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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 51255 44.4% 2015‑05‑22
OSM (matched refs) 33640 29.1% 2015‑05‑22
Dracos 60260 52.2% 2015‑05‑22

Post Office Summary Statistics

Source Branches Percent Updated
Post Office List 11721   -
OSM 8215 70.1% 2015‑05‑22
OSM (matched) 7241 61.8% 2015‑05‑22

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. PO16 40
2. PO9 30
3. ME1 17
4. PO10 17
5. DL13 15
6. HP19 15
7. YO30 15
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. manof25 130 98%
2. Yorvik Prestigitator 83 46%
3. MapperIAm 71 94%
4. Robert Whittaker 37 95%
5. MickO 34 88%
6. brianboru 26 73%
7. fitzsimons 23 87%

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

# District Updates
1. CA8 40
2. PO16 40
3. PO9 37
4. HP3 33
5. MK18 28
6. YO30 27
7. CA10 26
8. CF33 22
9. ME1 20
10. PO10 19
11. NR18 17
12. CA11 17
13. CA2 16
14. ME3 16
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. Robert Whittaker 219 87%
2. MapperIAm 215 98%
3. Yorvik Prestigitator 200 32%
4. manof25 146 99%
5. shirokazan 121 99%
6. brianboru 91 68%
7. paulbiv 65 92%
8. fitzsimons 63 87%
9. will_p 46 98%
10. quaffer_rick 44 100%
11. MickO 44 91%
12. caranteth 34 97%
13. tms13 32 9%
14. SK53 29 48%

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