OS Places API won’t find general areas (such as ‘forest’), or perform bulk address matches in its off-the-shelf form. However, if bulk matching could be useful to you, please let us know.
The geosearch resources – find the nearest, find within a specific radius, and find within a bounding box – all need X and Y coordinates entered in BNG (Eastings and Northings). However, postcode searches can be performed using only the area and district integers. For example:
SO16 0AS is the full postcode of our head office in Southampton. But searches for Ordnance Survey at SO16 will return details showing that our address is on Adanac Drive.
OS Places is a RESTful API, returning queries in either XML or JSON. The ‘find’ tool enables rapid searches of AddressBase Premium to discern ambiguous addresses, whereas the ‘match’ tool is for more granular matching and cleansing of existing address databases. There’s no need for any database management of AddressBase Premium itself.
The OS Places API accesses details of addresses in Northern Ireland, but these have a few unique characteristics due to not being derived from Address Base Premium. Addresses within Northern Ireland will not have a UPRN or status, and coordinates will be ‘0.0’ due to falling outside of the British National Grid.