National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Key Data Sources

Key Data Sources

The key data sources used for SAD are:

  • Ordnance Survey AddressBase Premium (AB) - an Ordnance Survey product which combines the One Scotland Gazetteer (OSG) with matched address information from the Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF).
  • Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF) - a database of all UK addresses and postcodes which receive a postal service from Royal Mail.
  • One Scotland Gazetteer (OSG) - Scottish address list combining the 32 corporate address gazetteers which are owned and maintained by each council. It contains address information and details of an addresses history as well as other information on type and location.
  • Scottish Postcode Directory (SPD) - The Scottish Postcode Directory is made up of two key datasets: Postcode Index - a file containing both live and deleted postcodes assigned to a variety of geographical areas in Scotland, and Postcode Boundaries - a file containing a digital boundary for every live small user postcode corresponding with the Postcode Index

SAD holds address information, postcode, council area, classification of type and unique reference identifiers for both possible residential and business addresses. It is created by combining elements from the data sources above, based on criteria set by NRS which utilises certain indicator values within the sources. This allows live and relevant addresses to be extracted and used in the Scottish Address Directory.

The unique identifiers held on SAD are; the OSG Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) and Unique Street Reference Number (USRN), and the Royal Mail Unique Delivery Point Reference Number (UDPRN).  This allows the SAD to be linked to any other dataset containing any of these identifiers. 

All records in the SAD also contain the easting and northing value from the OSG, which allows the records to be plotted on a map.