[OSM-talk] UK post box data

Shaun McDonald shaun at shaunmcdonald.me.uk
Sat Jul 5 15:29:16 BST 2008

On 5 Jul 2008, at 14:36, Tom Taylor wrote:

> Hello all,
> I recently made a Freedom of Information Act request for the location
> of every UK post box. Royal Mail responded with a 1600 page PDF
> containing their info.
> http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/location_of_every_post_box_that
> I did some parsing of the PDF, and it seems that of the 114,000 post
> boxes in the UK, 50599 seem to have valid postcode data.
> I'm currently geocoding these postcodes using Yahoo's service, and
> wondered if the resulting longitudes and latitudes would be of
> interest to OSM and could be integrated. I'm not entirely clear on the
> licensing of it. Can anyone clarify?

The problem is that you are geocoding using Yahoo's geocoding  
services. Which simply isn't compatible with the OSM licence. If you  
were to use OSM or free the postcode data for doing the geocoding,  
then you would be able to do it.

However postcodes are not very accurate, they get you to within a  
quarter/half/full street. All post boxes in OSM are done more accurate  
than that. It would be far better to say, there should be a post box  
somewhere in this area, and there isn't one yet. Presenting this in a  
status page online would be more useful. Someone done this for the  
railway stations.


> Cheers,
> Tom
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