[Talk-GB] Public Rights of Way data for Cambridgeshire

Robert Whittaker (OSM lists) robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com
Tue May 30 19:29:44 UTC 2017

On 12 May 2017 at 12:08, Adam Snape <adam.c.snape at gmail.com> wrote:
> I would be interested to add rights of way information closer to home
> (Lancashire).

I'm currently figuring out how best to make my tool at
http://robert.mathmos.net/osm/prow/progress/ scale to be able to
include many more council areas, and be able to be kept up to date
with as little manual effort as possible. I'm not completely there
yet, but I'm getting close. I'm certainly willing to add more areas if
people express an interest, provided the data is available, in a
suitable format, and suitably licensed for use in OSM.

For the format, my preferred option is to make use of the standard
format available from http://www.rowmaps.com/ as that saves me having
to parse different formats from each council. So the first thing is
that the data needs to be in rowmaps. (There's one slight glitch that
I need to know which district each parish is in, which isn't always
available in the file, but I can probably work around this if/when
necessary.) As for the licence, it needs to be compatible with OSM,
which probably means it being the Open Government Licence (OGL) -- see
also below.

> Dave refers to the long list of other councils that have released row
> information. Is this the rowmaps website or is it somewhere on osm that I'm
> missing?

There's a list in the OSM wiki at
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_local_councils ,
although it's not necessarily up to date.

> The information on rowmaps is not clear. Is all of the data on there
> compatible with osm?

That's a matter of opinion in some cases. Originally Ordnance Survey
only let councils release the data under their own custom OS OpenData
Licence. This wasn't quite compatible with OSM's ODbL licence.
Although OS gave us special permission to make make use of their own
OpenData in OSM, this didn't/couldn't extend to data licensed by third
parties under the OS OpenData Licence. The good news is that OS have
retired their custom licence, and now release their own data under the
plain Open Government Licnce (which is OSM-compatible). They also
allow/encourage Councils to release their own derived data (including
Right of Way) under the OGL too.

What is slightly less clear though is the status of data previously
released by third parties under the OS OpenData Licence. OS say that
as far as they're concerned anything where they mandated the OS
OpenData Licence can now be released under the OGL. But I don't think
that automatically makes third-party data re-usable under the OGL --
the third party who owns the data would have to explicitly agree to
the re-licensing.

You'll see that some of the data on RoW Maps is explicitly under the
OGL, and some (including Lancashire at
http://www.rowmaps.com/datasets/LA/ ) was originally OS OpenData
Licence but includes the statement about OS changing to OGL. (There
may be other options for licences too, but I haven't seen any.) I'd
like to play it safe, and only promote the use of those datasets for
mapping where I am certain that they're ok for use in OSM. So I'd
therefore like to have an explicit statement from the Council that
their data can be re-used under the OGL before I add it to my tool.

So if you want to see the data for Lancashire in my tool, the main
hurdle to overcome is to get explicit permission from the council to
use their PRoW GIS data under the OGL. If you're willing to try to get
that agreed, then that would be great. Some sort of public statement
and publicly available download link for the shapefile/KML/mapinfo
file would be best if they are amenable. A public request on
WhatDoTheyKnow would also be fine, as would be getting them to add the
data and a licence statement to https://data.gov.uk/ .


Robert Whittaker

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