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Post Hoc — Analysing UK OSM Postbox and Post Office Data

OpenStreetMap records the location of postboxes and Post Offices using the tags amenity=post_box and amenity=post_office respectively. The Post Hoc tool provides statistics, reports and maps to compare the data in OpenStreetMap with data from Royal Mail and from Matthew Somerville's former 'Locating Postboxes' webapp. The Royal Mail Post Box data comes an FOI request. The post box list originally came from the list of Post Office locations compiled by Edward Betts from Royal Mail's Post Office Branch Finder. For further information, please see the Technical Details page.

Postbox Summary Statistics

Source Boxes Percent Updated
Royal Mail list 115485   2013‑11‑11
OSM 62402 54.0% 2017‑06‑19
OSM (matched refs) 46283 40.1% 2017‑06‑19
Dracos 65833 57.0% 2016‑12‑29

Post Office Summary Statistics

Source Branches Percent Updated
Post Office List 11721   -
OSM 8661 73.9% 2017‑06‑19
OSM (matched) 7740 66.0% 2017‑06‑19

New: View history graphs.

Local maps showing potential issues to survey

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.
Local Post Box Comparison
Enter a postal district (first half of a postcode) in the box below to view a comparison between an official Post Box list and the current OSM data. Discrepencies are highlighted for ground surveys, and a GPX file can be exported. Note that the official locations are © Royal Mail, and we do not have permission to use them in OSM.
Postal district:
Local Post Office Comparison
Enter a postal district (first half of a postcode) in the box below to view a comparison between an official Post Office list and the current OSM data. Discrepencies are highlighted for ground surveys, and a GPX file can be exported. Note that the official locations are © Post Office, and we do not have permission to use them in OSM.
Postal district:

General Postbox Reports

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:
Too Far Apart
List of box references found in both OSM and Dracos data, with positions that differ by a significant amount.

General Post Office Reports

OSM Post Office Suspicious Names Report
Lists nodes and ways tagged with amenity=post_office, with a name=* tag that indicates they might not be a Post Office after all.
OSM Post Office Opening Hours Issues
Lists nodes and ways tagged with amenity=post_office, with a non-standard opening_hours=* tag.
OSM Post Office Tag Keys Report
List of all keys used on post box nodes, ordered by number of occurrences.
OSM Tag Lists
Various reports listing Post Offices 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. NE61 22
2. BN27 16
3. BT32 9
4. HS2 9
5. LA7 9
6. GL17 7
7. SA15 6
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. VictorIE 123 21%
2. fitzsimons 34 68%
3. robbieonsea 32 100%
4. James Derrick 25 96%
5. deptho 16 100%
6. gurglypipe 13 100%
7. manof25 9 89%

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

# District Updates
1. NE61 38
2. BN27 35
3. SO51 32
4. TN21 29
5. LA8 26
6. LA9 14
7. E9 11
8. LA10 10
9. GL17 10
10. CV23 10
11. BT32 9
12. HS2 9
13. LA7 9
14. AB11 9
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. VictorIE 123 21%
2. deptho 66 97%
3. fitzsimons 64 81%
4. gurglypipe 60 100%
5. robbieonsea 58 95%
6. manof25 55 98%
7. James Derrick 42 98%
8. ndm 26 81%
9. DaveF 21 14%
10. Pink Duck 19 32%
11. MacLondon 19 100%
12. Hillblagger 17 94%
13. John Grubb 14 79%
14. Ally76 12 100%

Data derived from OpenStreetMap data, © OpenStreetMap Contributors, licensed under Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL). XAPI courtesy of Overpass API.