We just refreshed our city, neighborhood and postcode data that powers Mapbox Search to improve our places coverage in over 40 European countries. Developers can leverage the updated places data to provide even more precise location insights like The Weather Company, enhance assets with more accurate geotagging like Adobe, and help users find their closest location like WeWork.
In total, the postcode data for 40+ European countries has been updated along with significant coverage improvements in our city, locality and neighborhood layers for the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland. Some of the highlights include a completely updated UK locality layer with over 25,000 new towns and villages, 53,000 new settlements in Spain, 1,750 new mountain hamlets throughout the Alps and 70,000 new Italian locations stretching from urban centers to the rural farming areas.
Many of the new data features are expertly curated from our best in class Boundaries data product and the updates are part of our continuous investment in data quality. All of the updates are available immediately in the Search API and Search SDK (iOS and Android).
Determining a locality
The connection to your home location is built from a deeply emotional understanding of where you live and move throughout the world on a daily basis. Many times, the official administrative boundaries that define your area such as a county or even the nearest city are not what you’d use to describe your home location. The location that feels like home to you is most likely the village, hamlet or suburban area that is best recognized colloquially. Notable examples include Castle Combe in Wiltshire, England voted the prettiest village in England or Santa Maria de Belém outside Lisbon, Portugal where they make the famous Pastéis de Belém pastry. We capture these types of areas in our Search locality layer:
We set out to collect a wide variety of data in each European country, comparing many different datasets, and even creating our own location areas to capture previously underrepresented locations. We then rigorously tested our data and interviewed locals to ensure our localities accurately represented how people define their local areas. We do not significantly buffer our polygons in order to provide the highest level of precision for our customers' geocoding requests.
Exploring thousands of new neighborhoods
Having an accurate representation of your neighborhood matters, whether you are trying to get the weather information for an outdoor picnic in the local park, or looking up the top restaurants to visit when you’re on vacation. To help developers create more localized experiences and recommendations, we’ve expanded our neighborhood coverage in the UK, Netherlands, Spain, France and Switzerland. These updates cover the major metropolitan areas in each country and complement the improved data in the locality layer that depict the quarters or districts in urban areas.
Postcode coverage improvements
We’ve added over 25,000 postcodes across Europe including new country wide coverage in Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey.
All of our improved places data is available for both forward and reverse geocoding so head over to the Geocoding Playground to explore the refreshed European places layers. If you are already using one of the `mapbox.places` endpoints, there is nothing you need to do to benefit from these updates.