Proposed features/Post Office

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We have a tag Tag:amenity=post_office

This is an old proposal to do with Map Icons from back in November 2006. The proposed icons are accepted and used on the osmarender layer. Current Mapnik icon is:

Amenity-post office.png

The (old) proposal:

I would like to propose this unified set of symbols covering post offices and post boxes. -- Batchoy 12:11, 27 November 2006 (UTC)


Rendering Feature Feature Type Key/Value Pairs (as per Map Features) Comments
GCR COMM POSTO.png Node Physical
<tag k="amenity" v="post_office"/>
Post Office
GCR COMM POSTB.png Node Physical
<tag k="amenity" v="post_box"/>
Post Box

Note: The XML code for these symbols can be found here.


These symbols are good for the UK where the post is associated with the red royal mail, but in Germany post offices and post boxes are yellow and use the "Posthorn" symbol (a kind of bugle). See the logo on this page . It would be much more recognizable to use that in Germany, but it is a local thing. (Also the logo might be trademarked in Germany.) -- Jochen Topf 9 December 2006.

The red was selected as part of a unified symbol set where I have kept red for communications ie phone, post, wifi, not necessarily for its association with the Royal Mail. I also steered away from icons that were nationally associated with the post ie the posthorn, american eagle etc and went for the internationally recognisable envelope which we already use in the existing post office symbol. -- Batchoy 11:02, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
This didn't immeadiately make me think they were linked to the UK postal system just because they were red, as the rest of the design is too different. I like theses graphics, good stuff. Ben. 19:53 14th December 2006 (UTC)
I'll probably get used to the red for the post_office and post_box after a while. And we do need a single non-national set of symbols for this. The red might be too loud, though. I am not sure. On the other hand, looking at some commercial city maps, red is mostly used for public buildings and symbols like (S) for schools and (P) for police. So that would fit right in. But I have another problem, which also applies to some of your other designs in the unified symbol set. Generally they look very nice, but sometimes its hard to tell which symbol means which. How would I remember which of the two symbols means post office and which means a post box? Ideally this should be immediately clear from the logo without needing to refer to the legend. How about a filled square with white envelope in it for a postbox (box=square)? And a house shaped box with envelope for the post office. btw: The same goes for parking lots vs. parking garages. Joto 09:59, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
One of the problems is that using letters does not necessarily cross borders thus I am sticking to sysmbols. I also take your point on the legend, which by the way is something that we actually need to have, but I have attempted to stick with a standard sequence of colouring and shapes which I would hope people would pick up on through use i.e. the solid fill has great importance than the white fill as shown here for the post_office and post_box, similarly with airports and with bus_station and bus_stop. One of my major gripes about the current symbols is that they are a series of inconsistent images which in some cases could be lost in the detail of the map, sticking with bright colours and basic shapes containing symbolic icons makes them readily visible. I had however not considered your idea of using a building shape to designate buildings or covered varients of amenities, and it has some posibilies. -- Batchoy 12:30, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Here in Belgium, some post offices are being somehow replaced with 'post points', runned by private shops and delivering partial post services, if this is only a Belgium spec don't bother, but if something similar exists in others countries, wouldn't we need a 3rd icon/feature like 'post_point' ?? --PhilippeP 07:50, 31 July 2007 (BST)
In Canada, many Shoppers Drug Marts have small post offices inside them. In larger cities, there are more of them than there are official post offices, and they are open longer hours. Andrewpmk 17:45, 1 September 2007 (BST)
In Germany, there is a similar thing, too. However, Germany has abolished federal post services. Instead, the services are provided by private companies. As they differ in services, pricing and stamps, it would probably be useful to be able to specify the company running the marked postal points/boxes/offices so customers of specific postal companies can find corresponding service points. Of course, this would only make sense if other countries have employed similar defederalization efforts. --Compelled to register 14:39, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

The proposed icons are accepted and used on the osmarender layer

Mapnik layer icon is:

Amenity-post office.png

See also Tag:amenity=post_office