New digital map of Scottish green space for 2017

A project that aims to let people find and access every green corner of urban Scotland is being updated by Ordnance Survey and the Scottish Government.

The Hidden Valley at Ballachulish in Scotland. Image: Pixabay
The Hidden Valley at Ballachulish in Scotland. Image: Pixabay

Building on the 2011 Scottish Greenspace Map, the new OS dataset will provide a comprehensive view of location, extent and type of recreational spaces across Scotland.

The project will deliver two detailed datasets, both an open data and premium version. The open data version will be available to download and will also be accessible to view via the OS Maps app from Ordnance Survey. The premium version will provide more detailed information to support work by public sector partners and academics on greenspace planning, management, policy and research.

John Kimmance, Ordnance Survey director for public sector, said: "This is an exciting project which we are pleased to be working on with the Scotland Greenspace Project Board. OS data contains a vast range of geographic features from which we are identifying the boundaries and classifying all of the publicly accessible greenspaces in Scotland.

"We are pleased that this dataset will be available as Open Data and via the OS Maps app from March 2017. The addition of the new greenspace data within OS Maps will enable users to quickly and easily identify, access and enjoy new areas of the great outdoors."

The new Scotland Greenspace Map is being developed in partnership with the Scottish Government, greenspace scotland, Ordnance Survey and other public sector organisations as a collaborative project under the One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA). The Map will be published in March 2017 and updated annually.

Julie Procter, chief executive of greenspace scotland and co-ordinator of the Scotland's Greenspace Map Project Board said: "Greenspaces make a real difference to our lives and communities. From parks and playing fields, to play areas and community gardens; they are wonderful places for children to play, oases of calm where you can relax and unwind, and great places to meet friends and neighbours.

"As green infrastructure they provide a range of natural services – improving air quality, mitigating flooding and creating wildlife corridors. To be able to manage and enjoy our greenspaces we need accurate information about their location, type and extent.

"Scotland led the way with the world's first greenspace map in 2011. We're delighted now to be working with Ordnance Survey to bring a new, improved and updated version of the map and an open data version which will make it accessible to a wider range of groups and individuals. This will be a fantastic tool to enable us to better manage and enjoy our wonderful greenspaces."

Kevin Stewart, minister for Local Government and Housing, said: "Evidence shows that improving access to local greenspace benefits physical health, mental well-being and provides social opportunities. That's why earlier this year we added it as a new national indicator, to enable us to track progress.

"The Greenspace Map helps identify where there is a lack of greenspace or of particular types of open space so that local authorities, public sector partners and community groups can develop plans to address this and take action to improve access within local neighbourhoods."

The announcement was made in Edinburgh at a conference discussing the new National Performance Framework indicator 'improving access to local greenspace' and delegates were able to view sample data from the new Map.

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