Where is SM1 2BZ?

Are you familiar with SM1 2BZ? Do you live there, or work there? Or maybe you grew up there, or used to live there.

If so, maybe you can help answer the question, "Where is SM1 2BZ?"

It's easy to say where a postcode is, in terms of administrative boundaries. These are fixed, and easy to check. But people's perception of what they call the place where they live or work isn't necessarily the same as the name that the council or the government gives it.

If your postcode is SM1 2BZ, what would you say if someone asked you, "Where do you live?"

For example, you might respond with the name of your town or village, such as Newmarket or Willersey. If you live in a major city, you might answer with the name of the suburb or locality, such as Moss Side or Camden. If you live in a rural area, you might give the general location, or even the name of a natural feature such as Dartmoor. And so on.

If that makes sense, then please fill in this form and tell us where SM1 2BZ is...

Please note, we only want your street and locality, not your county or district name. You can assume we already know that!

If you would normally express where you live as a smaller locality in a larger one, for example, "Perry Bar, Birmingham" or "Cherry Hinton, Cambridge", then write it like that, with a comma. The same applies to the street name; if you would normally express that in two parts (for example, Nelson Mandela House, Trotter Street) then use a comma there, too.

If you don't actually know where SM1 2BZ is (maybe you reached this page by mistake, or possibly by following a link from somewhere else), then what you are probably looking for is the Check My Postcode page for SM1 2BZ.

Why are we asking this?

At the moment, postcodes on this website (and many others) are assigned to placenames primarily on the basis of administrative boundaries. But these don't always make sense in a local context. We regularly get emails from people saying "You've got my postcode wrong, it isn't in X, it's in Y!".

We want to try to fix that by crowdsourcing a database of placenames associated with postcodes. Over time, we hope to build up a picture of how people's perceptions of place interact with administrative geography and fixed points such as postcodes. And, in the long run, we want to be able to answer the question "Where is SM1 2BZ?" (and every other postcode) in the way that concurs with how most people who live or work there would answer it.

What will we do with the data?

To begin with, it will be aggregated with other open data sources of locality names to try to improve the way we assign postcodes to localities on Check My Postcode and associated websites.

We're also asking for your street or road name, as that's something else that it can be hard to accurately associate a postcode with, at least without spending large amounts of money. This information is available commercially, if you're willing to cough up large sums of money for the Royal Mail Postcode Address File or the Ordnance Survey MasterMap database. But there's no reliable, open source and free to use database that links postcodes to street names.

So we're asking for that as well, in the hope that, if enough people tell us, we will eventually have that information ourselves from a re-usable source (aggregated personal knowledge) rather than from a commercial database.

If this data gathering exercise is successful, then the resulting database will itself be made freely available under the Open Database Licence so that it can be utilised by other open source projects, such as Open Streetmap.

Where is SM1 2BZ?

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