Suggestion: Zip Code (/Postcode/etc) Areas

Something that is useful on other software like Google Maps is the ability to have postcode (I’m from the UK but I believe in the US these are called zip codes) areas. When you search a code and the area in Google maps, it outlines the area in red. I tested with a US zip code and it does so in the US also, not just the UK. This is my suggestion! It would be nice to be able to have the option to see the zip code/postcode/etc areas to explore things in certain areas, etc.

Postcodes are mapped/included in OSM’s database and you should be able to search them via ‘nominatim’

Result example when searching for ‘85521’ Relation: 1100106 | OpenStreetMap


Oh great! Thanks for your reply
Do you know how I would be able to search for UK postcodes? It works for US zip codes but I tried just now but for one of the postcode areas in the UK it just came up with addresses in the area rather than the area itself

Postcode areas in the UK aren’t open data, and as such can’t be incorporated in OSM without re-creating the data ourselves.

To do that will require individually surveying each house to find its postcode. From that, enclosing polygons could be drawn.


ZIP Codes are not areas. ZIP Code Tabulation Areas, which represent clusters of addresses, are not suitable for importing into OpenStreetMap, but you can find them on the US Census Bureau website available for free download.


Ordnance Survey’s Code-Point® Open provides the centroids of each geographic postcode in Great Britain.

Alternatively, mapping of postcodes to Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRN) are available from the Office for National Statistics under the Open Government Licence - NSUL (National Statistics UPRN Lookup) and ONS UPRN Directory (ONSUD). UPRNs with their OS grid references are available from Ordnance Survey as OS Open UPRN.

It wouldn’t be that hard to use GIS software to create polygons for postcode districts. They may overlap, as UK postcodes exist for the convenience of Royal Mail’s delivery operations.