Search Tool User Guide

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1- Introduction

2- What can I search for?

3- How to use the Search Tool?

3.1 Opening and closing the Search Tool

3.2 Submitting a search

3.3 Search results

3.3.1 No results are found

3.3.2 One result is found

3.3.3 Multiple results are found

1 – Introduction

This User Guide provides instructions on how you can use the map viewer’s Search Tool to find locations on the map.

The Search Tool is an intelligent, multi-functional gazetteer interface which allows you to find different types of location references on the map.  For example, you may wish to find the location of a property by entering its postal address, or find a specific OS National Grid reference.  You do this by entering your location as the input search text in the Search Tool.  When your location has been found, a marker symbol will appear on the map and the map viewer will zoom to that location.

The Search Tool uses a sophisticated location matching engine which can even make allowances for spelling errors and formatting differences, to increase the chances of a successful match.  Postal addresses are compared to the Ordnance Survey’s AddressBase Premium product, which is the definitive source of postal addresses in Great Britain.


2 – What can I search for?

The input search text is flexible and allows you to enter various types of partial or complete place names and location references, such as:

  • Property street addresses:
    • A complete address such as “10 Downing Street, Westminster, London, SW1A 2AA
    • A partial address such as “10 Downing Street
  • Postcodes:
    • A complete postcode such as “SW1A 2AA”
    • A partial postcode such as just the postcode district “SW1A
  • Place names:
    • A city name such as “London
    • A district within a larger urban area such as “Westminster
    • A town or village name such as “Hedge End

If multiple results are found for your search input, a list of possible results are presented.  Scroll through the possible matches and click on the correct one, or revise your search text.


3 – How to use the Search Tool


3.1 – Opening and closing the Search Tool

The Search Tool can be opened by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the top right of the map viewer interface:


Once clicked, the input search text box opens next to the icon:


The Search Tool can be closed by clicking on the ‘x’ icon to the left of the search text box:


The Search Tool interface closes and returns to the original magnifying glass icon.


Once the Search Tool has opened, clicking on the word ‘search’ in the input box will display a blinking text input cursor:


You can now type in your search query, and text will appear in the input box:


You can clear the text and start a new search by clicking on the ‘x’ icon to the right of the input box:


When you’ve entered your input search text, start the search by either pressing enter on your keyboard or clicking the magnifying glass icon:


When the search has been submitted, you’ll see an ‘Addresses’ box open up below the input search box and a spinning icon to indicate the search is underway:


3.3 – Search Results

There are three possible outcomes from a search:

  • No results are found
  • One result is found
  • Multiple results are found

Each scenario is described further below.


3.3.1 – No results are found

If no results are found for your search, you will see the result count returned as zero:


You will need to submit a new search, with a revised search query text.

Here’s some suggestions:

  • Your search text may contain a typo, for example a number ‘1’ in the postcode instead of the letter ‘I’
  • You could try generalising your search, for example you could have the property number wrong but the road name correct.  Try removing the property number from the front of the address, and just searching the road name to see a list of all properties on that road.


3.3.2 – One result is found

If one result is found for your search, a marker symbol will appear on the map and the map viewer will zoom to that location.


3.3.3 – Multiple results are found

If your search has returned multiple results, you will see a count of how many results were found appear where the spinning icon was previously:


Marker symbols for all results will also appear on the map, and the map viewer will zoom to show all these locations:


You may see fewer markers on the map than the result count if several locations are close to each other – these are grouped into one marker icon.

In order to see all these results and choose the correct one, click on the downwards arrow to the right of the result count:


This will expand the Addresses box into a drop down scrollable list of all the possible results:


The list of possible results is ordered in descending relevance based on a matching algorithm.  This means the correct result is more likely to appear at the top, or towards the top, of the list.

Hovering your mouse over each result in the list will display the full address text, and highlight both the entry in the list (in blue) and the corresponding marker on the map (in a larger size).  This makes it easier to quickly see visually where that particular result is found geographically in the map viewer:


Clicking on a result in the list will cause the map viewer to zoom to that particular location.  If this is not the location you were looking for, you can either try another result in the list (try scrolling down the list if there are many results), or you can try submitting a new search query with a revised input text.