Open Search (Nominatim) API

The Open Search (Nominatim) API is similar to our MapQuest Search Service with its simple interface and powerful capabilities, but instead relies solely on data contributed to OpenStreetMap. To view it in action, visit any of our Open Beta domains (http://open.mapquest.*)

If you have questions or comments while going through this guide, please visit our Support Forums. Also, visit the Nominatim Wiki page for a complete list of acceptable parameters.

Content Searched

Open Search (Nominatim) indexes both named and numbered features in OpenStreetMap and several other unnamed features, such as pubs, hotels and churches. When searching, certain keywords are translated into searches for specific OSM tags. For example, entering the word "pub" results in Open Search (Nominatim) searching for features that are tagged as amenity=pub.

Refer to the Nominatim Wiki page for a full list of the special phrases that result in Open Search (Nominatim) searching for a specific key=value pair.

Indexing and Version

The Open Search (Nominatim) API is updated approximately every 20 minutes. Data is constantly being indexed but if you believe you're experiencing a delay, it's possible there was a recent, large import of data into OpenStreetMap.

Search (Nominatim)

The Search (Nominatim) API is a tool used to search through OpenStreetMap data by name and address, and vice versa (reverse geocoding).

Reverse Geocode

The following examples use the Open Search (Nominatim) API to reverse geocode. This is the process where you begin with a geographic coordinate and the nearest known address is returned. With the reverse geocode (Nominatim) API, you have the option of reverse geocoding with coordinates or with the OpenStreetMap ID.

When reverse geocoding by OSM Type/ID, please make sure you specify the correct osm_type - Node, Way, Relation (N, W, R).