Places – Our new UK geocoding tool

15 Dec 2016 by Jonathan Raper

Our new “Places” endpoint takes millions of location data points (“places”) from across the UK and makes them searchable.

We’ve been testing the Places endpoint for a few months now and we’re excited to share the results with you. The geocoded data points it includes are:

  • 500k Bus, train, tube, coach stops from the Traveline National Dataset & NaPTAN
  • Train station database from
  • 1.6 million postcodes from CodePoint
  • Regions, road names & places-of-interest from OpenStreetMap

You can query the endpoint to find one of these place types in particular (with the ‘type=’ parameter), or leave it to return a combination of place types. You can use it find a place somewhere in the UK e.g. ‘Haywards Heath’, ‘Ridley Road’ or ‘TW13 5NT’ or you can limit the search within a particular area (a bounding box).

The Places endpoint is designed to offer a flexible text-based search, which you might use to power a search box on a website or app. We use a smart PostgreSQL plugin which deals with typos people might make e.g .’Eston’ rather than ‘Euston’.

What else can you use‘s Places endpoint for?

  • Find your nearest transport stops/stations (e.g. in a transport app)
  • Display all transport stops/stations within in a town/region
  • Take the resulting coordinates, and an ‘accuracy’ value, and feed them into the journey planner endpoint.

The full parameter and response structure is outlined in our RAML API reference documentation. The great news is you can access the Places endpoint for free (up to 1,000 hits/day on a “Start” plan) – all you need to do is register for an app id & key on