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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 80583 69.8% 2022‑06‑25
OSM (matched refs) 66412 57.5% 2022‑06‑25

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. BA12 15
2. BN20 14
3. BN21 8
4. TQ6 8
5. WC1B 6
6. TN15 6
7. GL4 6
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. PlymouthWalker 154 70%
2. Yorvik Prestigitator 91 68%
3. marack99 28 93%
4. CrispByNature 22 91%
5. fitzsimons 18 100%
6. robbieonsea 10 100%
7. Alex McKee 7 86%

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

# District Updates
1. SW6 27
2. E17 26
3. NE22 23
4. TR16 23
5. E11 22
6. TR20 18
7. BA12 17
8. TR12 16
9. EH13 16
10. SE19 16
11. TR19 16
12. BN20 15
13. TN15 14
14. SE5 14
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. PlymouthWalker 245 67%
2. Yorvik Prestigitator 138 63%
3. confusedbuffalo 93 95%
4. AntV 85 99%
5. rskedgell 78 99%
6. CrispByNature 47 87%
7. Djminisite 47 55%
8. mattproctor 44 98%
9. Adrian 2 40 100%
10. robbieonsea 39 100%
11. DanGlover 37 78%
12. fitzsimons 37 100%
13. manof25 32 100%
14. Beryl❀ 31 97%

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.