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ADDRESS-POINT frequently asked questions

How can I notify you of any errors or omissions in ADDRESS-POINT data?

We are always pleased to accept information from our customers that will help us to improve the quality of our data. Simply contact us with any suggestions or feedback you may have.

Where does the data come from?

ADDRESS-POINT® was originally created from a comparison of the Royal Mail PAF with both Ordnance Survey large-scale topographic and transport network datasets. Further improvement was effected from use of trade directories, building notifications and field visits. Currently, additional or changed addresses are notified to Ordnance Survey via PAF and primarily located from field visits.

Why does ADDRESS-POINT data not always match building or property detail on OS MasterMap Topography Layer?

ADDRESS-POINT data consists of Royal Mail's PAF with the addition of Ordnance Survey National Grid information, ADDRESS-POINT unique reference point (OSAPR) and a status flag to define the quality and accuracy of each address. Most differences between ADDRESS-POINT and OS MasterMap Topography Layer can be attributed to one of the following reasons:

  • There are new buildings for which Royal Mail have not yet created an address file.
  • Genuine errors and omissions, some of which may have been identified and are awaiting correction either by Ordnance Survey or Royal Mail.
  • The PAF reference is in a temporary position until our surveyors can match it to the correct property.
  • The address is unmatchable, for example: temporary buildings; non-permanent addresses such as houseboats; non-permanent and temporary building not shown on OS MasterMap Topography Layer.

Attribute accuracy: are the attributes' values correct?

The representation of address attributes is checked as part of Royal Mail maintenance of PAF and by Ordnance Survey when coordination of ADDRESS-POINT is carried out during field survey activity.

Logical consistency: is the data structure correct?

Logical consistency is a measure of the degree to which ADDRESS-POINT data agrees with its specified structure. Data is monitored to ensure that attributes are present in the correct format and in valid combinations.

Completeness: is it all there?

ADDRESS-POINT contains coordinates for all valid addresses supplied to Ordnance Survey in the Royal Mail PAF. Errors and omissions that are identified by customers can be referred to Ordnance Survey for investigation and onward notification to Royal Mail when appropriate.

Currency: how up to date is the data?

Currency is a measure of the real-world change included in ADDRESS-POINT. Monthly updates from the Royal Mail PAF and improvements derived from Ordnance Survey field activity are included at the three‑monthly product updates. A realistic view has to be taken regarding the time taken between a new address being notified and a ground survey being completed, especially for small numbers of buildings in more rural locations.


Positional accuracy: is it in the right place?

Each address is coordinated on the National Grid, with eastings and northings normally quoted to a resolution of 0.1 metres. The accuracy of each georeference is classified within the status flag, in which is indicated whether the coordinates are due to be improved (PQ1) or as good as they can be (PQ3). Resources are directed towards continually improving the proportion of records with the PQ3 classification.


Is ADDRESS-POINT available for 1 km by 1 km tiles?

No, ADDRESS-POINT is supplied as 11 Government Office Regions that comprise full national (Great Britain) cover.

View or download a PDF version of the map

ADDRESS-POINT is available in CSV format. What does this mean?

Comma Separated Values (CSV) format means that the information is supplied in a form where each piece of data is separated from the next by a comma (,). This is also referred to as comma separated variable or Comma Delimited Files (CDF). These files can be opened with a spreadsheet application.

Why does my PO box address match to a Royal Mail delivery office?

PO boxes are defined as non-geographic addresses and, therefore, are matched to the Royal Mail delivery office at which they are based.

Care should be taken when carrying out spatial queries or using postcodes to search for addresses as PO box locations may give the wrong type of results for this type of analysis.

It's very time consuming loading all the CSV files into my GIS or database application. Is there a quicker way than loading them individually?

Multiple files can be concatenated together within MS-DOS® (or the command prompt).

To do this, follow the simple instructions below:

Make a new folder on the top level of your C:\ drive called (for example) concat_files;

Select the csv files that you want to concatenate and copy these to concat_files;

Open MS DOS (Click the start button, select ‘run’, type cmd and click OK);

In MS DOS, type cd c:\concat_files and hit return;

Type copy *.csv output.txt and hit return (of course you can name the output.txt file by any name you choose); and

Type Exit into the MS DOS window, hit return and close the MS DOS window;

Then open the resultant output.txt that will be in the concat_files folder in the GIS or database application of your choice as a single file.  Save or delete the csv and txt files as you see fit.  The * in the MS DOS command prompts the concatenating of all files with a file extension of csv within a chosen directory or folder.

You can of course concatenate the csv files into any kind of file you like, but be aware of the limitations of certain extensions.

MS-DOS is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. PAF and Royal Mail are registered trademarks of Royal Mail Group plc.

For general enquiries, complaints, feedback or suggestions, email: customerservices@ordnancesurvey.co.uk or call us on 08456 05 05 05