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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 67474 58.4% 2018‑12‑13
OSM (matched refs) 51607 44.7% 2018‑12‑13

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. LS25 25
2. S61 22
3. S18 14
4. S20 11
5. S17 9
6. S60 9
7. YO31 7
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. John Stanworth 85 99%
2. JonS 29 97%
3. fitzsimons 22 95%
4. Yorvik Prestigitator 21 81%
5. James Derrick 5 100%
6. papaj 5 60%
7. Stuart Orford 5 100%

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

# District Updates
1. PE12 52
2. S61 30
3. S60 28
4. NG3 26
5. LS25 26
6. NG4 25
7. SM5 21
8. S20 21
9. SM2 19
10. CW12 16
11. S17 15
12. S18 14
13. DA12 13
14. S35 13
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. Yorvik Prestigitator 341 77%
2. John Stanworth 213 99%
3. caranteth 66 100%
4. fitzsimons 63 97%
5. confusedbuffalo 52 98%
6. JonS 37 97%
7. Stuart Orford 37 100%
8. manof25 33 97%
9. rskedgell 24 96%
10. macroderma 17 6%
11. robbieonsea 16 94%
12. devonshire 15 73%
13. papaj 12 83%
14. ndm 11 100%

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