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Post Hoc — Analysing UK OSM Postbox Data

OpenStreetMap records the location of postboxes using the amenity=post_box tag. The Post Hoc tool provides statistics, reports and maps to compare the data in OpenStreetMap with data from Royal Mail. The Royal Mail Post Box data comes an FOI request. For further information, please see the Technical Details page.

Summary Statistics

Source Boxes Percent Updated
Royal Mail list 115485   2013‑11‑11
OSM 87396 75.7% 2024‑07‑08
OSM (matched refs) 73777 63.9% 2024‑07‑08

View history graphs.

Progress Maps and Comparison Reports

OSM Post Box Progress
View the progress of mapping all post boxes by postal area and then district. At district level a map shows a comparison between official location data from Royal Mail and current OSM data. Discrepencies are highlighted for ground surveys. Note that the official locations are © Royal Mail, and we do not have permission to use them in OSM.
OSM Reference Issues
Results of various checks on the values in 'ref' fields of post box nodes on OpenStreetMap.
OSM Collection Times Issues
Postboxes with possible errors in the collection_times key.
OSM Royal Cypher Issues
Postboxes with possible errors in the royal_cypher key.
OSM Box Type Report
Report on usage of tags to describe box types.
OSM Operator Report
Report on usage of tags to describe the operator of the box.
OSM Tag Keys Report
List of all keys used on post box nodes, ordered by number of occurrences.
OSM Tag Lists
Various reports listing postboxes with specific tags defined:

Post Box League Tables

Top postal districts and users by updates to post box nodes in last 7 days.

# District Updates
1. DH1 50
2. WR2 32
3. S81 29
4. SO23 25
5. E6 25
6. SP1 23
7. S80 23
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. RyanBush 981 82%
2. ENHD 64 62%
3. eastender 35 100%
4. JayTurnr 32 97%
5. Yorvik Prestigitator 31 68%
6. PerthPerthshire 29 100%
7. 225059 25 100%

Top postal districts and users by updates to post box nodes in last 28 days.

# District Updates
1. DH1 50
2. YO32 39
3. YO24 39
4. YO31 38
5. YO10 36
6. YO30 35
7. S80 33
8. WR2 32
9. SP11 31
10. E6 30
11. S81 30
12. SN8 30
13. S18 28
14. SO23 26
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. RyanBush 1357 79%
2. woodpeck_repair 266 98%
3. JayTurnr 140 96%
4. Yorvik Prestigitator 125 79%
5. eastender 122 100%
6. ENHD 83 71%
7. phodgkin 81 7%
8. john paul jones & gringo 52 87%
9. PerthPerthshire 49 100%
10. AntV 45 100%
11. BarryMyles 44 100%
12. ZenPhil 38 37%
13. Nathan Hadley 37 84%
14. ClarSco 35 51%

Copyright Warning: There is no permission from Royal Mail to use the box locations and reference numbers in their data in OpenStreetMap. So the data may not be used directly. However, you may find the comparisons helpful in suggesting places you would like to survey in the hope of finding missing post boxes to add.

Data derived from OpenStreetMap data, © OpenStreetMap Contributors, licensed under Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL). XAPI courtesy of Overpass API.