marked as footpath on definitive map for north somerset
http://map.n-somerset.gov.uk/publicrightsofway doesn't seem to be a valid URL?
What rights do we have to use this source on OSM?
no idea about this edits or rights, but the correct url is probably http://map.n-somerset.gov.uk/publicrightsofway.html
My apologies for not giving the full URL , I shall do so in future. I was hoping that contributors to OSM would be inquisitive enough to research this resource for themselves and read further; it is a minefield but useful.
I have used the online map of local authorities as a resource to check the accuracy of their trace with my own gps recordings, Bing satellite imagery and on the ground knowledge. Using the information provided, I have then traced the Public Right Of Way as accurately as possible using Bing and tagged it with the access rights accorded by the definitive map that the authority supplies. This does not always follow the path marked on the definitive map and no assurance can be given to the accuracy of the definitive map or information; http://www.rowmaps.com/. I then try to include landmarks which may be useful for navigation.
Where I have crossed a path, I will occasionally check that the person who has mapped it previously has given the appropriate tags for the access and that the route is in line with the satellite imagery and definite map. In the case of the North Somerset map I found a route clearly marked as a bridleway on OSM which was marked as a footpath on the definitive map. I believe it is important that we should abide by the knowledge we have. I queried the source given and felt my source more valid for the access rights to a PROW, only the local authority officer responsible for PROW can give us the up to date information, failing that we have to rely on the data the local authority has provided. NSL OS Maps were used to draw up the definitive maps but are not as up to date. There is a significant difference between the right of access in the case of footpaths, bridleways, byways or boats and we must respect that. Locally it may be that cyclists and horse riders are using the footpath but it would require an 'order' for it to be labelled a bridleway.
As mentioned above (http://www.rowmaps.com), 86 local authorities have provided information and pointed out its limitations including the fact that they use OS crown copyright maps to show this data on their websites. The raw data is rather different though there is no agreement as to its status, open source or copyright. Perhaps this will come with the PROW review in 2026. The traces I have used are sets of coordinates which I have had to convert to GPX format which I can then overlay on the map but not copy and paste. It is not possible to upload them as tracks as they do not have timestamps. Does this breach copyright?
If I have got it wrong, I apologise and would take no offence at it being corrected.
(as a brief aside on "footpath" and "bridleway" tagging):
I'd use "highway=footway" for something that looks like a footpath; "highway=bridleway" for something that looks like a bridleway (typically "has gates instead of stiles and horse poo on the ground") and "highway=track" for something that's wide enough and occasionally used for farm traffic.
In addition I'd add "designation=public_footpath" where a path is signed as a public footpath, "designation=public_bridleway" where a path is signed as a bridleway, regardless of whether the thing on the ground is a "footway", "bridleway", "track" or something else.
I'd also add "foot=yes" for footways and bridleways, and "horse=yes" for bridleways (and perhaps also "bicycle=yes").
definitive information from the authority gives us the legal status. A horse rider would be in the wrong to use a footpath. Yes many tracks look wide enough for a 4x4 but that does not give them the right to use it. We must be careful to provide accurate information, landowners also have rights and anyone using OSM as a source for navigation needs accurate knowledge.
@tcdiosm if you're replying to me, I'm confused :)
sorry new to the Forum.
Hope this will make it clearer.
Public footpaths are public rights of way on foot.
Public bridleways are public rights of way on foot, or leading or riding a beast of burden (e.g. a horse). Cyclists may also use bridleways, but must give way to riders and pedestrians.
Public byways open to all traffic are public rights of way for all types of traffic but are mainly used by pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists and may not be suitable for all types of motorised vehicle.
There are also restricted byways.
@tcdiosm The point that I was trying to make was that for example "highway=footway" does not indicate the legal status of access. It just means "used mainly or exclusively by pedestrians". There are permissive footways, and private ones.
In order to indicate that something is designated as a public footpath in England and Wales the convention is to use "designation=public_footpath", and it helps to add explicit access tags too. That way it's possible to differentiate between things that are definitely designated as public footpaths, and those places where people are allowed to go that aren't actually public footpaths (for example across CROW act access land).
For byways, the tags that get used are "designation=byway_open_to_all_traffic" for byways that aren't restricted and "designation=restricted_byway" to those that are (restricted byways allow non-motorised traffic - so yes to a horse and cart, but no to a motorcycle).
This tends to get discussed every know and again on the talk-gb mailing list https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-gb and also there are questions and answers on the help site https://help.openstreetmap.org/ . Either of those places might lead to a slightly more legible conversation than a series of comments on one changeset :)
Dear tcdiosm, thanks for the details on sources, etc. -- I'm always interested when someone remarks that they're copying another map (doesn't help that I can never remember which Ordnance Survey products have which licence, etc).
Have fun mapping,
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