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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 74613 64.6% 2021‑01‑24
OSM (matched refs) 60168 52.1% 2021‑01‑24

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. BR8 23
2. BH6 13
3. BH7 12
4. SE10 10
5. CT9 10
6. SE12 9
7. BH23 8
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. Yorvik Prestigitator 124 83%
2. mattproctor 29 100%
3. Tallguy 25 100%
4. RNFR 10 100%
5. JayTurnr 10 100%
6. user_5121 8 100%
7. CharlieJeit 7 100%

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

# District Updates
1. SE3 41
2. TA6 40
3. CT9 39
4. SE13 29
5. HR8 29
6. BR8 28
7. W2 27
8. CR0 26
9. PR5 26
10. CH3 26
11. CF11 25
12. WR13 25
13. SG4 24
14. SE12 24
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. Yorvik Prestigitator 662 90%
2. UKChris 306 62%
3. mattproctor 132 99%
4. JayTurnr 90 99%
5. Joe-w 71 96%
6. Palgrave Peter 52 100%
7. keenomanjaro 35 97%
8. chesterwalker 33 100%
9. Tallguy 33 97%
10. RNFR 33 100%
11. ENHD 22 95%
12. Rp19 21 95%
13. FlawOfAverages 20 25%
14. robbieonsea 18 100%

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.