Introduction to postcode search feeds
We provide highly configurable RSS feeds of our postcode search for arborists to enable you to include up to date lists of local, accredited arborists on your own site. This facility is particularly useful for local authorities wanting to provide a current list of competent local tree surgeons for their residents.
Finding the feed URL
The easiest way to get the address of a feed for a particular search is to run that search and click on the RSS icon that appears near the top of the results. It is also possible to refine the results by adding additional query parameters.
The basic URL for the RSS feed is:
Specifying the postcode
This will return a list of all contractors in our database. To limit this to a particular postcode search add the query parameter 'postcode' with value set to the postcode you wish to search on. Note that partial postcodes are allowed, and a space in the postcode can be encoded as '+'.
Changing the search distance
By default, this will return all contractors within about 25 miles of the given postcode. To change this distance, add the query parameter 'distance'. The value is the search radius in miles.
Limiting the accrediting bodies
With no further parameters, the feed will return all contractors in our database within the given distance of the postcode being searched on. The database includes Arboricultural Association Approved Contractors, Trustmark Registered Contractors and companies where one or more principals is an ISA Certified Arborist.
You can limit your search by adding the 'orgmask' query parameter. The value should be an integer between 1 and 7 that indicates which schemes you wish to include. To calculate the appropriate value, add together the figures for each scheme you wish to include from this table:
|Arboricultural Association Approved Contractor||1|
|TrustMark Registered Contractor||2|
|ISA Certified Arborist||4|
For example, to include only Arboricultural Association Approved Contractors and TrustMark Registered Contractors, use a value of 1 + 2 = 3
Excluding the search parameters in the results
By default, the returned results include an indication of what search paramaters were used. To exclude this information from the results add the paramter 'showsearch' to the query string and set its value to 'no'.
Interpreting the results
The returned feed is a standard RSS 2.0 feed that is suitable for direct inclusion in your site. Each item represents a tree work contractor. It is ordered by closest first (unless no postcode is given, in which case it is ordered alphabetically).
The 'title' element contains the company name and the 'link' element contains the URL of the company's full entry in our directory.
The 'description' element is HTML and includes the company's address, telephone number, the approximate distance from the searched postcode and details of which schemes the company is accredited through. The HTML has been semantically marked up using a 'microformat' to allow it to be parsed to extract these details, should you need more fine tuned control over how they are presented. More information on the microformat used will be available later, but it should not be difficult deduce the scheme.
The feed also includes a geoRSS simple element indicating the approximate location of the contractor (based on the postcode).
Search results are also available in other formats. To change the format, change the value of the 'fmt' parameter, as follows
|rss||Return RSS 2.0 with geoRSS extension|
|kml||Returns KML suitable for use in Google Maps|
|xml||Returns detailed results in XML format|
|json||Returns detailed results in JSON format|