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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 77180 66.8% 2021‑09‑15
OSM (matched refs) 63068 54.6% 2021‑09‑15

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. TQ12 54
2. KT11 40
3. GL50 34
4. NN4 23
5. GL51 21
6. B93 19
7. W3 17
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. user_5589 203 96%
2. AntV 100 100%
3. OrangeHurst97 55 100%
4. Yorvik Prestigitator 50 58%
5. r1608t 50 96%
6. St Mary Clay 34 97%
7. VictorIE 33 91%

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

# District Updates
1. TQ12 89
2. GL52 60
3. TQ1 56
4. PO19 46
5. CH45 46
6. GL53 42
7. KT11 40
8. DE11 39
9. CH42 36
10. CH44 36
11. GL50 34
12. CH41 32
13. CH62 31
14. W3 31
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. user_5589 928 97%
2. AntV 265 99%
3. The_JF 247 98%
4. OrangeHurst97 161 100%
5. Yorvik Prestigitator 151 59%
6. St Mary Clay 108 99%
7. Strimplers 79 100%
8. Rp19 54 100%
9. Milhouse 54 98%
10. r1608t 50 96%
11. Nathan_A_RF 47 98%
12. jambamkin 47 87%
13. VictorIE 43 72%
14. RAC_UK 38 16%

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.