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Public Rights of Way Progress

County Parishes RoWs LTotal Ldesignation Lprow_ref GIS Update
Bath and North East Somerset 86 2104 886 km 569 km 64% 410 km 46% 2019‑11‑26 7w
Cambridgeshire 234 4101 3222 km 1440 km 44% 828 km 25% 2019‑04‑12 9m
Cornwall 213 6576 4425 km 531 km 12% 62 km 1% 2019‑08‑31 4m
Derbyshire 280 9848 5212 km 4206 km 80% 413 km 7% 2019‑10‑09 3m
Devon 426 6594 5011 km 3584 km 71% 3460 km 69% 2019‑10‑09 3m
East Riding of Yorkshire 171 1838 1624 km 723 km 44% 35 km 2% 2018‑02‑02 23m
East Sussex 107 7865 3184 km 1084 km 34% 320 km 10% 2019‑04‑06 9m
Essex 314 10135 6400 km 1342 km 20% 362 km 5% 2019‑05‑17 8m
Gloucestershire 266 10018 5513 km 1552 km 28% 227 km 4% 2019‑10‑16 3m
Hampshire 273 7295 4596 km 3913 km 85% 482 km 10% 2018‑12‑18 13m
Herefordshire 246 4578 3494 km 1130 km 32% 459 km 13% 2019‑11‑04 2m
Hertfordshire 137 5518 3158 km 2327 km 73% 1818 km 57% 2019‑08‑28 4m
Isle of Wight 20 1438 856 km 862 km 100% 861 km 100% 2017‑07‑21 2y
Kent 62 9706 6883 km 2303 km 33% 1093 km 15% 2017‑11‑01 2y
Norfolk 546 5803 3852 km 3277 km 85% 3269 km 84% 2019‑09‑12 4m
Oxfordshire 322 5988 4232 km 2121 km 50% 640 km 15% 2019‑02‑21 10m
Somerset 341 9810 6147 km 5657 km 92% 5568 km 90% 2019‑07‑29 5m
South Gloucestershire 46 2292 1264 km 216 km 17% 21 km 1% 2019‑08‑28 4m
Suffolk 484 10427 5739 km 2277 km 39% 2038 km 35% 2019‑10‑08 3m
Warwickshire 18 3318 2839 km 2076 km 73% 987 km 34% 2019‑06‑21 7m
Worcestershire 198 15692 4590 km 2401 km 52% 1413 km 30% 2018‑07‑13 18m

Note that the "Ldesignation" lengths are only approximate (and will normally be an over-estimate) as the tool does not check precise parishes for ways with a designation tag but no prow_ref tag. Consequently, it includes any OSM ways of this type that fall within the rectangular boundaing box of each parish, rather than just those that are contained within the parish boundaries.

About this tool

This tool takes information about Public Rights of Way from four sources and flags up possible errors / omissions / things to check. Currently only a handful of counties are available, but hopefully more will be added in due course. The data sources are:

  1. Official GIS data from County Councils. Many councils now have digital versions of the legal 'Definitive Map' document they are obliged to maintain. Many have made their data files available fir re-use under a suitable licence (see my open data page). Vector routes, path numbers, designations, lengths and bounding boxes can be extracted automatically from data files. I've started using the files from Barry Cornelius's rowmaps for this, as Barry has already done the hard work in converting the myriad of different formats from the councils into a standard KML format. Updates to this data depend on how frequently the corresponding council provides updates. I would like to have new data for ecah county at least once a year, but this isn't always available.
  2. Volunteer-Mapped data from OpenStreetMap. Path numbers, designations, lengths, bounding boxes, last update details, etc. can be extracted automatically on a parish by parish basis using the XAPI. The tool will extract all ways with a prow_ref=* tag within the parish's bounding box. The data from OSM is updated on a rolling basis with each parish getting an update roughly once every couple of weeks. There is a button at the bottom of each parish page to request a quicker update — which will usually be within half-an-hour.
  3. Definitive Statements. These are written documents providing textural descriptions of each Public Right of Way. Some councils have only paper records, but many now have digital versions. Sometimes these are unstructured formatted text documents (and so data needs to be manually extracted) but other councils have databases or spreadsheets (which allow automatic extraction of route numbers and statuses.
  4. Manual classification of OSM completion level. This would be entered by tool users, after comparing the official data with the current mapping in OSM.

I've got scripts to do the extraction from first two sources set up, but I currently have to initiate the updates manually. I can do the third and fourth behind the scenes, but eventually the plan is to have a public Web interface.

With the data the tool can then flag up issues such as:

The tool is currently under development, so various key bits of functionality are not implemented yet. For details see the Known Issues and To Do List.

Suggested uses for OSM Mapping

However, please do not use the PRoW GIS data alone to map routes in OSM. The data may not be completely accurate or well-aligned, and it is important that we capture the physical presence and accessibility of routes on the ground too. Simply copying the Council's GIS data into OSM adds very little to the map. Correctly mapping a path with the condition of the surface, adjacent hedges, gates and stiles is much more useful. See also my advice for routes not following the definitive line.

Adding new authorities

I intend to add more areas as and when I have time to do so. The main constraints though are having access to the data and it being available for re-use under a suitable licence for use in OpenStreetMap. The basic requirements are:

For my own use (and for anyone else who's interested) I've written a set of import instructions outlining the process of adding a new county to the tool.

It is also useful if the authority makes available its Definitive Statements, List of Streets and a list of Traffic Regulation Orders affecting Public Rights of Way. See my Council PRoW Open Data page for an incomplete list of what is available from each authority.