Performance data from OS Places API

peter wells made this Freedom of Information request to Ordnance Survey Limited Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Ordnance Survey Limited,

I am trying to understand how UK address data affects the public and private services that people receive. I am using the the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and WhatDoTheyKnow to create a public record.

The Environment Agency has informed me (1) that after an initial validation step they use the OS Places API to support address entry in their “buy a rod fishing licence for England and Wales” service.

In the response they went on to say that “If the OS API cannot find a match, the customer is then presented with the manual address entry page“ and that “As outlined above, the Environment Agency does not hold data about addresses entered manually or via the O[rdnance]S[urvey]“.

As a result I am trying to understand information held by the Ordnance Survey about the performance of the OS Places API and how this affects the services people receive.

I would specifically like information on:

- the volume and percentage of calls within the past 12 months to the OS Places API for capture and verification of address information from the “buy a rod fishing licence for England and Wales” service where the API returns that no match can be found (code 404). For example <50 calls found no match. This was 0.001% of total calls in the 12 month time period>

- the volume and percentage of calls within the past 12 months to the OS Places API for capture and verification of address information from other public services, that have free access to the API under the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA), where the API returns that no match can be found (code 404)

- the total volume and percentage of calls within the past 12 months to the OS Places API for capture and verification of address information from any holder of an API key, where the API returns that no match can be found (code 404)

If possible I would like the answer to be split by the request type of “find”, “postcode” and “uprn”. For example <20 ‘find’, 20 ‘postcode’ and 10 ‘uprn’ calls found no match. This was 0.001% of total calls in the 12 month time period>

In asking these questions I recognise that I am assuming that it is reasonably straightforward to determine which API keys are held by PSGA members, and hence which API keys are not held by PSGA members. I am making this assumption on the basis that it would be necessary for cost allocation and charging to happen at the appropriate rate.

I have read the API documentation and cannot find answers to these questions in that documentation, but if the information is already in the public domain and I’ve missed it then I) apologies and ii) do redirect me to it.

Best,
Peter Wells

(1) https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/b...

FOI, Ordnance Survey Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wells,

                                                                                                        

Thank you for your email of 5 September 2022.

As your request was received by Ordnance Survey on 5 September 2022, we
will provide you with a response within 20 working days, as required by
the Freedom of Information Act 2000, therefore by 4 October 2022.

In exceptional circumstances it may be necessary for Ordnance Survey to
extend this date to consider a complex public interest argument if
engaging a qualified exemption.  In such cases we will notify you of the
revised date by which we would expect to provide a response.

Should you need to contact Ordnance Survey regarding your request at any
time, please quote the allocated reference number in your correspondence.

Thank you for your enquiry.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

Elizabeth Cole

Freedom of Information Officer, Legal Services

 

Adanac Drive, Southampton, United Kingdom, SO16 0AS

T: +44 (0)3456 05 05 05

[1]www.os.uk | [2][Ordnance Survey Limited request email]

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Thank you for your cooperation.

Ordnance Survey Limited (Company Registration number 09121572)
Registered Office: Explorer House
Adanac Drive
Southampton SO16 0AS
Tel: 03456 050505
[8]http://www.os.uk

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FOI, Ordnance Survey Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wells, 

 

Thank you for your email of 5 September 2022, which is being considered by
Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
2000. 

 

We acknowledge your information request to be: 

 

The Environment Agency has informed me (1) that after an initial
validation step they use the OS Places API to support address entry in
their “buy a rod fishing licence for England and Wales” service. 

 

In the response they went on to say that “If the OS API cannot find a
match, the customer is then presented with the manual address entry page“
and that “As outlined above,  the Environment Agency does not hold data
about addresses entered manually  or via the O[rdnance]S[urvey]“. 

 

As a result I am trying to understand information held by the Ordnance
Survey about the performance of the OS Places API and how this affects the
services people receive. 

