OSM UK Quarterly Project No 2 “All things delivery-related”: an update

It’s now May and the project is a month old and with two months to go, it’s time for an update.

Robert Whittaker has an excellent site monitoring OSM data on postboxes in the UK. Here you can see progress (even a league table of who’s contributing). From the history graph you can see there’s been an increase in activity since the project got going. Perhaps Robert might provide some data analysis about the effect of the project.

Enter a postcode and you can find all the missing and incorrect postboxes nearby. I was amazed at just how many were missing in the areas I map regularly: a great incentive to revisit all kinds of places. In doing so I discovered one of those rarities: an EVIIIR royal cypher(OSM node 448635608).

(For non-UK readers King Edward VIII was only on the throne for about 11 months in 1936 before abdicating so there are only about 130 postboxes bearing the royal cypher EVIIIR, these being the ones installed during those 11 months)

How many of these are actually recorded in OSM? It would make a great treasure hunt for the rest of the project. From web research I think there are only 2 in Birmingham so my job’s done.

I’ve been unable to track down some of the indoor postboxes – two in particular are indicated in Sainsbury’s supermarkets near me, but neither exists. This led me to wonder whether Sainsbury’s had some kind of agreement with Royal Mail which didn’t work out so they were removed. But you can’t build a hypothesis on two pieces of data! Does anyone have any knowledge of this? Or replicate my findings?

In the West Midlands we’ve had some fun trying to locate the Coventry ParcelForce depot which is NOT where Google thinks it is. It moved over two years ago and is now mapped in OSM . Thanks must go to our local sleuth: spiffymapper.

Parcel Lockers are poorly mapped – only 8 existed in OSM for the UK at the start of the project. Now there are 11 . It turns out that one of the operators, ByBox, has its national distribution centre in Coventry so time for spiffymapper to get his sleuthing shoes on again!

Any other stories on what folk have been up to on this project are welcome.

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