Wednesday, September 16, 2009

UK Post Code Database Mirrored on Pirate Bay

UK government database of all 1,841,177 UK post codes together with lattitude and longitude, grid references, county, district, ward, NHS codes and regions, Ordnance Survey reference, and date of introduction. The database was last updated on July 8, 2009 and is over 100,000 pages in size.

The file has literally tens of thousands of potential applications from ecology and political campaigns to medical statistics and courier services.

Selected parts of the database can be licensed, for a fee, from the Royal Mail, but the full database has been denied to the public domain, probably as an effort by the Royal Mail to undermine competition in the postal sector.

The database is structured as a plain text file, with each entry taking one line and with distinct fields seperated by commas. The very first line specifies the order of the 17 fields of information about each post code.

The original file is 241Mb. It has been compressed down to 20Mb with the free "bzip2" program, which is needed to uncompress the file to its original state.

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