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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 77256 66.9% 2021‑09‑23
OSM (matched refs) 63185 54.7% 2021‑09‑23

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. TQ2 55
2. TN6 36
3. CH48 30
4. L4 30
5. PO9 26
6. L3 25
7. TR14 23
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. user_5589 333 99%
2. AntV 78 99%
3. Strimplers 59 100%
4. Yorvik Prestigitator 40 62%
5. OneLoneRanger 31 100%
6. Hobgoblin 24 96%
7. DanGlover 22 100%

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

# District Updates
1. TQ12 91
2. TQ2 73
3. GL52 60
4. CH41 48
5. PO19 48
6. CH45 45
7. GL53 43
8. KT11 40
9. PO20 39
10. CH44 39
11. CH43 37
12. CH42 36
13. W3 36
14. TN6 36
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. user_5589 1164 97%
2. AntV 266 99%
3. The_JF 189 99%
4. Yorvik Prestigitator 175 58%
5. OrangeHurst97 163 100%
6. Strimplers 138 100%
7. St Mary Clay 95 99%
8. Milhouse 67 100%
9. Rp19 54 100%
10. r1608t 50 96%
11. Nathan_A_RF 47 98%
12. VictorIE 44 80%
13. RAC_UK 36 17%
14. jambamkin 35 83%

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.