 

I would specifically like information on: 

 

- the volume and percentage of calls within the past 12 months to the OS
Places API for capture and verification of address information from the
“buy a rod fishing licence for England and Wales” service where the API
returns that no match can be found (code 404). For example <50 calls found
no match. This was 0.001% of total calls in the 12 month time period> 

 

- the volume and percentage of calls within the past 12 months to the OS
Places API for capture and verification of address information  from 
other public  services, that have free access to the API under the Public
Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA), where the API returns that no match
can be found (code 404) 

 

- the total volume and percentage of calls within the past 12 months  to
the OS Places API for capture and verification of address information from
any holder of an API key, where the API returns that no match can be found
(code 404) 

 

If possible I would like the answer to be split by the request type of
“find”, “postcode” and “uprn”. For example <20 ‘find’, 20 ‘postcode’ and
10 ‘uprn’ calls found no match. This was 0.001% of total calls in the 12
month time period>” 

 

From our preliminary assessment, we will not be able to answer your
request for information without further clarification.  To ensure that we
understand exactly what information you require, it would be useful to
know whether you require the volume of calls and the percentage when a 404
code has been returned, or whether you require the volume of calls and the
percentage where the requested addresses does not match anything within
the data holding of the OS Places API. 

 

To be clear when a 404 code is returned this is not the same as when the
requested addresses do not match anything within the data. 

 

The 404 code is a HTTP service code. These codes define whether a request
has been successful in returning a response to the requester. Codes
starting with a 4 refer to error responses from the client side. A 404
code is where the endpoint exists, but the resource does not.   

 

If the request has been successful, then a 200 code will be returned. 

 

The OS Places API ‘find’ and ‘postcode’ endpoints work by matching input
text strings to text strings within our data holdings of addresses. Within
the header of the JSON return is a count of the total results found. For
each API request a maximum of 100 results are returned. There are
instances where the user might type a postcode that does not match
anything in our data holding. This would provide a 200 code to the client,
but the header of the API would have total results of 0 and the client
would therefore see no addresses. 

 

If you require the volume of calls and the percentage where the requested
addresses do not match anything within the data holding, we do not hold
this information at Ordnance Survey as we do not store the response from
each individual address query. 

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, we are obliged to
provide you with a response to your request within twenty working days. 
However, as we have sought clarification from you, we will halt the twenty
working days at the date of this correspondence, and recommence the twenty
working days from the date your clarification response is received by
Ordnance Survey.  We will acknowledge your clarification response, and
confirm the revised date by which you should expect to receive a full
response from us.  If we do not receive a response from you, within two
months of receipt of this request for clarification, your request for
information will be considered closed.  Please note that under section
1(3) of the FOIA 2000, a public authority need not comply with a request
unless any further information reasonably required to locate the
information is supplied. 

 

Should you need to contact Ordnance Survey regarding your request at any
time, please quote the allocated reference number in any correspondence. 

 

Please reply to [1][Ordnance Survey Limited request email] 

 

 Kind regards,

 

 

Elizabeth Cole

Freedom of Information Officer, Legal Services

 

Adanac Drive, Southampton, United Kingdom, SO16 0AS

T: +44 (0)3456 05 05 05

[2]www.os.uk | [3][Ordnance Survey Limited request email]

Follow us: [4]Twitter | [5]LinkedIn | [6]YouTube | [7]Instagram |
[8]Facebook

Our values are: Think Customer | Thrive Together | Stay Ahead | Seize the
Moment

 

This email and any attachments are intended only for the intended
recipient and may contain sensitive information. If you are not the
intended recipient, please immediately delete this email and inform the
sender.

OS email communications may be monitored to ensure the secure and
effective operation of our systems and for other lawful purposes. Subject
to contract: No rights are to be derived from any proposal contained in
this email until a written agreement containing all necessary terms is
executed between the relevant parties.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Ordnance Survey Limited (Company Registration number 09121572)
Registered Office: Explorer House
Adanac Drive
Southampton SO16 0AS
Tel: 03456 050505
[9]http://www.os.uk

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Ordnance Survey Limited request email]
2. http://www.os.uk/
3. mailto:[Ordnance Survey Limited request email]
4. https://twitter.com/OrdnanceSurvey
5. https://www.linkedin.com/company/ordnanc...
6. https://www.youtube.com/user/OSMapping?b...
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8. https://www.facebook.com/osmapping/
9. http://www.os.uk/