Hi everyone,

TL;DR Today we flipped the switch to move to using the newest version of Nominatim - version 4.4.0.


As you may recall our geocoding API is a frontend on top of many different geocoding services. Some of these services cover the entire world, others focus only on specific countries or regions (see the full list of services we aggregate). By far the largest datasource we rely on is OpenStreetMap, and we query it using the open-source geocoding software Nominatim. We’ve now moved to the newest version of the Nominatim software.

What’s new

So what’s the big deal about Nominatim 4.4.0 - especially as we are “only” upgrading from version 4.3.2 ? There are several bigger changes. First of all, this version moves to a fully Python code base (previous versions were a mix of Python and PHP). As you would expect there are many smaller bug fixes, upgrades, security patches, etc. One of the bigger changes is how postcodes are “calculated”. What we mean is often a specific point or address in OpenStreetMap is not “tagged” (assigned) with a postcode. In that case the software looks at nearby places and tries to determine what to postcode most likely is. How this calculation is performed has changed. In addition we have several of our own adaptations and patches and additional data.

All of which is to say that, while we have a significant battery of test cases built up over the years, please let us know if you see any unexpected results or problems.

More background can be found on the announcement post on the Nominatim blog, and in the detailed technical changelog.

A quick note about giving back to the OpenStreetMap community

For the last several years it has been our pleasure to financially support the development of Nominatim. We also contribute our own fixes - OpenCage co-founder Marc Tobias is the second leading Nominatim contributor of all time, and he has served as a mentor for past Nominatim-focused OpenStreetMap GSoC projects. Besides being corporate members of the OpenStreetMap Foundation. Learn more about our efforts supporting the global OpenStreetMap community.

Our thanks to everyone who contributed to this release - especially the primary Nominatim developer Sarah Hoffmann, the other sponsors of Nominatim development, and of course to the global OpenStreetMap community.

Final points

As a reminder, changes like this, though rare, are always announced on our public Change Log, which is hosted on GitHub, this making it easy to “watch” or subscribe to.

Happy geocoding,


BTW - Sarah was a guest on the Geomob podcast a few years back. Have a listen if you want more background about Nominatim.