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Definitive Statements and PRoW GIS Data for the County of Norfolk

Norfolk County Council, as the Highway Authority for Norfolk have kindly provided copies of their Definitive Statements of Public Rights of Way, and their (non-definitive) GIS representation of the Definitive Map. Both can be re-used under the Open Government Licence, and hence are suitable for use in OpenStreetMap (view mapping progress).

The Definitive Statements

The Definitive Statements as at June 2018 are available as PDF files, licensed under the Open Government License (v3):

Source and provenance: FOI Request on WhatDoTheyKnow, NCC Web Page.

Suggested OSM source tag: source=definitive_statement.


The GIS data for the entire Rights of Way network from April 2018 is available as a KML file, licensed under the Open Government Licence 3.0:

Source and provenance: NCC Inspire and Open Data page.

Suggested OSM source tag: source=norfolk_county_council_prow_gis_data.

Licence Notes

Definitive Statements

Norfolk County Council has given permission for their IP contained in the Definitive Statements to be re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence (v3). The statements are maintained by the Council, and I believe that the only other source of IP in the Statements would be from Ordnance Survey (since they're compiled by reference to OS base maps). But Ordnance Survey have confirmed that they do not claim any IP rights in any Definitive Statements. Therefore I conclude that we are free to use the Statements under the OGL. The attribution statement to use is "Contains public sector information from Norfolk County Council licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.". In particular, I believe that the information in the statements can be used in contributions to OpenStreetMap. The attribution appears on the Contributors wiki page, which is linked from the OSM Copyright and License page.


Norfolk County Council has digitised their public Rights of way network in order to create an interactive map. The council has applied for and received an exemption from the standard licensing under the Public Sector Mapping. Following the change in licensing from Ordnance Survey, the Council now make their Rights of Way GIS data available under the Open Government Licence 3.0.

OpenStreetMap Tagging Notes

The official PRoW status of a way should be recoded using the designation=* tag, with one of the values public_footpath, public_bridleway, restricted_byway, and byway_open_to_all_traffic. See my PRoW Table.

For tagging the reference numbers, please use the form prow_ref = [Parish Name] [XX] [Num], where [XX] is the two-letter right of way type (FP, BR, RB, or BY) and [Num] is the number (without any leading zeros, but possibly including a suffix letter). A single space should be included on both sides of the right of way type code. To avoid clashes with other users of the ref key on roads and forest tracks, prow_ref is used as the key instead. So, for example:

As well as listing Footpaths, Bridleways, Restricted Byways, and BOATs, some of the statements contain paths labelled as "C.R.B." or "C.R.F.". I think these were terms used early in the Definitive Map processes to describe RUPPs, standing for "Cart Road (used as a) Bridleway" and "Cart Road (used as a) Footpath" respectively. All RUPPs that had not already been reclassified as either an FP, BR, or BY, were automatically changed to Restricted Byways on 2nd May 2006.

You should be fairly safe interpreting any remaining "C.R.B." and "C.R.F." entries are as Restricted Byways now. It is possible they were re-classified before the cut-off date and the Definitive Statement hasn't been updated to reflect that. A further check can be made using the classification in the Council's GIS data.

Note that on-the-ground signage may well be incorrect — I know of several Restricted Byways in Norfolk that are sign-posted as Bridleways. As the Definitive Statement is "definitive", what it says should be used in preference to any signs on the ground. However, it would probably be sensible to record any discrepancies in a note=* tag to help other mappers.

In addition, appropriate access tags should be added, to help international data users, and those who don't take the case to compute defaults from the designation=* tag. For further details see my PRoW Table.