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UK Water networks


We (Ordnance Survey) have been working with the Environment Agency, Welsh Environment Agency, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (& through them local authorities) to create a national water network. We have extended the INSPIRE Hydrography Network application schema, in an ELF-like way. Specifically, initially we extend the HydroNode, WatercourseLink, and WatercourseLinkSet spatial object types, adding a 'reasonForChange' attribute (a customer requirement). We have added a lot of other customer specific attributes to the WatercourseLink, and copied the name & number attributes to the links (simplified, for usability).

Because we won't (for now) be publishing our physical waters data, we have also added name (and alternative name), number, and type attributes to the WatercourseLinkSet.

I hope to be able to share that specification with you soon.

In the meantime, I would like your views on the OS Open Rivers product, which we have recently published. It is a 'cut down' version of this (removing some of the smallest links, and a lot of the additional attributes). It has a simple link/node model, extending the INSPIRE WatercourseLink with four attributes - including allowing two simple names on each link.

I believe it complies with INSPIRE, except that it is currently only available in British National Grid (pending, hopefully, a new download service, with transformation built in).

Information at:, including links to User Guide & schemas.

Discovery record:

Comments welcome, particularly on the approach we've taken to extending the INSPIRE schema in order to achieve wider usability with current software.

Peter (prompted by thematic cluster discussion at INSPIRE Conference!)