You are in: Rob's OSM Stuff » UK PRoW » Progress

Public Rights of Way Progress

County Parishes RoWs LTotal Ldesignation Lprow_ref GIS Update
Cambridgeshire 234 4101 3222 km 1433 km 44% 822 km 25% 2019‑04‑12 7m
Cornwall 213 6576 4425 km 510 km 11% 39 km 0% 2019‑08‑31 2m
Derbyshire 280 9848 5212 km 4141 km 79% 410 km 7% 2019‑10‑09 6w
Devon 426 6594 5011 km 3584 km 71% 3459 km 69% 2019‑10‑09 6w
East Riding of Yorkshire 171 1838 1624 km 720 km 44% 35 km 2% 2018‑02‑02 21m
East Sussex 107 7865 3184 km 1083 km 34% 320 km 10% 2019‑04‑06 7m
Essex 314 9957 6400 km 1342 km 20% 360 km 5% 2019‑05‑17 6m
Gloucestershire 266 10018 5513 km 1534 km 27% 227 km 4% 2019‑10‑16 5w
Hampshire 273 7295 4596 km 3889 km 84% 474 km 10% 2018‑12‑18 11m
Herefordshire 246 4578 3494 km 1124 km 32% 459 km 13% 2019‑11‑04 2w
Hertfordshire 137 5518 3158 km 2284 km 72% 1723 km 54% 2019‑08‑28 2m
Isle of Wight 20 1438 856 km 862 km 100% 861 km 100% 2017‑07‑21 2y
Kent 62 9706 6883 km 2300 km 33% 1092 km 15% 2017‑11‑01 2y
Norfolk 546 5803 3852 km 3273 km 84% 3265 km 84% 2019‑09‑12 2m
Oxfordshire 322 5988 4232 km 2118 km 50% 639 km 15% 2019‑02‑21 8m
Somerset 341 9810 6147 km 5657 km 92% 5567 km 90% 2019‑07‑29 3m
South Gloucestershire 46 2292 1264 km 207 km 16% 9 km 0% 2019‑08‑28 2m
Suffolk 484 10427 5739 km 2262 km 39% 2038 km 35% 2019‑10‑08 6w
Warwickshire 18 3318 2839 km 2065 km 72% 972 km 34% 2019‑06‑21 5m
Worcestershire 198 15692 4590 km 2348 km 51% 1396 km 30% 2018‑07‑13 16m

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.