Search queries

The search API allows you to look up a location from a textual description or address. Nominatim supports structured and free-form search queries.

The search query may also contain special phrases which are translated into specific OpenStreetMap (OSM) tags (e.g. Pub => amenity=pub). This can be used to narrow down the kind of objects to be returned.


Special phrases are not suitable to query all objects of a certain type in an area. Nominatim will always just return a collection of the best matches. To download OSM data by object type, use the Overpass API.


The search API has the following format:<params>

The search term may be specified with two different sets of parameters:

  • q=<query>

    Free-form query string to search for. Free-form queries are processed first left-to-right and then right-to-left if that fails. So you may search for pilkington avenue, birmingham as well as for birmingham, pilkington avenue. Commas are optional, but improve performance by reducing the complexity of the search.

  • street=<housenumber> <streetname>

  • city=<city>
  • county=<county>
  • state=<state>
  • country=<country>
  • postalcode=<postalcode>

    Alternative query string format split into several parameters for structured requests. Structured requests are faster but are less robust against alternative OSM tagging schemas. Do not combine with q=<query> parameter.

Both query forms accept the additional parameters listed below.

Output format

  • format=[xml|json|jsonv2|geojson|geocodejson]

See Place Output Formats for details on each format. (Default: jsonv2)

  • json_callback=<string>

Wrap JSON output in a callback function (JSONP) i.e. <string>(<json>). Only has an effect for JSON output formats.

Output details

  • addressdetails=[0|1]

Include a breakdown of the address into elements. (Default: 0)

  • extratags=[0|1]

Include additional information in the result if available, e.g. wikipedia link, opening hours. (Default: 0)

  • namedetails=[0|1]

Include a list of alternative names in the results. These may include language variants, references, operator and brand. (Default: 0)

Language of results

  • accept-language=<browser language string>

Preferred language order for showing search results, overrides the value specified in the "Accept-Language" HTTP header. Either use a standard RFC2616 accept-language string or a simple comma-separated list of language codes.

Result limitation

  • countrycodes=<countrycode>[,<countrycode>][,<countrycode>]...

Limit search results to one or more countries. <countrycode> must be the ISO 3166-1alpha2 code, e.g. gb for the United Kingdom, de for Germany.

Each place in Nominatim is assigned to one country code based on OSM country boundaries. In rare cases a place may not be in any country at all, for example, in international waters.

  • exclude_place_ids=<place_id,[place_id],[place_id]

If you do not want certain OSM objects to appear in the search result, give a comma separated list of the place_ids you want to skip. This can be used to retrieve additional search results. For example, if a previous query only returned a few results, then including those here would cause the search to return other, less accurate, matches (if possible).

  • limit=<integer>

Limit the number of returned results. (Default: 10, Maximum: 50)

  • viewbox=<x1>,<y1>,<x2>,<y2>

The preferred area to find search results. Any two corner points of the box are accepted as long as they span a real box. x is longitude, y is latitude.

  • bounded=[0|1]

When a viewbox is given, restrict the result to items contained within that viewbox (see above). When viewbox and bounded=1 are given, an amenity only search is allowed. Give the special keyword for the amenity in square brackets, e.g. [pub] and a selection of objects of this type is returned. There is no guarantee that the result is complete. (Default: 0)

Polygon output

  • polygon_geojson=1
  • polygon_kml=1
  • polygon_svg=1
  • polygon_text=1

Output geometry of results as a GeoJSON, KML, SVG or WKT. Only one of these options can be used at a time. (Default: 0)

  • polygon_threshold=0.0

Return a simplified version of the output geometry. The parameter is the tolerance in degrees with which the geometry may differ from the original geometry. Topology is preserved in the result. (Default: 0.0)


  • email=<valid email address>

If you are making large numbers of request please include an appropriate email address to identify your requests. See Nominatim's Usage Policy for more details.

