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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 78697 68.1% 2022‑01‑19
OSM (matched refs) 64610 55.9% 2022‑01‑19

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. CB9 36
2. LS16 34
3. PL19 34
4. N16 27
5. NG31 27
6. FK2 24
7. PO31 22
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. confusedbuffalo 216 97%
2. user_5589 189 93%
3. AntV 63 98%
4. CjMalone 58 100%
5. Djminisite 52 67%
6. Yorvik Prestigitator 51 55%
7. jambamkin 46 80%

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

# District Updates
1. ME10 63
2. GL2 61
3. PO30 58
4. PO33 46
5. HP2 45
6. TQ5 44
7. TQ4 43
8. AL1 43
9. PO38 43
10. HP1 37
11. PL19 36
12. CB9 36
13. GL51 35
14. HP3 35
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. user_5589 701 94%
2. Yorvik Prestigitator 291 41%
3. AntV 262 100%
4. samthecrazyman 222 94%
5. confusedbuffalo 220 96%
6. CjMalone 203 100%
7. Strimplers 158 98%
8. VictorIE 109 46%
9. The_JF 92 98%
10. Djminisite 78 68%
11. Tallguy 75 99%
12. rskedgell 74 97%
13. Tom Curd 71 96%
14. PlymouthWalker 71 73%

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.