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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 77518 67.1% 2021‑10‑18
OSM (matched refs) 63491 55.0% 2021‑10‑18

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. KT12 56
2. SY23 32
3. TQ5 25
4. CH61 25
5. L8 24
6. CH47 21
7. TQ12 20
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. user_5589 298 95%
2. r1608t 68 100%
3. Yorvik Prestigitator 63 41%
4. AntV 48 100%
5. rskedgell 28 100%
6. Falsernet 18 100%
7. confusedbuffalo 17 100%

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

# District Updates
1. TQ12 60
2. KT12 56
3. TQ3 53
4. TQ4 45
5. TQ2 44
6. TQ9 40
7. CH49 40
8. DE56 38
9. TN6 36
10. L8 32
11. SY23 32
12. CH48 31
13. DE4 30
14. L4 30
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. user_5589 1182 95%
2. AntV 337 100%
3. Yorvik Prestigitator 222 51%
4. VictorIE 199 68%
5. r1608t 69 100%
6. confusedbuffalo 54 100%
7. samthecrazyman 54 61%
8. Fred73000 51 98%
9. Edward 44 89%
10. robbieonsea 42 100%
11. DanGlover 39 100%
12. The_JF 38 76%
13. mattproctor 37 97%
14. rskedgell 36 100%

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.