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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 86120 74.6% 2024‑02‑17
OSM (matched refs) 72428 62.7% 2024‑02‑17

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. E11 13
2. TR7 10
3. E7 8
4. RG7 7
5. E3 7
6. ML5 6
7. TQ12 6
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. RaccoonFederation 42 26%
2. Yorvik Prestigitator 41 61%
3. eastender 33 100%
4. john paul jones & gringo 22 100%
5. BarryMyles 18 100%
6. PerthPerthshire 13 62%
7. Falsernet 13 77%

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

# District Updates
1. RH10 45
2. RH11 22
3. E10 21
4. RH1 20
5. E12 19
6. PO5 18
7. E8 18
8. PL13 17
9. IP8 17
10. E11 16
11. TR7 16
12. PO4 15
13. KA3 13
14. EX23 13
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. john paul jones & gringo 206 100%
2. eastender 141 100%
3. vbence 126 98%
4. RaccoonFederation 120 64%
5. Yorvik Prestigitator 114 58%
6. BarryMyles 91 100%
7. chris_debian 44 91%
8. PerthPerthshire 35 69%
9. dankarran 34 29%
10. Falsernet 31 81%
11. UKChris 29 90%
12. AntV 28 100%
13. wheelmap_visitor 12 92%
14. James Derrick 12 67%

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.