OpenStreetMap

Remember to map post-boxes

Posted by mcld on 5 October 2013 in English (English)

I don't think I used to map post-boxes. Partly because I'm not that interested in them, partly because I sort of assumed they should have been imported en masse at some point from a Royal Mail open data dump of some sort (naive?).

But when I read SK53's interesting post about the completeness of post-box mapping in Britain, I was really surprised to learn that OSM had less than 50% of the postboxes in Britain. So I've started mapping post boxes when I come across them.

As it turns out, I could have started with the one at the end of my road. It was already there in the map, but it had the wrong reference number, though I only noticed that recently. Even in central London and central Birmingham (two hyper-mapped cities) I've found some postboxes that have sat there unmapped for years.

Anyway, a quick search finds that I've added or fixed 79 post-boxes in the map so far. Mappers, next time you see a post-box, please map it - post boxes are useful things to have on a map...

Comment from Vclaw on 8 October 2013 at 11:59

I agree with this, its worth mapping postboxes. There's still quite a few unmapped in the UK. It seems Royal Mail don't actually know where they are, so OSM may be the best available map of them.

Plus you can take extra details for the type of postbox, and the royal cypher etc if you want, see http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Extend_post_box

Also Post Hoc is a useful tool for finding missing postboxes or possible errors. http://robert.mathmos.net/osm/postboxes/

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Comment from mcld on 8 October 2013 at 22:16

Oh that's really neat. I like the clickable "progress" map: http://robert.mathmos.net/osm/postboxes/progress/

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