Monday, July 15, 2013

Postcode information sites

The release of free postcode data from the Ordnance Survey with very relaxed licensing has led to a raft of sites showing off this data in different ways. I’ve compiled a list of the ones I’ve spotted and will add to this list if I find anymore.

http://www.doogal.co.uk/UKPostcodes.php – Obviously first up is my own site. I’m unable to write an objective review, so won’t.

http://www.free-postcode-maps.co.uk/ – This site doesn’t provide all the postcode data (understandably since it looks like it’s been set up by a company who sell this data in various flavours) but does provide some nice map overlays showing postcode districts and sectors. So nice in fact, I may borrow some of their ideas for my own site.

http://www.britishpostcodes.info/ – I was a bit upset when a search for my own postcode brought up this site above my own site, but it does provide a lot of useful information for each individual postcode. I haven’t figured out where all the data has come from, but once I do, I’ll probably get some of it on my site.

http://postcodeof.co.uk/ – Again a search for a postcode brought up this site above my own, very disappointing. But the site was intriguing, if only for the broken English in the content. A quick domain check showed it was registered by someone in Serbia. I never realised Serbians had a passion for UK postcodes! The other interesting thing is the use of sub-domains for each individual postcode, presumably for SEO reasons. There’s not much data for each postcode, but things may improve.

http://mapit.mysociety.org/ – If you have a postcode and you want to find out what administrative areas it is part of, this site if useful. You can find the electoral constituency, local authority wards, census areas etc and also grab the boundaries of those areas. It also has an API, so you can automate your data grab!

2 comments:

Mark said...

I run britishpostcodes.info - I wouldn't be too bothered by the fact that my site does better than yours in a Google search for your postcode, since, for some odd reason, yours does better than mine in a search for my postcode! Google's algorithms all seem a bit random, sometimes.

Anyway, the data I've got comes from various sources. The postcode info is a combination of Codepoint Open and National Statistics Postcodes. The administrative data is generated from the data sources used by MySociety's Mapit service (I couldn't get a Mapit installation to run on my system, but I've managed to reverse-engineer a cut-down version which does enough for my purposes). The socio-economic data is based on the ONS Postcode Database, but with some modifications to the textual descriptions and some interpolations to generate otherwise missing data. Nearby railway stations are from another of my own websites, abcrailwayguide.co.uk. House price data is from the Land Registry. Nearby hotels are via an affiliate link with Booking.com (it helps make the site pay for itself). I've had to give up on crime stats for now, as it's an absolutely humongous amount of data and storing/processing it was causing too many problems. It may return sometime after the next system upgrade!

Chris Bell said...

Thanks Mark. So did you collate the train station list yourself or can it be freely obtained from somewhere? I've not been able to track it donw