Data about Birmingham's public rights of way

1. Data to be released

I would like Birmingham City Council to release data about its public rights of way (ROW) with an Open licence.

If possible, I would like the following details about each ROW:
   name, e.g., Washwood Heath Footpath 1
   type, i.e., Footpath, Bridleway, Restricted Byway or BOAT
   coordinates, i.e., location of each of the points that define the ROW.
For the coordinates, I do not mind whether it is eastings-northings or latitudes-longitudes.

I would like this information to be provided to me as an electronic copy, preferably as an ESRI shape file or a MapInfo files as I can process those kinds of files.

I would like this data to be released with an Open licence such as the Open Government Licence (OGL):
   http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/
or the Ordnance Survey OpenData Licence:
   http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/docs/licences/os-opendata-licence.pdf

Most of the other local authorities that have released their data about public rights of way have chosen to release their data with an Ordnance Survey OpenData Licence.  My understanding is that they chose to do this because their data was based on mapping provided by the Ordnance Survey, and they applied for an exemption from Ordnance Survey's Public Sector Mapping Agreement.

The release of such data as Open data was encouraged by the previous parliament.  The previous Government's 2011 Autumn Statement says "Ordnance Survey has committed to amend its derived data restrictions on Local Authorities' Public Rights of Way data, enabling this to be released more easily as Open Data."
   http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sites/default/files/resources/Further_detail_on_Open_Data_measures_in_the_Autumn_Statement_2011.pdf

There is also a report from the Open Data User Group:
   http://data.gov.uk/benefits-of-releasing-a-rights-of-way-dataset
that recommends "promoting the release of open ROW under OGL from local authorities".

2. How would I use this data

I have developed a web application at http://www.rowmaps.com that shows public rights of way on a map.  Currently, the web application shows the ROWs of 86 local authorities.  Although this includes Staffordshire, Dudley and Worcestershire, it does not include Birmingham as Birmingham City Council were unable to supply this data when I approached them in March 2014.  As there are many interesting and useful ROWs in Birmingham, it would be good to include them on my web site.

Why the contribution is important

My view is that it is in the public interest to release this data as Open data as it'll enable people to offer applications that promote the use of these ROWs.

A visitor to my web site can discover the ROWs that are near to a chosen place.  Often a local authority will provide an online map showing their ROWs but the way in which you use these onine maps varies from one local authority to the next.  And it's frustrating if your chosen ROW crosses into another local authority and you then have to visit their online map. Instead, my web site works seamlessly across the boundaries of local authorities.

A visitor to my web site can also form a route by selecting a number of ROWs, get an idea of how long that route is, modify the route if it's too long/short, and then output the route in GPX format.  They can then download the GPX to a GPS device and this would help them find the route when they are out walking.

And my web site also allows you to show the position of bus stops on the map and if you click on a bus stop it tells you when the next bus will arrive.There will be many possibilities that others can think of.  There's a web site at:
   http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm
that is a rival to my web site.  He uses the ROW data that is available from my web site in KML format.  The whole idea about Open data is that many people can provide web applications and this competition makes it better for the public as they can choose between many different applications.

by BarryCornelius on June 17, 2015 at 10:50AM

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