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The Definitive Map

Most Ramblers have probably heard of the Definitive Map and Statement.

Although there are online digital ‘working copies’ that are meant to represent the definitive map, the legal map (in 2018) is still a paper copy held by councils and unitary authorities in England and Wales.
We can make an appointment to see the map and may be able (at least in Derbyshire) to take photocopies on loan, provided we sign an undertaking to return them and not to take further photocopies.
This ‘cloak and dagger stuff’ is out date in a modern age of more open public data.

We don’t need to consult a fusty old ledger if we need our bank balance ; we don’t generally need recourse to paper deeds when we sell a house – so why cannot digital data on our rights of way become the definitive map ?

One explanation may be that legal changes are generally slow to process and both definitive maps and digital versions are always out of date.
But why have to update the paper map before you do the digital one ?
Definitive Map Modification Orders (DMMO’s) are not appearing on the digital version ; digital features are not always supported by orders. These omissions can endure for years, even decades.

Being realistic about public authority funding, we will never have up to date rights of way maps – but we do need a visual impact of the changes to be made.
Simple additions to files generated by local authorities which show not just clickable rights of way lines and data, but also outstanding definitive map issues.
If local authorities, with their multifarious systems, cannot sort this out, it is a job that could be done by local Ramblers website volunteers – with the data shown publicly visible on a central Ramblers server.