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When i am trying to map to a specific postcode openstreetmap returns no results. Any postcode in the edinburgh area appears as in the london area. So if i enter EH7 6EZ it comes back as if i have typed E7 6EZ. If i enter EHH7 6EZ then it shows up as edinburgh? Openstreetmap appears to strip out the second letter which makes the postcode incorrect. Has anyone seen this issue before and know how to fix it?

asked 05 Jul '13, 10:24

sbrooks's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 05 Jul '13, 10:44

Jonathan%20Bennett's gravatar image

Jonathan Ben...


Do you mean you are unable to enter that postcode for a feature, or that you can enter it but when you search for it you don't get the results you're expecting? If the former, which editor are you using?

(05 Jul '13, 10:26) Jonathan Ben...

Try searching for it, and things happen as described. But not for say CO15 1AA which goes to the right place. As far as I can tell the postcode isn't currently in OSM (though I may be wrong) so perhaps some issue with nominatim's GB postcode data. In fact, it may be missing the postcode as EH7 6HF returns a postcode result fine.

(05 Jul '13, 10:34) EdLoach ♦

Yes, when i enter the postcode EH7 6EZ it shows up as the london area because for some reason the H out of the postcode is getting stripped out.

(05 Jul '13, 10:39) sbrooks

I get an Edinburgh location with a raw postcode (EH7 6EZ). Did you search with the street name too?

(05 Jul '13, 10:44) SK53 ♦

It looks like the postcode you're searching for simply isn't in OpenStreetMap, in which case a search using Nominatim, the native OSM search engine, won't find it. On a search should still show results from NPEMap / FreeThe Postcode which finds the right area.

If the postcodes you're looking for get added to OpenStreetMap, your search will succeed. You could add these yourself, or offer a bounty to a mapper who correctly adds them if they're important to you.

The reason you're getting what look like strange results from Nominatim is that it's a text-only search engine, and doesn't understand the structure of postcodes. It's finding the closest text match it can to your query, which unfortunately isn't very helpful.

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answered 05 Jul '13, 10:43

Jonathan%20Bennett's gravatar image

Jonathan Ben...
accept rate: 18%

edited 05 Jul '13, 11:10


That seems to make sense although it makes the tool pretty useless to us. We have a map which shows a radius around a set postcode which is sent to the nominatim web service. If it isn't up to date then it's pretty useless. Is there any other web service which is more up to date which can do this? (Other than google maps!)

(05 Jul '13, 11:02) sbrooks

Not at all -- it's just that those particular postcodes haven't been added to OSM yet, and that's easy to rectify.

(05 Jul '13, 11:10) Jonathan Ben...

But the problem is i could enter a random postcode and it won't find it and i won't have the time to submit the postcode to osm.

(05 Jul '13, 11:13) sbrooks

But I was once told that Nominatim uses OS CodePoint-Open as a data source ( ), in which case all postcodes should be included. It seems something is not working that should.

(05 Jul '13, 11:57) sdoerr

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question asked: 05 Jul '13, 10:24

question was seen: 3,224 times

last updated: 05 Jul '13, 11:59

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum