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I was trying to use reverse Geocoding to retrieve postal code from give Lat Lon information. We are using it in a test case to validate some of our data.

For germany it works fine, but if i try to use this same service for with Lat/Long from the Netherlands, the response does not contain postal code information.

do you know why this is? If i can remember correctly a while ago, it was using a different URL for the request, but it returned the postal code as a part of the response?

Sorry if it wasn't complete. here are two examples, both from center of different cities:

Germany - Bochum:

request - http://www.openstreetmap.org/geocoder/description_osm_nominatim?lat=51.486514&lon=7.20764

response - Präsidentstraße, Hamme, Bochum, Regierungsbezirk Arnsberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, 44789, Germany

Netherlands - Utrecht:

request - http://www.openstreetmap.org/geocoder/description_osm_nominatim?lat=52.09914&lon=5.123649

response - Jan van der Heijdenstraat, Utrecht, Bestuur Regio Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

The response from Netherlands, does not contain the postal code information.

The same results are obtained if you use the following URL:



asked 01 Apr '11, 14:43

pance's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 01 Apr '11, 15:49

Can you edit your question and add some more information, especially one URL from Germany where it works, one URL from Netherlands where it fails, and: what engine/web-app are you using for geocoding?

(01 Apr '11, 15:29) stephan75

Maybe related, I've noticed that the street/postcodes in the Netherlands are not connected to the city. So for instance, looking for "Mendelssohnstraat, Delft" doesn't lead to any result, while it should return: http://open.mapquestapi.com/nominatim/v1/details.php?place_id=15301180 (Mendelssohnstraat, 2625 AD, The Netherlands)

Not sure whether it's a problem in the data or Nominatim.

(04 Apr '11, 16:19) Éric Piel

Disclaimer: I'm no expert on Nominatim

The reason your query for Utrecht does not return a postcode is apparently quite simply that the OSM database does not contain postcode information for the street. As with any other information, OSM only contains what users have entered, and for some areas (notably house numbers and postcodes) coverage is often very spotty, even in regions where streets and street names are fairly complete.

If you search for other streets in the Netherlands using Nominatim, you'll see that you sometimes get postcode information, and sometimes not. For example,


will give you postcode information.

That said, even if you do get a postcode, you cannot necessarily rely on it in all areas. Notably, your example result for "Präsidentenstraße, Bochum" is wrong - the correct postcode is 44791, and not 44789, as Nominatim reports (check it on e.g. http://www.postleitzahl.de/ ).

So, in order to use postcode information from Nominatim, you'd first need to check whether there is reliable postcode information for the region of interest. If there is, the calls you used should return the postcode. If they don't, then that's another question...

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answered 03 Apr '11, 14:53

sleske's gravatar image

accept rate: 24%

Thanks for the answer sleske.

I am aware that the information is not always 100% correct. It can be edited all the time, but this is not relevant at this point.

"The reason your query for Utrecht does not return a postcode is apparently quite simply that the OSM database does not contain postcode information for the street."

The reason i raised this thread is that i am pretty sure that this information existed. Then simply some weeks ago it was not returned any more as part of the response.

My concern was as to why was this, and if anyone was aware of it? Was there maybe some law that forbids displaying postal code details in reverse geocoding? or etc.

(04 Apr '11, 16:33) pance

Maybe it's license change related scrubbing?

(06 Nov '12, 20:26) gormo
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question asked: 01 Apr '11, 14:43

question was seen: 16,370 times

last updated: 06 Nov '12, 20:26

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