges faced when presenting the information in a useful way. How to use the tool itself will also be covered as well as thoughts on future direction with adding new features to complement the existing tools.

http://milliams.dev.openstreetmap.org/postcodefinder/

This is my talk from State of the Map 2013 on Friday the 6th of September at 16:50.

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The Open Postcode Finder

  1. 1. The Open Postcode Finder Matt Williams Milliams
  2. 2. ● Aiming to be a sort of 'replacement' of the Royal Mail Postcode Finder using only open data. ● Allows search by postcode or address. ● By default only searches OpenStreetMap data. ● Will search OS Code-Point® Open if no match is found in OSM.
  3. 3. Searching ● If you search for a valid postcode you receive a list of all houses with the postcode as well as an inset map showing the area ● If there's no matching OSM houses, you'll just get the map (from OS Code-Point Open) ● Searching by address works similarly ● All houses in results list are hyperlinks to an address page
  4. 4. Address Page ● There is an address page for each extracted address from the OSM database showing the address map and postal address ● The street name is a link to all houses on that street ● The postcode is a link to all houses with that postcode ● You can also get a direct link to the relevant object in the OSM database
  5. 5. Technical ● Offline C++ processing tool – Uses the fantastic Osmium – Builds up logical street from the disparate nodes, ways and relations – Also tracks errors. ● A web application for the user interface – http://milliams.dev.openstreetmap.org/postcodefin der/ – Uses Django, GeoDjango, PostgreSQL and PostGIS
  6. 6. Uses ● Aims to (one day) be a usable product for postcode searches – Very reliant on OSM data ● Provides a view into the OSM data which is normally hidden – This encourages people to add postcodes and addresses to OSM ● Has proved handy for merging in external data sources...
  7. 7. Land Registry House Price Data ● The Land Registry are publishing their 'price paid' data sets under the Open Government License ● This includes the price paid for a house (obviously) as well as a full address and postcode ● Using the postcode finder, we match up the entries into: – Address match, wrong postcode – Address match, no postcode – No match – Perfect match ● Then add the postcodes to the database manually
  8. 8. Progress in OSM UK c.f. 29 million in PAF; we're now at ~1.1% 2011-03-24 2011-06-24 2011-09-24 2011-12-24 2012-03-24 2012-06-24 2012-09-24 2012-12-24 2013-03-24 2013-06-24 0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000 350,000 Houses with post codes
  9. 9. Progress in OSM UK ● But two years ago we were at 0.25% - we've quadrupled ● There's been no real coordinated effort in OSM to add postcodes and addresses to OSM – There's been a lack of usable data sources ● With the Land Registry data and perhaps soon the Companies House data we can provide mappers with the information they need ● With the right tools and input data, we could increase coverage much more quickly
  10. 10. Thank you

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