The latest upgrade of the Access Map package is now complete and I’m pleased to announce a number of changes and new introductions.
1. All background maps now default to a terrain map so that river courses are not obscured by or confused with the road network
2. Rivers in Scotland have been added to provide a contrast with the situation in England and wales and hopefully a useful service to those north of the border who, whilst enjoying much greater access rights, nevertheless still experience access issues and spurious attempts to restrict access.
3. The information on the maps now comes in three levels.
a. The basic U.K. map and colour coded tracks of rivers.
b. You can click on an individual river for more detail but the best route is to access details of an individual river from an alphabetical list of rivers/sections. This will highlight the selected river within the context of its catchment area with an “info box” indicating the selected river/ section. This contains a summary comment, a graph showing users feedback on the access situation and pins indicating reported incidents.
c. There are also links to the detailed comments of users, the full details of incident reports with photos and video where available and input forms to enable further access comments and incident reports to be submitted.
4. To speed up displaying of the maps, the UK maps are compiled off-line in advance.
5. When you select a particular river from the list, it and the other rivers in the catchment are displayed in full colour. All other rivers are displayed in a subdued form so that, whilst they are still visible and accessible, attention is focused on your selected river within the context of its catchment.
6. When submitting new rivers you can choose to use the password (for those that know it) which will immediately recompile the UK maps to include the data you have just added (causing an apparent delay in making your submission) or not use the password which will complete your submission much faster but not display the new data until your submission has been authorised and the UK map recompiled (usually overnight).
I believe we have now achieved two of our key objectives;-
1. The creation of the facility to record and access relevant information on access in a convenient form
2. The entry of basic information on river locations/tracks and the generally accepted situation on your rights of access.
The next objective is to populate the map with relevant information from users on how access actually works in practice, what the real situation actually is on the water, and document all incidents so that anyone interested can see the reality of the threats and intimidation that paddlers are subjected to in particular situations and the relative harmony experienced elsewhere.
This is where YOU come in. Please enter an access rating for the rivers you paddle. Please document all incidents where your rights to responsible access are challenged in an inappropriate way with threats of (or actual) violence, vandalism or intimidation.