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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 and from Matthew Somerville's former 'Locating Postboxes' webapp. The Royal Mail Post Box data comes an FOI request. For further information, please see the Technical Details page.

Postbox Summary Statistics

Source Boxes Percent Updated
Royal Mail list 115485   2013‑11‑11
OSM 71162 61.6% 2020‑01‑17
OSM (matched refs) 55935 48.4% 2020‑01‑17

View history graphs.

Local maps showing potential issues to survey

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.
Local Post Box Comparison
Enter a postal district (first half of a postcode) in the box below to view a comparison between an official Post Box list and the current OSM data. Discrepencies are highlighted for ground surveys, and a GPX file can be exported. Note that the official locations are © Royal Mail, and we do not have permission to use them in OSM.
Postal district:
Local Post Office Comparison
Functionality has now moved to the new Post Office Progress Tool.

General Postbox Reports

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:

General Post Office Reports

These reports have now moved to the Post Office Tools page.

Post Box League Tables

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

# District Updates
1. SG8 12
2. NR16 6
3. SO21 6
4. NR17 6
5. S25 5
6. SP11 5
7. S74 5
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. John Stanworth 39 97%
2. Yorvik Prestigitator 26 92%
3. smb1001 15 100%
4. fitzsimons 9 89%
5. manof25 9 100%
6. robbieonsea 7 100%
7. Djminisite 6 67%

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

# District Updates
1. SG8 53
2. S70 13
3. S75 12
4. IP25 12
5. SO21 11
6. W2 11
7. DA8 9
8. CT21 9
9. NN1 9
10. OX1 8
11. NR11 8
12. DH6 8
13. SP1 8
14. ML7 8
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. Yorvik Prestigitator 134 85%
2. DanGlover 64 91%
3. John Stanworth 62 97%
4. smb1001 56 100%
5. robbieonsea 40 100%
6. Hobgoblin 27 93%
7. manof25 27 100%
8. Robert Whittaker 19 100%
9. Martin Constantino–Bodin 18 89%
10. Mikhail1412 13 85%
11. fitzsimons 12 92%
12. Peter Newman 11 73%
13. phodgkin 9 100%
14. Belahzur 8 12%

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