[Talk-GB] Public Rights of Way in Oxfordshire and Hampshire

Robert Whittaker (OSM lists) robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com
Tue Jun 27 14:02:20 UTC 2017

On 27 June 2017 at 11:56, Pierre Riteau <pierre at pierreriteau.name> wrote:
> However it reports much lower mapping coverage than I expected. It
> appears to be due to a mismatch of prow_ref format. I know that at least
> in and around Oxford, most paths have been mapped with a prow_ref based
> on the definitive statement in the style of "ParishNumber/PathNumber".
> See this bridleway as an example using prow_ref 320/14:
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/31871564
> The prow_ref Wiki page (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:prow_ref)
> suggests using "ParishName PathType PathNumber", such as "Oxford BR 14".
> Is that the latest recommendation from the community? You seem to be an
> expert on the topic!

My personal preference is for the "Oxford BR 14" format, but I'm not
sure there's really been a proper discussion about it. That format is
certainly it's well-used, particularly in counties where there is no
other obvious format. The complication arises where a county has a
different scheme, e.g. by giving each parish a reference number.

In the cases I've looked at, the parish id number system seems to be
more of an internal convenience in the Authority's data systems,
rather than being an attempt to renumber the rights of way in the
official Definitive Map and Statement.e.g. for Oxfordshire, while the
Definitive Statements do include the parish number, the left-hand
heading is the parish name, and the path number and type code appear
in the first two columns. The final number (usually 10, 20, 30) in the
RoW codes in Oxfordshire is a segment number, and this doesn't appear
at all in the Definitive Statements.

Whatever format is used, I think it should be consistent within each
Authority (county or unitary authority), even if different authorities
use different formats. though there are obvious advantages from using
the same format for all authorities -- hence my preference. Absent a
national decision, I think it's basically up to mappers in each county
what format they want to use, and without a discussion there will
probably be convergence towards a critical mass in most cases. In
Oxfordshire, both formats seem to be in use, though "Oxford BR 14"
seems to be more popular: there's 259km tagged like that
(http://robert.mathmos.net/osm/prow/progress/oxon/) and only about
38km tagged the other way (see
http://robert.mathmos.net/osm/prow/progress/oxon/tagging-errors). If
local mappers do decide on a different format for a given authority
I'd be happy to adjust my tool to pick that up. (Though I wouldn't
want too many different formats to have to cope with!)

It's not an answer I'm afraid, but hopefully at least some useful
background information.

> I would be happy to move to this format for Oxfordshire if it is also
> adopted elsewhere. How long would it take for your comparison tool to
> include updated data?

The parishes are updated on a rolling basis, and usually new data is
fetch about once a week. You can view the last refresh data at the
bottom of each parish page. If you want a faster update, click on the
button. This puts the parish to the front of the queue next time I run
the update script. So you should get an update within a 6-12 hours if
you do this.


Robert Whittaker

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