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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 77961 67.5% 2021‑11‑21
OSM (matched refs) 63882 55.3% 2021‑11‑21

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. SE1 66
2. TN39 52
3. RH16 46
4. RH15 35
5. PO19 35
6. TQ2 31
7. TN40 29
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. user_5589 534 98%
2. AntV 101 100%
3. Strimplers 88 100%
4. Bexhill-OSM 82 100%
5. Drexite 70 99%
6. Yorvik Prestigitator 53 45%
7. Rp19 45 100%

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

# District Updates
1. TQ2 74
2. SE1 68
3. TQ1 57
4. TN39 52
5. TQ12 52
6. CV32 50
7. NN8 49
8. RH16 48
9. TQ9 47
10. TQ6 45
11. CV34 41
12. TN22 41
13. PO19 39
14. BN11 37
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. user_5589 1668 96%
2. AntV 442 100%
3. Yorvik Prestigitator 194 43%
4. VictorIE 167 69%
5. Drexite 127 99%
6. The_JF 114 99%
7. Strimplers 107 100%
8. Bexhill-OSM 82 100%
9. confusedbuffalo 67 93%
10. phodgkin 64 59%
11. Rp19 57 100%
12. Falsernet 44 91%
13. JodaStephen 40 98%
14. FlawOfAverages 38 76%

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.