Monday, October 10, 2011

Map of the Week 10-10-2011: Scotland’s Greenspace Map

Detail of Scotland’s Urban Greenspace Map
UK Ordnance Survey
Thanks, Andrew Maroko, for sending me the link

“Scotland's Greenspace Map is a world first; no other country has mapped its greenspace in this way.  This interactive map provides information about the type and extent of greenspace in urban Scotland (i.e. towns and cities with a population of over 3000).  It was compiled in 2011 from greenspace data provided by the 32 Scottish Councils.”  

The interactive map itself:

The interactive map opens up showing all of Scotland and a good bit of northern England as well.  Glasgow, for instance, (my future home!) appears as a huge and many-tentacled green blog, indicating that Glasgow has lots of greenspaces, especially, it appears, along linear corridors.  However, if you really, really zoom in, (zoom to four or five levels below the top – the website says to at least 1:18,056, but since there is no scale on the map, that is singularly unhelpful advice!) you can see all the types of greenspaces differentiated as to playgrounds, civic centers, sports facilities, public parks and gardens, green corridors, natural and semi-natural greenspaces, private gardens and greenspaces, golf courses (it IS Scotland, after all, and golf courses run rampant!), cricket greens, tennis courts, transportation rights-of-way, churchyards, cemeteries, community allotments (similar to our community gardens), school grounds, woodlands, etc.  The more zoomed in you get, the finer the categorization of the types of greenspaces.  There are 23 primary types and a number of secondary types of greenspaces included. 
It’s very interesting how they’ve managed to include even all the private greenspaces in the whole country.  Their methodology included using aerial photo interpretation of Open Survey Mastermap to produce a GIS data layer showing primary (and where appropriate, secondary) typologies for each greenspace polygon.
The standard methodology used to map Scotland’s greenspaces is detailed in the Urban Greenspace Mapping and Characterisation Handbook, available as a free pdf downloadable at:
            This is a very worthwhile document to peruse, and the level of detail and explicitness is commendable. 

PS – STUDENTS!  TAKE NOTE!  THIS is what a good methodology report should look like.  It includes a data dictionary, data needs assessment, metadata, explanation of how things were categorized, and full description of analyses undertaken.  From this handbook, and assuming access to the same data, anyone would be able to duplicate the work done.  This is what needs to be compiled at the end of a research project, and it makes an impressive appendix to the dissertation!

The Greenspace Scotland organization’s website:

1 comment:

  1. It looks good, but looking at my local area near Glasgow, it has many small errors. Good example of precision lacking accuracy.

    There doesn't appear to be a way to feedback corrections.

    Also you can't use the data without a Master map licence so for the person on the street, look but don't touch the data. There is a critic of the map on the Guardian datablog:

    Still, it is very interesting and points towards a better understanding of ecosystem services, biodiversity and community well being.