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UK & Ireland Locate

Technical Details

The Data

Collins Bartholomew UK & Ireland Locate is a gazetteer of place names with over 70,000 entries.

The file includes over 41,000 settlements, 5500 land and water features, 5000 places of interest, 3300 railway stations, 2800 golf courses, 1500 lakes/lochs, 94 motorway services and 84 airports.

Each place is given a National Grid reference for a point location which refers to the designated centre of a settlement, the approximate centre of an area feature (such as a lake), an arbitrary point along a line feature (such as a river), or the location of the name of a land or water feature. In addition the longitude and latitude (in decimal degrees) are supplied.

Places are attributed with country and county locations, and by the postcode sector of the designated point location, with the exception of places described as ‘WATER FEATURE’ since these can cover large areas often between countries. Other names may be subject to cartographic displacements which can affect the accuracy of this attribution. Local authority and postcode data is current as at March 2018.

Data Format

UK & Ireland Locate is supplied as a colon-separated (:) text file (TXT) for easy integration within a wide range of software applications.

Other formats may be available on request.

The character set used is Unicode UTF-8 format by default.

Geographic Coverage

UK & Ireland Locate covers the following countries: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland and offshore islands such as the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Capture Scale

The vector data from which the gazetteer is derived was originally captured from compiled map sources at 1:250,000 scale, but has been updated using higher resolution sources including satellite imagery, aerial photography and GPS survey.

Product Update Cycles

The Collins Bartholomew UK & Ireland Locate product is updated annually in March each year.

Field Structure

Attribute data contained within UK & Ireland Locate CSV file is described in the following table.

NAMEThis is the name of the feature.Inverness
ALT_NAMEAlternative name. This includes Welsh and Gaelic name forms.Inbhir Nis
EASTINGNational Grid x-coordinate of designated point location, in metres.266700
NORTHINGNational Grid y-coordinate of designated point location, in metres.845234
LONGITUDEDesignated point of longitude in decimal degrees (WGS 84 datum).-4.22334
LATITUDEDesignated point of latitude in decimal degrees (WGS 84 datum).57.47795
DESCRIPTORType of place or specific feature classified as follows:

Capital (London)
1st order (national capital, e.g. Edinburgh)
2nd order (county/unitary authority capital
3rd order (district capital)
Other town (includes villages and hamlets)
Other named place

Other Features:
Blue Flag Beach
Caravan & Camping
Forest Park
Golf Course
Holiday Centre
International Freight Terminal
Land Feature (includes islands, headlands, moors, fells etc.)
London Borough
Long-distance Footpath
Minor River
Motorway Junction
Motorway Service service areas
Mountain Pass
Munro (specific Scottish peaks over 3000 feet) 5
National Park
Park & Ride
Place of Interest
Power Station
Private Railway
Private Station (private railway stations)
Regional Park
Road Junction
Roman road (and miscellaneous linear features)
Shopping centre (major out-of-town shopping centre/factory outlet village)
Sporting Venue
Station (railway stations)
University Campus
Water Feature (includes bays, inlets etc.)
Youth Hostel
2nd order Town
CLASSThis provides a more detailed breakdown of the feature type. Please see the Feature Code table included in your documentation for further details.196486
TYPEThis field only applies to settlements. It gives a more specific indication of the status of a settlement than is provided by the CLASS or DESCRIPTOR:city
Designated as a city by Royal Charter, they generally have a cathedral and are often large in size.
Settlements with a definite central business district and urban character, and generally a population over 10,000.
Small Town:
Settlement of less than 10,000 populations functioning as a local service centre, with a range of shops, businesses and public service facilities.
Primarily a residential locality linked to, or within, a town or city.
Rural community with a cluster of at least 40 dwellings or two of the following facilities: church/chapel, post office, shop, pub/hotel, school, village hall/community centre/social club, petrol station.
Small collection of residential buildings generally clustered together.
Scattered buildings with no definite nucleus, or possibly, consisting of only one or two buildings.
This is a “catch all” category. It includes settlements that do not fall easily into any of the other categories. It may include industrial estates, areas within villages or several settlements with a collective name. It may also be a geographic region.
Other Features:
The remaining feature types are self explanatory – bridge, castle, ecclesiastical building, educational establishment, garden, historic house, historic/prehistoric site, leisure/recreation, military establishment, other building, other feature of interest.
PopulationPopulation figures have been derived from 2001 census information, specifically “Key Statistics for urban areas in England and Wales” (Source: National Statistics website: and “Key Statistics for Settlements and Localities Scotland” (Source: GROS website: Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO.
For England & Wales, an ‘urban area’ is essentially defined as a continuous area of urban land extending for 20 hectares or more with a population of over 1,500. For Scotland, a “locality” is effectively a continuous built-up area with a population of over 500.
In many cases where contiguous separately-named towns have a single joint census figure (e.g.
HEIGHTSummit height in metres.1344
COUNTRYCountry name e.g. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey or Jersey.Scotland
COUNTYCounty/unitary authority name e.g. North Somerset.Highland
POSTCODEPostcode sector in conventional written format: e.g. G1 6; GL5 1; GL51 9.IV1 1
POSTALSORTPostcode sector in fixed format: “aadd s” where a = area (left-justified), d = district (right-justified) and s = sector: e.g. G 1 6; GL 5 1; GL51 9.IV 1 1
UNIQUE_IDA field containing a comprehensive and persistent unique identifier for each gazetteer record.SMP0001729
LINK_IDCollins Bartholomew’s unique identifying number for the feature.

Features not named on Collins Bartholomew mapping will have an empty cell with no LINK_ID, so for a fully comprehensive unique identifier please use the Unique_ID field above. The Link_ID is retained here for backward compatibility.

Quality Standards

Collins Bartholomew takes the greatest of care in assuring the high quality of our data. The data is constantly being updated and revised, with an average of 40,000 name edits each year.

All our database updates are thoroughly researched by our highly dedicated in-house team of professional cartographers and information researchers.

We also use external experts, specialist organisations, official organisations, agencies, government departments and business offices to assist in the information gathering process.

Policy changes (e.g. international boundary changes, new country depiction, name changes) are informed by external experts. For advice on name forms we look to the PCGN (the UK government’s Permanent Committee on Geographic Names for British Official Use) and BGN (US Board on Geographic Names) plus of course local/country specific information. From this we would make our decision on the ‘de facto’ stance and apply geographical expertise to work out the details.


UK & Ireland Locate is available as a standalone dataset that you can download and store locally, or it can be accessed via one of our secure web services. Whichever you choose, our licence fees are based on the number of concurrent users with fees staring from £295 per annum.