Connecting the Landscape with Internet

The Challenge

To formulate strategy for a NFP business combining public data sources and public access to the landscape.


Project Overview & Solutions

The solution often turns out more beautiful than the puzzle – Richard Dawkins

Project Overview

One of 10 Finalists in Ordnance Survey’s 2014 £100k Geovation Challenge.

Footpathwise is a new, not-for-profit project designed to add enhance our experience of the Countryside via Public Rights of Way. It is designed to encourage increased access to footpaths, bridleways, National Trails, rights of access, etc, through areas and, by connecting local communities and schools to these routes, create an increased sense of ownership and awareness of the areas people can walk through. It is also designed to connect local business to routes in a focused way to help them thrive and remain relevant for locals and visitors.

This involved feasibility discussion with potential Strategic partners, funding routes, branding & identity, design of outline technical infrastructure. The project was a development pilot and finalist in Ordnance Survey’s 2014 Geovation Challenge.

Location: UK
Development Phase: Currently in early development with Cotswolds AONB, Oxfordshire County Council, and The Cotswold Way National Trail.
Website: Coming soon

Press, PR, & Quotes

Be careful - with quotations, you can damn anything. - André Malraux

a fantastic idea that is also ‘do-able. I think this is an exciting proposal that I’d be keen to work with you to pilot in Oxfordshire County. In terms of enriching user experiences and knowledge I have always wanted to ‘get it on the gatepost’ and this is the best approach to this that I have seen.

Paul Harris

Access Officer, Oxfordshire County Council

It’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when so we want to implement this now on all 102 miles of the Cotswolds Way now.

James Blockley

National Trail Officer, The Cotswolds Way

I think the project is an excellent idea which is low impact, diverse in terms of its targeting e.g. visitors, walkers, local residents, schools, etc, and helps us to achieve our aims to increase understanding of what is special about the AONB. The fact that is doesn’t incorporate lots of paper-based guides is an added bonus as it is more sustainable.

Nicola Greaves

Information and Tourism Officer, Cotswolds AONB

People of all ages are interested in landscape younger people do not want to carry guide books and would prefer digital access.

Tim Copeland

Archaeologist and education consultant, Independent

Project Background

Books do furnish a room - Anthony Powell


Footpathwise is a new project designed to add information to wayfaring points on existing pathways and trails throughout the UK. How often have you walked a route and wondered more about the local history, flora and fauna, archaeology, geology etc which exists just off the beaten track? Footpathwise will be a growing database of this information gathered from separate organisations but presented in one place to any recreational walker through the landscape.

The information will be presented in bite-sized pieces along the trails using new wayfaring discs called OWLS ~ Observe Walk Learn Share. The text visible on the OWLS is a short, interpretive text designed to inform the walker about their immediate location in the landscape. The OWLS also feature a small scannable QR code and website details which can link a visitor to the main website. If web access is not possible then extra information about the route is available from a free downloadable app.

The website is designed for users to add their own information i.e. birds spotted, plants found locally to enrich the detail/ Footpathwise is designed for walkers generally and no technology is necessary for the enhanced walking experience. In addition circular or ‘closed loop’ trails on Estates, Nature Reserves and Local Communities can take advantage of the Footpathwise infrastructure for the benefit of their unique visitors. These loops can be added to the main Footpathwise site for wider visibility of attractions and local leisure amenities. All OWLS data can be shared with existing proponents of walking, outdoor and recreational tourism activity sites such as The National Trails.

About Footpathwise: In development

Other Projects

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better - Ralph Waldo Emerson