River Network Centrelines

Data already available

This data request has been included in the work ODUG is undertaking on third party licences and River Networks Centrelines. For further information, please see http://data.gov.uk/open-data-user-group-benefits-cases-for-release-of-data

Data request description: 
A vector-based mapping data set of centrelines of rivers and other watercourses in England and Wales, segmented and attributed with local names of the watercourses.
There are financial charges for the data
There is no authoritative vector-based open data mapping available for the river network in England and Wales. This data currently exists as a subset of the Environment Agency's Detailed River Network (DTN) data product, derived primarily from the water features theme of Ordnance Survey's OS MasterMap Topography Layer. (Both of those products are available for licensing on commercial terms.). This request is specifically for open data release of the centreline data, minimally attributed with names of watercourses, and not for release of the complete DTN data set.
Suggested use: 
Business Use
Personal Use
Community Work
Vector mapping of the river network is a noticeable gap in open geographic data for England and Wales. Since the release of the OS OpenData product suite in 2010 the public has had access to freely re-usable data for administrative boundaries, postcode locations, the road network and the rail network. Addition of the river network would help to complete the picture for existing open mapping initiatives such as OpenStreetMap, and support numerous other geographic applications.
Benefits overview: 
Release of this data would enhance leisure applications, tourism and outdoor pursuits. Enabling developers to include the river network as a standard layer on free web-based maps would also help familiarise the public with names and locations of their local watercourses. This would support greater awareness of flood risk and environmental concerns associated with rivers and streams.


os vector map

Could you extract it from the OS vector map district product? http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/products/os-vectormap-district/index.html.  it reasonably detailed  (maybe lacking names)

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OS VectorMap District

Not quite the same thing, unfortunately.

VectorMap District does include polygons for surface water lines, surface water areas and tidal areas, and these are useful for some limited purposes.

However there's no attribution at all; no names, and no information to distinguish a river from a drain. Also the polygons are broken up artificially by other map features such as bridges.

What I'm looking for is a set of proper centrelines for the river network, attributed with local names of watercourses so that the public can identify them on maps. Ideally the centrelines should be segmented at nodal points, e.g. the location where a tributary branches off from a main river.

-- Owen Boswarva, 14/10/2012

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An update on this request:

Although we are not all the way there yet, the Environment Agency has released some Water Framework Directive spatial data that makes it a bit easier to map the river network. The latest iteration is the Cycle 2 draft of the River Waterbodies dataset. I have written a blog post.

Even better news: last week the Public Data Group released a statement announcing (among other open data plans) that Ordnance Survey will release a new “Derived River Network” product. No further details yet, but my understanding is that this open dataset will be derived from the Water Layer in MasterMap.

-- Owen Boswarva, 21/07/2014

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Update: Open Water Network

Ordnance Survey have today announced some new open data products, available from the end of March 2015, including:

"A new Open Water Network – a generalised network product covering Great Britain’s rivers which will deliver a national view of our watercourses.... Open Water Network is a generalised network product covering Great Britain’s rivers and will provide the ability to carry out some basic network analytics".

This is presumably the same as the Derived River Network product trailed previously.

-- Owen Boswarva, 21/02/2015

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OS Open Rivers

Ordnance Survey have today released a collection of new open data products (in beta), including OS Open Rivers. OS Open Rivers fulfils the requirements of my data request above. The dataset is available for download from the OS OpenData supply page. Many thanks to OS for releasing this product.

-- Owen Boswarva, 24/03/2015

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