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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 64246 55.6% 2018‑01‑11
OSM (matched refs) 48068 41.6% 2018‑01‑11
Dracos 65833 57.0% 2016‑12‑29

Post Office Summary Statistics

Source Branches Percent Updated
Post Office List 11643   2016‑03‑01
OSM 8766 75.3% 2018‑01‑11
OSM (matched) 7716 66.3% 2018‑01‑11

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. TN39 13
2. TN40 8
3. TN4 6
4. TN3 4
5. SG5 4
6. EC2V 4
7. LA9 3
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. Dr-Mx 21 100%
2. deptho 11 91%
3. southglos 11 0%
4. fitzsimons 9 100%
5. robbieonsea 8 100%
6. John Grubb 4 100%
7. gurglypipe 4 100%

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

# District Updates
1. TN39 54
2. TN40 34
3. TN3 14
4. TN4 12
5. CB7 11
6. CB2 7
7. CB25 7
8. CV1 6
9. NW1 6
10. EC1A 5
11. CB6 5
12. DE12 4
13. HR9 4
14. SG5 4
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. Dr-Mx 88 100%
2. Laverock 36 100%
3. robbieonsea 29 97%
4. Pink Duck 27 67%
5. southglos 27 22%
6. deptho 27 96%
7. fitzsimons 22 100%
8. Yorvik Prestigitator 16 62%
9. Steeley 13 0%
10. will_p 11 100%
11. murble 11 100%
12. meadowgreen 10 20%
13. John Grubb 5 100%
14. Robert Whittaker 4 100%

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