[OSM-legal-talk] Adding UK post box information

Richard M Willis rmw at sevrin.co.uk
Wed Jun 16 17:22:41 BST 2010

Ed Avis <eda at ...> writes:
> For example the following row from
> gets turned into the following in OSM:
>     node with lat=51.5729084, lon=-0.0116965, and tags:
>         amenity=post_box
>         ref=E10 18
>         postal_code=E10 5AH
>         addr:street=Capworth Street

I would suggest that you DON'T add these extra two
pieces of information, for several reasons, based on
the 400+ PB locations that I've surveyed over the last
18 months:

1. The Street name (indeed, streets plural) can be gleaned
just by looking at the map.
2. When a road gets renamed (or remodeled), you've have
to make sure all the postboxes dependent on that thoroughfare
get renamed.
3. The RM file frequently refers to roads that are misspelled,
don't exist, or are the "non-obvious" choice where several
roads intersect at/near a PB. I've come across e.g. one
called "The Crescent" even though the PB is nowhere near
that road, but it is near *A* crescent, which is just
called XXX road.
4. PBs are not always named after thoroughfares (sometimes
PHs, shops, or colloquial names for an area, which would
not be relevant on a modern map)

Similarly, for Post Codes:
1. Not all boxen have full post codes.
2. Many postboxen have incorrect codes
3. Some have generic codes, such as xxx 1AA, which is usually
the address of a PDO
4. Sometimes the postcode comes from a (not very) nearby building.

> It appears to me that adding these two extra tags postal_code and
> addr:street (and sometimes addr:housenumber) from the data file should
> be okay, but I wanted to check with this list.  If these are felt to be
> a step too far then I will just add the lat,lon and ref.

Yes, just please add the lat/long and ref fields. People don't
really care about what the strict postcode or name is for a given
PB; they just want to know where it is. If they've already found
it on the map, there's nothing to be gained by saying that this
box is called "High Street".

Adding the last collection times would be an idea, but then this would
suffer from needing to be updated and might fall foul of copyright stuff.

As I've said, I've collected data (and pictures) for some 400 PB in
SGxx and ALxx. These were originally collected for postboxr, but
that site has become unmaintained, and I'd rather upload them to a saner
platform such as OSM.

Should I be uploading them to OSM or to dracos's place, given the questions over
the directionality ?

What mechanism exists for people doing a mass upload, but only for
a small part of the UK's boxen ? How would duplicates be managed ?

What do people think ?

Richard M Willis [in SG2]


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