Second edition of SEWeb News! 
Scotland's environment news banner

Thursday 20 December 2012

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What's new for SEWeb...

A world first! Scotland's greenspace map available on SEWeb

Scotland’s Greenspace Map is now available on SEWeb under the 'land' theme on the interactive map (please note that more detail is visible using the zoom in button)

Scotland’s Greenspace Map is a world first; no other country has mapped its greenspace in this way. It is an innovative Geographical Information System (GIS) based map which provides comprehensive information on the location, extent and type of greenspace across all of Scotland’s urban settlements (i.e. towns and cities with a population of 3,000 or more).

The map was compiled in 2011 from greenspace data provided by all 32 Scottish local authorities. The local datasets were produced using greenspace mapping characterisation. This involved using GIS maps and aerial photography to categorise greenspaces into 23 different open space types, these include public parks, play areas, allotments, amenity greenspace and private gardens. Primary and secondary codes are used to capture multi-functional greenspaces, for example, play areas or woodland within larger public parks. More information about the greenspace mapping methodology is available on the Greenspace Scotland website.

Scotland’s Greenspace Map can be viewed as an interactive map and the GIS data can be provided to users with appropriate Ordnance Survey licence arrangements.

The project to develop the Scotland's Greenspace Map was led by Greenspace Scotland with support from Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland; all 32 Scottish local authorities actively supported the project and provided information. You can find out more about how Scotland's Greenspace Map was developed by downloading the project report on the Greenspace Scotland website

SEWeb continues successful work with young people

As reported in the last edition of SEWeb News, a four day workshop was held earlier in the year with young people from Stirling High School to give insight and ideas as to how SEWeb could help and support young people to enjoy, understand, protect and improve Scotland’s environment.

We were so impressed by the enthusiasm, commitment and ideas of the young people that four more workshops were scheduled during November for the young people to work with Space Unlimited and project partners Abertay University to develop their ideas into viable products. In the words of Gregor, one of the young people, the products include:

  • "A video game called Wild Defence designed to show the different problems our environments may face. Through the different stages of the game, new environmental areas will require assistance, for example on an animal reserve you must fend off the hordes of oncoming poachers."
  • "A mobile phone app allowing you access to information regarding your local environment and what you can do to help. A built in quiz tests your current and growing knowledge on the environment."
  • "Website pages for young people. More experienced students have joined the team and have designed a more efficient, more intriguing website."

The young people have learned a huge amount from getting involved. Cameron, one of the young people who took part says: “We as individuals recognise we have gained a lot from the experience; confidence in ourselves, improved interpersonal skills, increased knowledge in IT and web development, and most significantly, satisfaction from all our hard work.”

It is intended that the products which SEWeb decides to go ahead with will launch on the website next year. We are also exploring innovative ways of presenting the process of collaborative working that was fundamental to this project and the journey that the young people have gone through in the production of the products.

New! Series of core briefings

The first in a series of core briefings about the project have now been published to the website. These documents give more detailed information about different aspects of the project. Core briefing one is a summary of the project as a whole, and core briefing two gives more information about the partnership focus of the project. The series will be added to over the next few months with briefings dedicated to public engagement, citizen science, State of Environment reporting and the SEWeb library.

Working with the University of Abertay

SEWeb workshopsSEWeb has been working with the University of Abertay (School of Engineering, Computing and Applied Mathematics, and the School of Contemporary Sciences) to hold a series of workshops on 'Accessing Online Environmental Information'. The objective of the workshops has been to determine how workshop groupsenvironmental information is currently accessed by different web users and more importantly how this process can be made easier.

The findings of the workshop are being used to ensure the vision for the future development of SEWeb reflects the needs of a wide range of interested website users. Four workshops have been held to date, with a further two scheduled for January 2013. Workshops have so far involved over 70 participants from a wide range of user groups, including local authorities, university students, environmental agencies (SEWeb partners), and community groups. Academics and the education sector will be represented at the sessions in January.

We want your feedback

SEWeb would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to respond to the website survey which is highlighted on the homepage. We have had a great response of nearly 200 users which has provided the team with some extremely useful information that will help shape future developments of the pages and tools developed in the future. The survey will be open until the end of January 2013 and a full analysis of results will be compiled and published on the website early next year, along with feedback on how your views and comments are being used to inform the website project going forward.
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners for their hard work over the past year and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Contacts us

We encourage anyone using the site to provide feedback by contacting us. If you are interested in finding out more information about any of these news items or want to get involved, please contact us

Please forward this newsletter on to friends or colleagues you think may be interested so they can subscribe to future SEWeb (LIFE+) newsletters.


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