Search engines

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Beside rendering, the searching of the database is a important step towards routing. So this is about approaches to search OSM or to link it with the web.

Search engine services

These options are available as services you can call:

  • Nominatim is deployed on OpenStreetMap servers, and powers the search on the front page as well as offering an API.
  • LocationIQ.org runs nominatim with OSM data
  • MapQuest also run nominatim with OSM data as part of their open initiative
  • YaCy - a P2P open source search engine
  • OpenCage hosted by Opencage Data Ltd - searches across OpenStreetMap, geonames, geoplanet among other sources.
  • Photon hosted by Komoot.de
  • GeoCheck hosted by IdeesLibres.org - searches across Nominatim OSM, Google, Photon OSM, ideeslibres.org BANO, IGN, Etalab BANO
  • Osmocoder hosted by 123map.de, able to do batch geocoding, so far for area of Germany, and in German language.
  • OSMNames maintained by KlokanTech.com and HSR - provides basic search in place names with autocomplete for demo purposes. The project mainly aims to deliver gazetteer data from OSM.
  • geocode.earth provides hosted geocoding services via the Pelias geocoder to search across OSM, OpenAddresses, Geonames and Who's on First. Run by the former Mapzen Search team.
  • WhatIsWhere Free, powerful map based search. Supports multiple conditions applied at the same time, saving/loading search projects, export to CSV, etc.
  • NetToolKit provides affordable geocoding, autocomplete/search, and map tile services.

Search engine software

These options can be deployed to your own server:


Comparison of the web API of some of the tools
Geocoder Fulltext Geocoding Fields Geocoding Autocomplete Filter Bias Reverse geocoding Batch Normalisation Gazetteer Linkage Autocompletion Linkage Engine Data source
Nominatim yes no yes countrycodes, bbox N/A yes no Nominatim Strict Postgres OSM
Gisgraphy yes yes yes Radius, Country lat/lon, Disable Fuzzy yes no Token EdgeNGram Solr OpenAddresses, OSM
Photon yes no yes bbox, OSM Tags lat/lon yes no Nominatim EdgeNGram ElasticSearch OSM
Pelias yes yes yes Placetype, Country, Bbox, Radius, admin_boundary, Data source Proximity yes no libpostal Who’s On First Token + EdgeNGram EdgeNGram ElasticSearch OpenAddresses, etc.
addok yes no yes postal_code lat/lon address only yes regex N/A Phonetization or Trigram EdgeNGram Redis BAN, BANO(OSM)
Mimirsbrunn no no yes Dataset, Type, Zone lat/lon yes no regex Cosmogony Trigram EdgeNGram ElasticSearch OpenAddresses, OSM, BAN