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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 75770 65.6% 2021‑06‑12
OSM (matched refs) 61320 53.1% 2021‑06‑12

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. SE15 15
2. RH19 10
3. EN6 9
4. OX29 8
5. GL7 6
6. HA1 6
7. PH3 6
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. Djminisite 34 76%
2. JodaStephen 23 91%
3. mattproctor 18 100%
4. stick2 13 92%
5. John Stanworth 13 23%
6. FlawOfAverages 10 100%
7. OrangeHurst97 10 100%

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

# District Updates
1. FK2 34
2. KY12 29
3. SE16 28
4. N6 21
5. HA1 21
6. PE21 20
7. HA3 19
8. E14 17
9. KY11 15
10. SE15 15
11. FK3 14
12. HA7 13
13. LL16 13
14. PE28 12
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. mattproctor 71 100%
2. Yorvik Prestigitator 69 54%
3. Djminisite 65 78%
4. stick2 63 89%
5. Hobgoblin 60 100%
6. Rp19 50 100%
7. philiprowlands 45 82%
8. JodaStephen 44 95%
9. FlawOfAverages 31 94%
10. manof25 31 100%
11. robbieonsea 30 100%
12. DanGlover 30 100%
13. Peter Newman 24 96%
14. Robert Whittaker 21 81%

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.