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Public Rights of Way Progress

County Parishes RoWs LTotal Ldesignation Lprow_ref GIS Update
Cambridgeshire 234 4101 3222 km 1390 km 43% 774 km 24% 2019‑04‑12 6w
Cornwall 213 6576 4425 km 382 km 8% 7 km 0% 2019‑04‑30 3w
Derbyshire 278 9840 5211 km 4008 km 76% 401 km 7% 2019‑04‑06 7w
Devon 426 6588 5006 km 3575 km 71% 3457 km 69% 2019‑03‑27 8w
East Riding of Yorkshire 171 1838 1624 km 661 km 40% 35 km 2% 2018‑06‑07 11m
East Sussex 107 7865 3184 km 943 km 29% 186 km 5% 2019‑04‑06 7w
Gloucestershire 266 10008 5510 km 1499 km 27% 193 km 3% 2018‑08‑01 9m
Hampshire 273 7295 4596 km 3872 km 84% 468 km 10% 2018‑12‑18 5m
Herefordshire 246 4556 3479 km 767 km 22% 106 km 3% 2018‑07‑02 10m
Hertfordshire 137 5502 3154 km 2164 km 68% 1497 km 47% 2018‑11‑21 6m
Isle of Wight 20 1438 856 km 862 km 100% 861 km 100% 2017‑07‑21 22m
Kent 62 9706 6883 km 2273 km 33% 1075 km 15% 2017‑11‑01 18m
Norfolk 546 5798 3848 km 3252 km 84% 3244 km 84% 2018‑12‑13 5m
Oxfordshire 322 5988 4232 km 2061 km 48% 631 km 14% 2019‑02‑21 3m
Somerset 341 9787 6146 km 5645 km 91% 5573 km 90% 2018‑07‑10 10m
Suffolk 484 10430 5735 km 2208 km 38% 1975 km 34% 2019‑04‑09 6w
Warwickshire 18 3294 2835 km 1917 km 67% 879 km 31% 2017‑10‑23 19m
Worcestershire 198 15692 4590 km 2342 km 51% 1396 km 30% 2018‑07‑13 10m

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.
  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 a week. There is a button at the bottom of each parish page to request a quicker update.
  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:

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.