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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 and from Matthew Somerville's former 'Locating Postboxes' webapp. The Royal Mail Post Box data comes an FOI request. For further information, please see the Technical Details page.

Postbox Summary Statistics

Source Boxes Percent Updated
Royal Mail list 115485   2013‑11‑11
OSM 65880 57.0% 2018‑07‑16
OSM (matched refs) 49574 42.9% 2018‑07‑16

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
Functionality has now moved to the new Post Office Progress Tool.

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:

General Post Office Reports

These reports have now moved to the Post Office Tools page.

Post Box League Tables

Top postal districts and users by updates to post box nodes in last 7 days.

# District Updates
1. CR8 10
2. CB6 9
3. BA2 8
4. PR7 5
5. SE20 5
6. SO51 5
7. CR2 4
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. caranteth 22 95%
2. Pink Duck 22 55%
3. Robert Whittaker 11 100%
4. Laverock 9 100%
5. robbieonsea 8 100%
6. fitzsimons 6 100%
7. gregrs 6 83%

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

# District Updates
1. NN8 31
2. CR3 28
3. PR7 24
4. TN32 24
5. GU27 23
6. NE61 18
7. CB6 17
8. NN29 17
9. CR8 11
10. CR6 11
11. DE24 10
12. NG8 10
13. CR2 10
14. SM6 9
# Username Updates %Ref'd
1. RAC_UK 110 46%
2. caranteth 106 96%
3. robbieonsea 78 100%
4. Robert Whittaker 39 97%
5. Pink Duck 39 41%
6. TonyS999 39 97%
7. will_p 29 93%
8. deptho 28 89%
9. Laverock 25 100%
10. fitzsimons 23 96%
11. James Derrick 20 100%
12. Yorvik Prestigitator 18 56%
13. John Stanworth 15 40%
14. beigetable 14 100%

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