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I am trying to find the shape files for postcode sector and districts in the UK. Specifically inside London. I know I can go and pay for these but I only really need to use them once. I want to generate my own mapping tiles with the shapes on one version of the tiles. Allowing me to show all the postcode boundaries without overloading the javascript on the client side.

I could "redraw" some of shapes myself (tracing from others) but would be great if there were some shape files alreader out there.

Can anyone help?

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I've previously used a shapefile from the ShareGeo website, last updated in July 2010: These are the postcode areas i.e. RG, HE etc. I'm not aware of a more detailed dataset that is available for free, would certainly be interested to hear from others if there is something available. – veedub Aug 28 '12 at 11:00

We've recently released reconstructed postcode boundaries in shapefile format for UK postcode areas, districts and sectors (reconstructed from unit postcode geocodes using Voronoi etc). They are free to use. Obviously the reconstruction is approximate and may not be suitable for all purposes. They are available at

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Thanks for sharing but I think at least your 'sector' shapefile needs to be reworked - many of the sectors appear to comprise multiple non-contiguous polygons (check out Central London e.g. "EC1 7"), which is obviously impossible for landlocked zones. Others are embedded inside nested structures where zone is a parent (e.g. "WC1 1") of a child that should be independent ("WC1 2"). Also the borders between sectors are clearly not produced by a Voronoi algorithm, so its not clear what they're based on. – geotheory Jul 1 '14 at 14:03
Thanks for the update. I will look into these issues. Everything is generated by voronoi - but with some additional processing on-top. – Open Door Logistics Jul 4 '14 at 17:08
Hi - its somewhat later than planned but I've finally released an update. Most of the non-contiguous polygons you saw in London would have been caused by removing the extra district digit - e.g. EC1A 7 down to EC1 7, which I'm no longer doing. A few still happen because its a reconstruction, and this is the best you can do with the data (the boundaries are inferred by unit postcode centroids). – Open Door Logistics Jan 26 '15 at 15:37

Someone has done it using various royalty and copyright free sources of data - see In my view the best is the Code-Point Opendata as it comes straight from Royal Mail. I don't think it's quite the same as the actual Royal Mail files but it's probably accurate enough. The files don't seem to be available so you could either contact the author or replicate the process, using the provided source code.

An alternative would be to download the OS OpenData Code-Point and run a tool to create Voroni Polygons on them - this is how the polygons linked are created I think. Most GIS programs should be able to accomplish this task.

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If you qualify for the OS PSMA (Public Sector Mapping Agreement) then you can get Codepoint with polygons for free. They provide an excellent service and it's delivered the very next day.

Have a google at PSMA to see if you qualify.


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I'm pretty sure that the Postcode data you want is not available for free. I believe Ordnance survey and Royal Mail are still talking about how royalties will be paid/collected when detailed Postcode data is released under the PSMA.


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This is wrong - OS have already released the Code Point data (which is at individual postcode centre-point detail - sufficient to create broad boundaries). It's available here: – Stev_k Aug 29 '12 at 20:57
Very true Stev_k but it doesn't contain all the Royal Mail PAF data. It may be that Charlie doesn't require the PAF data but as someone who uses both I tend to think of them as one and the same, my mistake I know :) – nigellaw Aug 29 '12 at 21:05
hey guys, I am interested in creating the boundaries, primararily for Sector / District... @Stev_k how can i do this from the code point data which only includes the centre point? I would have to make assumptions? – Charlie Davies Aug 29 '12 at 23:29
You could use Voroni polygons as per my method above. – Stev_k Aug 29 '12 at 23:37

You could always get the postal code data from Wikileaks. It is dated now but hey.,841,177_post_codes_together_with_precise_geographic_coordinates_and_other_information,_8_Jul_2009

UK government database of all 1,841,177 UK postcodes together with latitude and longitude, grid references, county, district, ward, NHS codes and regions, Ordnance Survey reference, and date of introduction. The database was last updated on July 8, 2009 and is over 100,000 pages in size.

The database is structured as a plain text file, with each entry taking one line and with distinct fields separated by commas. The very first line specifies the order of the 17 fields of information about each postcode.

I do not endorse the use of leaked data.

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The latest version of this data is open now anyway - i.e. freely and legally downloadable. – Open Door Logistics Jan 9 at 18:53
That is good news. Only twenty years late... – If you do not know- just GIS Jan 9 at 18:56

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