Dear Suffolk County Council,
I believe that you have an electronic / digitised version of the Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way in the county. I would like to request a copy of this in a suitable re-usable format, such as KML or Mapinfo. I would also like to request permission to re-use this data under the Open Government Licence v3, for any purposes permitted under that licence. (I understand that Ordnance Survey claim some IP rights in the data, but that under the PSMA you are able to licence the data for re-use under this licence.)
Similarly, I believe that you have an electronic database version of the Definitive Statements of Public Rights of Way in the county. I would like to request a full export/copy of this database in a suitable re-usable electronic format. (An example of the output from this database for a single parish in a non-re-usable PDF format can be found at http://robert.mathmos.net/osm/prow/suffo... .) Something like a CSV file or a single spreadsheet would be ideal, but what's easiest for you may depend on the original database format/system. I'm happy to discuss possible format options with you before you expend any effort here. I would also like to request permission to re-use this Definitive Statement data under the Open Government Licence v3, for any purposes permitted under that licence. (I understand that Ordnance Survey do not claim any IP rights in the Definitive Statements.)
In both cases, I realise that the information I'm requesting is not from the legal definitive documents, but I believe that they should be good enough for my purposes. I am happy for you to add any suitable acknowledgement or disclaimer to the attribution statement in the OGL.
INFORMATION REQUEST – ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Thank you for your request, here is your reference number 12427. Please quote this in any future correspondence you may have with us.
We will process your request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 as appropriate. We aim to answer your request within 20 working days from the date we received it.
While no charges are made for the submission of requests, the council is entitled to apply reasonable costs for disbursements (i.e. photocopying, postage etc). Where such costs are under £5.00 the council is pleased to make no charge, however, if costs exceed that limit then these additional costs are payable to the council. Where charges will apply proper notice will be given to you prior to the information being released. For more information on charges please use the following link to our website: http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/about/contact-...
If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
Information Management Services
Corporate Information and Records Management
Information and Data Management
Suffolk County Council
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 – REQUEST RESPONSE
Thank you for your request for information, reference number 12427. Please quote this in any future correspondence you may have with us.
Please find attached a copy of our response to the information you requested.
Most information supplied by Suffolk County Council will have been produced within the Council and will continue to be protected by copyright. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for private study and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose authorised by an exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs) can be also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder.
If the information you have been sent includes a copyright statement, you must not alter or remove this statement. For information about re-using copyright see the Office of Public Sector Information website at www.opsi.gov.uk. The copyright in some documents may rest with a third party. For information about obtaining permission from a third party see the Intellectual Property Office’s website at www.ipo.gov.uk.
If you are dissatisfied with the way your request has been handled, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Under Regulation 11(2), internal review requests should be submitted within 40 working days of the date of this letter and should be sent to: Information Management Services, Constantine House, Constantine Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2DH or, alternatively, by email at [email address].
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
Information Management Services
Suffolk County Council
Tel: 01473 265197 and 01473 265755
Fax: 01473 216843
Email: [email address]
Dear Information Management Services,
Many thanks for providing the data I requested and granting permission to re-use them. The information will be very useful, and I would like to especially thank you for the helpful explanations you provided for the codes etc.
I have a few follow-up queries if you don't mind...
1/ The licence document included in the ZIP file is for the "Ordnance Survey OpenData Licence". This licence is now obsolete, as OS OpenData products are now licenced under the Open Government Licence (OGL) v3. Can you confirm that the GIS data and Definitive Statements you provided can indeed be re-used under the OGL v3.
2/ The disclaimer you're provided seems a little over the top to me, given that there's already a "no warranty" clause in the OGL. More importantly, what you've written seems to make sense only for a direct reproduction of the data on a single web page. My intended re-use is to use the data to help map and classify Public Rights of Way in the OpenStreetMap project. For this use, the SCC GIS and Statement data will only be two of a number of sources used to map the routes. So would you be happy with something along the following lines (which would seem to me to express the situation more accurately) being added to http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Contr... :
"Public Rights of Way in Suffolk are, in part, derived from GIS data and route descriptions provided by Suffolk County Council under the Open Government Licence v3 (Copyright and Database Right Suffolk County Council and Ordnance Survey). These datasets are not the legal Definitive Map and Statement, so the Rights of Way derived from them may not be accurate. The data used may also be out of date."
(I don't think putting a specific date is helpful, as if/when a later version of the data starts to be used, routes derived from old data may still be present. Referring to a web page is wrong since that's not how the data may appear. The reference to a scale is also incorrect, since it's the potential accuracy (e.g. maximum deviation in metres) that really matters not the scale of the map.)
3/ Am I right in assuming that the electronic Definitive Statements that you provided are not the official Definitive Statements, but just a convenient electronic version (in much the same was as the GIS data is for the Definitive Map)? Is this electronic version supposed to be kept up to date to match the official Statements, and whom should I contact about any significant errors or omissions that I find?
4/ I don't think that the Definitive Statement extract you provided as a Word Document qualifies as a "electronic form which is capable of re-use" under FOIA s11(1A). In the explanatory notes at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012... it says "a re-usable format is one where the information is available in machine-readable form using open standards which enables its re-use and manipulation" (note 389). Further details are available in the ICO's guidance at
While the document you supplied can certainly be read by a human easily enough, the text is unstructured and it would be very difficult to use a computer to automatically extract and manipulate the data from the file. Rather than making a formal FOI/EIR appeal, I think it might be more productive to handle this informally. With this is mind, is there a technically minded person in the Rights of Way team that I could talk to about getting this dataset in a better format?
Many thanks, once again,
Dear Mr Whittaker
We forwarded your questions to the department that provided us with the response to your request and they have provided the attached response.
We hope this answers your questions.
Information Management Services