I'm working on a web application for a UK-based client that has two location functions -

1) report a location using keyword or postcode

2) search for a specific place using keyword or postcode

The results need to be limited to the client's home city, but should include residential addresses, so users can report their own homes if needed. I have not been able to find an API that does exactly what I want.

I have tried Google Places Search and Autocomplete, but it only returns businesses and POIs - residential addresses are excluded.

I have also tried OS Places, but Find returns results for the whole country, and Nearest is limited to 1000m radius, so cannot cover a whole city.

So, the question is, am I using the above APIs correctly, or have I missed something that means I can actually search residential addresses within a city (~50km radius).

Or, is there another API I could be using that does what I want?


Sounds like you really really want the Postcode Address File. Break out your credit card:


Third-party organisations do resell PAF data and maybe even have APIs for your consumption.

  • OS Places already includes the PAF doesn't it? apidocs.os.uk/docs/… – jon_two Sep 13 '16 at 13:06
  • Perhaps, but if the OS Places API doesn't let you restrict to a city then getting the full PAF and then extracting the city data might do. Alternatively, can you use OS Places then then filter by some part of the postcode in your web application javascript to get your desired city matches, if any? – Spacedman Sep 13 '16 at 14:27
  • Yes, we'd thought about filtering but didn't really want to apply a second query. OS Places returns 100 results, but for generic keyword searches, there still might not be any in the desired area (it seems to return results from Wales first for some reason). I'll look at other providers though, thanks. – jon_two Sep 13 '16 at 17:55

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