Import/Catalogue/Post office import Norway

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This is a plan for importing post offices, parcel lockers and post boxes from Posten in Norway.


The objective is to import and maintain the following from Posten Norge:

  • 1670 post offices, including 1650 "Post i butikk" offices which are run by external partners.
  • 1170 parcel lockers (automats).
  • 9250 post boxes (public mailboxes for sending letters).


  • 28 September 2018: Explicit permission obtained from Posten Norge/Bring (link).
  • 29 March 2022: Import discussed on the Norwegian forum (link).
  • 02 April 2022: Import plan submitted for review to the OSM Imports mailing list (link).
  • 18 April 2022: Import startet.

Import Data


  • Data source site: Posten API
  • Data license: None, explicit permission granted.
  • Type of license (if applicable): N/A
  • Link to permission (if required): Explicit permission obtained 28 September 2018: Permission
  • OSM attribution (if required): Contributors
  • ODbL Compliance verified: N/A

After the initial contact with Posten in 2018, Posten has instructed us to use a new API (given above). Also, parcel lockers and post boxes have been added to the dataset.

OSM Data Files

The original XML files as well as the generated OSM files may be inspected here (Google Disk folder). The API delivers data which is updated daily from Posten's production systems that are used on the ground by mailmen and transporters.

A large number of objects have been checked. A large majority of post boxes have coordinates within 2-3 meters of a wall. A few post boxes could have had more optimal coordinates, but they are within 10-20 meters of the correct position. Post offices will not be relocated from their current position in OSM.

Import Type

This is a one time import with quarterly updates. The post offices are already in OSM but will get updated tagging, while parcel lockers and post boxes will be imported now.

Data Preparation

Data Reduction & Simplification

Only the attributes listed below will be imported. Post offices will get the new post_office=* tagging instead of the previous post_office:type=* tag.

Tagging Plans

Here is the proposed tagging for post offices:

"Post i butikk" annex offices in Norway are tagged on nodes which are separate from the associated shop or similar object. These offices have a separate desk and separate Posten branding. They are usually located in such a way that it is not necessary to enter the shopping area behind the cashier of the partner shop (example picture).

OSM tag Posten item Description
amenity=post_office Main tag



EnhetsType Type of post office:
  • 1, 21, 32: Full post office, run by Posten
  • 4, 33: "Post i butikk", run by external partner
  • 19: "Pakkeutlevering", run by external partner
ref:posten=* Enhetsnr Unique reference
name=* EnhetsNavn Name of post office
alt_name=* EnhetsNavn Alternative name which also contains the store name (for partners)
brand=* "Posten"
operator=* Navn Name of the partner, where applicable
opening_hours=* Apningstider Opening hours

Tagging for parcel lockers:

OSM tag Posten item Description
amenity=parcel_locker Main tag
ref:posten=* Enhetsnr Unique reference
name=* EnhetsNavn Name of locker
brand=* Navn "Posten"
opening_hours=* Apningstider Opening hours for the locker, only if access is restricted.

Tagging for post boxes:

OSM tag Posten item Description
amenity=post_box Main tag
ref:posten_box=* Enhetsnr Unique reference
brand=* Navn "Posten"
collection_times=* Frister Days and times when mail is collected from the post box by Posten.

Additional tags which are helpful for conflation are provided in UPPER case. They will be deleted before uploading to OSM.

Changeset Tags

The changesets will be tagged with source=Posten Norge and source:date=*.

Data Transformation

The required data is fetched and transformed using a small Python script post2osm. Names are prettified (casing, spaces etc). Opening hours and collection times are formatted according to OSM syntax. A separate script for post boxes relocates post boxes which are inside buildings to outside the closest wall if they are close to the wall.

The generated OSM files may be inspected here (Google Disk folder).

Data Merge Workflow

Team Approach

One person will conflate the files.


Post offices and lockers which are not already in OSM will be verified using the additional ADDRESS tag and by inspecting store names on the standard OSM background map in JOSM. The location of lockers and post boxes will be verified using the "N50 topo" background map and the "Norway Orthophotos" imagery. Post boxes usually are located on a wall or on a separate post in a public place.


  1. Run post2osm to download data and generate OSM files.
  2. Download from OSM, either:
    • amenity=post_office
    • amenity=parcel_locker
    • amenity=post_box
  3. Run geocode2osm to geocode a few objects which have coordinates close to equator.
  4. Conflate with existing objects in OSM using the Conflation and Todo plugins in JOSM.
  5. Check error messages and warnings in JOSM and upload.

Repeat 2-5 for all three object types.


All post offices are already present in OSM and will keep their current coordinates.

Parcel lockers and post boxes will be conflated if they are closer than 100 meters. Lockers and post boxes from other brands will not be touched.

The number of post boxes in Norway has been reduced a lot during recent years, so many post boxes in OSM do not exist on the ground anymore. Therefore, post boxes without a match and which are not tagged as belonging to other operators will be deleted (discussed with the local community). There are currently 819 post boxes in OSM in Norway.


Once imported, the post offices, parcel lockers and post boxes will be updated using the update2osm tool, which automatically updates existing objects based on the ref tag and flags new objects as well as objects not found in the source data anymore. A log file is inspected before manual fixes and manual uploading. There are many changes each month, for example partners which are swapped/relocated, new parcel lockers etc.

External links