  • dedupe=[0|1]

Sometimes you have several objects in OSM identifying the same place or object in reality. The simplest case is a street being split into many different OSM ways due to different characteristics. Nominatim will attempt to detect such duplicates and only return one match unless this parameter is set to 0. (Default: 1)

  • debug=[0|1]

Output assorted developer debug information. Data on internals of Nominatim's "Search Loop" logic, and SQL queries. The output is (rough) HTML format. This overrides the specified machine readable format. (Default: 0)


XML with kml polygon
  <searchresults timestamp="Sat, 07 Nov 09 14:42:10 +0000" querystring="135 pilkington, avenue birmingham" polygon="true">
      place_id="1620612" osm_type="node" osm_id="452010817"
      lat="52.5487429714954" lon="-1.81602098644987"
      display_name="135, Pilkington Avenue, Wylde Green, City of Birmingham, West Midlands (county), B72, United Kingdom"
      class="place" type="house">
              <coordinates>-1.816513,52.548756599999997 -1.816434,52.548747300000002 -1.816429,52.5487629 -1.8163717,52.548756099999999 -1.8163464,52.548834599999999 -1.8164599,52.548848100000001 -1.8164685,52.5488213 -1.8164913,52.548824000000003 -1.816513,52.548756599999997</coordinates>
      <road>Pilkington Avenue</road>
      <village>Wylde Green</village>
      <town>Sutton Coldfield</town>
      <city>City of Birmingham</city>
      <county>West Midlands (county)</county>
      <country>United Kingdom</country>
JSON with SVG polygon

        "address": {
            "city": "Berlin",
            "city_district": "Mitte",
            "construction": "Unter den Linden",
            "continent": "European Union",
            "country": "Deutschland",
            "country_code": "de",
            "house_number": "1",
            "neighbourhood": "Scheunenviertel",
            "postcode": "10117",
            "public_building": "Kommandantenhaus",
            "state": "Berlin",
            "suburb": "Mitte"
        "boundingbox": [
        "class": "amenity",
        "display_name": "Kommandantenhaus, 1, Unter den Linden, Scheunenviertel, Mitte, Berlin, 10117, Deutschland, European Union",
        "importance": 0.73606775332943,
        "lat": "52.51719785",
        "licence": "Data \u00a9 OpenStreetMap contributors, ODbL 1.0.",
        "lon": "13.3978352028938",
        "osm_id": "15976890",
        "osm_type": "way",
        "place_id": "30848715",
        "svg": "M 13.397511 -52.517283599999999 L 13.397829400000001 -52.517299800000004 13.398131599999999 -52.517315099999998 13.398159400000001 -52.517112099999999 13.3975388 -52.517080700000001 Z",
        "type": "public_building"
JSON with address details

        "address": {
            "bakery": "B\u00e4cker Kamps",
            "city_district": "Mitte",
            "continent": "European Union",
            "country": "Deutschland",
            "country_code": "de",
            "footway": "Bahnsteig U6",
            "neighbourhood": "Sprengelkiez",
            "postcode": "13353",
            "state": "Berlin",
            "suburb": "Wedding"
        "boundingbox": [
        "class": "shop",
        "display_name": "B\u00e4cker Kamps, Bahnsteig U6, Sprengelkiez, Wedding, Mitte, Berlin, 13353, Deutschland, European Union",
        "icon": "",
        "importance": 0.201,
        "lat": "52.5460941",
        "licence": "Data \u00a9 OpenStreetMap contributors, ODbL 1.0.",
        "lon": "13.35918",
        "osm_id": "317179427",
        "osm_type": "node",
        "place_id": "1453068",
        "type": "bakery"

  "type": "FeatureCollection",
  "licence": "Data © OpenStreetMap contributors, ODbL 1.0.",
  "features": [
      "type": "Feature",
      "properties": {
        "place_id": "35811445",
        "osm_type": "node",
        "osm_id": "2846295644",
        "display_name": "17, Strada Pictor Alexandru Romano, Bukarest, Bucharest, Sector 2, Bucharest, 023964, Romania",
        "place_rank": "30",
        "category": "place",
        "type": "house",
        "importance": 0.62025
      "bbox": [
      "geometry": {
        "type": "Point",
        "coordinates": [

  "type": "FeatureCollection",
  "geocoding": {
    "version": "0.1.0",
    "attribution": "Data © OpenStreetMap contributors, ODbL 1.0.",
    "licence": "ODbL",
    "query": "Αγία Τριάδα, Αδωνιδος, Athens, Greece"
  "features": [
      "type": "Feature",
      "properties": {
        "geocoding": {
          "type": "place_of_worship",
          "label": "Αγία Τριάδα, Αδωνιδος, Άγιος Νικόλαος, 5º Δημοτικό Διαμέρισμα Αθηνών, Athens, Municipality of Athens, Regional Unit of Central Athens, Region of Attica, Attica, 11472, Greece",
          "name": "Αγία Τριάδα",
          "admin": null
      "geometry": {
        "type": "Point",
        "coordinates": [