UK Path/Bridleway segmentation

Several UK local authorities have released their Public Right of Way data under a Open Data license

Barry Cornelius has been doing a great job of collating the data sets here

I have been processing these into UTF Grids at Google Zooms 13-15 to use for route creation aiding on my hike/bike/… route planning site here

Press the Wand button (top left tool bar rightmost) then the Route button (bottom left tool bar, leftmost). You can then click e.g. along the Thames path building the route you want. Off PROW points, e.g. along a road, are included if no PROW is highlighted when you click. The PROW assistance can be toggled on / off at any time. On clicking a PROW it is linked to the existing route by its end nearest to the end of the route. When starting a route with a PROW, the end of the PROW nearest the click is used as the start. You can use use Right-Click to rub out route points from the end of the route. If you pick the wrong path.

Fortunately the released PROW data has a pretty good and consistent segmentation treatment with each path segment, between junctions with other paths and roads, being a separate feature.

As some of the honeypot counties like Cumbria have not (yet) released PROW data, I have been considering using OSM path data for those areas.

Unfortunately I find that the OSM path data has a wildly varying segmentation treatment. If you pan (at Gzoom 13 or OS first 50K mapping) my test page here

to Windermere and then find Troutbeck , you will find a very long path that goes all up Troutbeck, over Thornthwaite Crag, Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke and then to the Garburn Pass.
This path should highlight when you mouseover it.
This path is OSM is way 27577503 in cumbria.osm from

Has anyone looked at segmenting paths into their fundamental parts ? If so I would be most interested to receive some tips on how best to do the processing.


Bill Chadwick

I haven’t - I suspect that people that have are more likely to be reached via the “dev” list:

or perhaps Talk-GB:

both of which have more traffic than this sub-forum.

Paths in OSM tend only to be split into different ways / segmented when something changes, hence your example of one path going north from Troutbeck and then coming south again.

I suspect that in some places you’ll find the opposite problem - paths split into (very small) individual ways where the surface changes, or where there’s a small bridge etc.

Thanks SomeoneElse.

After a bit of holiday thinking time I have managed to segment the Cumbria path data fairly easily.

I shall re-post on your suggested mailing list as I am interested to know how council prow data will be integrated into OSM.