Source of ferry route data for UK

Source of ferry route data for UK

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I'm trying to find ferry route geometry data for the UK, particularly around Scotland. Things I've found whilst looking:

  • Ordinance survey ITN master map - this contains ferry terminals and logical links between terminals, but apparently no actual route geometry data
  • Google maps has the routes "burnt" into their tiles - they must be getting the information from somewhere e.g.,-5.7897745,12z?hl=en
  • Empty placeholder on

Ferry data from OpenStreetMap can be got using the "Overpass API" - there's a nice friendly interface here:

If you zoom to Scotland and put the following Overpass API query in the box:

/* This has been generated by the overpass-turbo wizard. The original search was: “route=ferry” */ [out:json][timeout:25]; // gather results ( // query part for: “route=ferry” node["route"="ferry"]({{bbox}}); way["route"="ferry"]({{bbox}}); relation["route"="ferry"]({{bbox}}); ); // print results out body; >; out skel qt;

and hit "Run" you should see:

The "Export" button will then let you save in various GIS formats. Note that OSM data has a rich data model so is a bit confusing at first when you are used to Shapefiles and other rectangular database formats…

You may need to zoom out more, and its possible if you ask for too much data that the system will timeout - zoom in and get what you can in chunks, then merge unique items in your GIS of choice, or increase the timeout value in the query (although there's probably a hard limit)

Ordnance Survey Strategi

The small scale (1:250,000) Ordnance Survey Strategi vector product is available for re-use under the Open Government Licence and includes ferry routes in the ferry_line shapefile.

Both vehicular and passenger routes are differentiated by feature code -5390and5393respectively and are attributed with;

  • From
  • To
  • Journey Time
  • Ferry Type & Access
  • Seasonality

Information on the different layers is available in the Strategi user guide.

Unfortunately as you say ferry route geometries don't seem to be available in the more detailed products, however as they are a general delineation I don't think this would be a major issue.

Map Contains OS data © Crown copyright 2015

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