Ground-breaking public domain knowledge resource maps about the key national local building blocks of Scotland
Welcome To Scotland The Map
So what That is, the ‘everyday ‘things’ that together, interweave to form the fabric of the nation..
- Geographic Subdivisions – Administrative, Government, Electoral, Education, Health etc.
- Public Bodies, Institutions & Partnerships – Governmental, Councils, Health, Educational, Ecconomic, Arts & Cultural etc.
- People – Elected Representatives (‘Politicians’), Management / Oversight Boards etc.
- Communities & Networks – Defined by geography – straightforward enough – but also by interests & activity eg. economic sectors
What everybody routinely needs to know about these ‘national local’ building blocks is…
- What are all the blocks of a particular ‘type’ in Scotland?
- Where are the official / definitive / plain old useful knowledge resources about each of them located in the public domian?
- How can you assess them for quality & suitability?
- Most importantly, how do you access them now – and in the future – so you can utilise them for the benefit of yourself / organisation / community / project?
In our experience however these basic questions are not as straightforward to answer as they should be, and the extra time & energy needlessly wasted by individuals, organisations & communities in the process of trying could be better spent actually utilising the knowledge to do what they need to do.
ScotlandTheMap is a ground-breaking, national knowledge mapping project, virtually connecting general, geographic & specialised knowledge resources about all the ‘key national local building blocks’ of the nation, by visually connecting them in digital knowledge maps. This makes them easier to discover, re-locate, understand & utilise, which benefits resource users, creators, and the nation as a whole. The knowledge the maps contain are of…
- what ‘things’ of a particular type exist in a given ‘space’ in Scotland.
- some core knowledge about them, cartographically embedded in the map to provide context
- what knowledge resources about them exist in the online public domain
- links to where those resources are online (ie. their URL), so map users can access them ‘there and then’ with a click of their mouse
In short, our knowledge maps are an interactive, visualy structured, ‘discover within the bigger picture context’ index of what blocks exist, the online knowledge resources about them, and a ‘minimal-click’ portal to those resources, all in one.
We create them using our unique mix of professional information hunting & cartography skills and MindManager, the world leading information mapping software. The resulting HTML knowledge maps – which you are free to view, download & share on this project website – can be viewed in any modern browser, on any device, without the need for any plugins, or indeed an internet connection to view it once it has been downloaded (so it can be viewed offline, in remote locations with no signal). Maps are also available in the original MindManager format for amending, adapting and re-purposing by MindManager users (for a small charge).
We welcome your feedback & suggestions for subjects for future maps, or other definitive / official / plain old useful 🙂 knowledge resources to link to (as long as they’re freely accessible in the public domain). We are also keen to collaborate with like minded organisations, communities & projects for the benefit of the common good.
Anybody can view the html version of our knowledge maps online from within the individual map posts, however to download the HTML5 file – for viewing on or offline in any modern browser, on any device, without additional plugins – you will need to register for basic membership (it’s free 🙂 To download the original map in MindManager (.mmap) format – for amending, adapting & repurposing in MindManager software – you will need PRO membership, available for a modest annual, or one off lifetime, fee. Already joined? Login below.
Knowledge Mapped So Far...
It’s taken us a wee while to develop the optimum techniques for capturing the different types of national building blocks in a knowledge map (and we’re continually iterating). Here’s what we’ve captured so far…
Here’s the building blocks we’re working on capturing right now…
In Our Sights...
The thing with building blocks is there’s a lot of them. Here’s the list of the blocks that we’d like to capture as the ScotlandTheMap project progresses…
ScotlandTheMap In A Nutshell...
Over time the ScotlandTheMap project aims to build up an online library of digital but tangible, robust , flexible, visually structured knowledge maps of the key national building blocks of Scotland, which act both as a visual register of the blocks and a portal to definitive / official / plain old useful knowledge resources about them available in the public domain that will fulfull a number of objectives…
Digital knowledge mapping with MindManager software is the only technique we know of that can simultaneously record the existence of potentially 100’s of real world ‘things’, 1000’s of knowledge resources about them, the ‘big picture’ contextual relationship between them and in which they are found, ‘where they are’ online (ie. their ‘URL’), and a lot more besides…
Capture all the individual ‘building blocks’ of the nation from definitive registers as ‘seed points’ in visually structured knowledge maps using MindManager, the market leading information mapping software, and our ‘information cartography’ skills. A single map will cover the whole of Scotland for a given subject, even down to local community level.
Hunt down public domain official / definitive / plain old useful knowledge resources about the building blocks online, and add them as sub-branches to the seed points in the map along the with hyperlinks to their URL’s. Thus as well as being a visually structured, cartographically designed, intuitive to navigate but instantly searchable index of all the ‘building blocks’ & potentially 100’s of knowledge resources about them, the map can take users straight to the latter in a couple of mouse clicks.
MindManager has the unique capability to export knowledge maps in HTML5 format – viewable in any modern browser, on any device, without the need for additional plugins and, if downloaded, without the need for a further internet connection – so we publish & share our maps on the project website as HTML files for free, as well as native MindManager (.mmap) files for full feature viewing, amending & adapting – in whole or in part – for your own purposes in MindManager software (for a small annual or lifetime fee to help cover costs).
However our maps are used – simple reference look-up, ‘blue sky’ strategic planning for the future, day to day operational planning – they ensure that individuals, organisations & communities with an interest in Scotland waste less time & energy hunting for the knowledge resources they need, or worse still recreating them themselves because they don’t know they already existed. Professionals & dedicated amateurs alike can therefore spend more of their time actually utilising the knowledge contained in the resources to achieve what they are trying to achieve.
The nation also benefits when more of the knowledge resources about it – many produced at public expense – are utilised by more people. More people = more scrutiny, so as well as the positive boost to user metrics 🙂 this will improve the detection of errors, duplications, and gaps in the national knowledge base.
ScotlandTheMap challenges our professional skills & tools on an ongoing basis, especially MindManager as it is continually evolving so there’s always something new to test with a view to improving our map making process. In particular it gives us a testbed for it’s Information Cartography & HTML Map Publishing features, as well for the use of WordPress as a Map Sharing Platform. It also provides an opportunity for us to give something back to the hard working knowledge resource users and producers of the nation 🙂
Featured Knowledge Map
Scottish 'National Local' Council Maps
The geographies of Scotland’s 32 Local Council Areas dominates Scottish public life – whether that be through the planning & delivery of essential / life enhancing services to local communities via Planning Partnerships, Health & Social Care Partnerships etc., or democratic oversight & accountability via the election of local councilors to electoral wards & community councils (the next ‘tier’ down, but still facilitated by Local Councils).
However because of the diverse geographic nature of Scotland, the disparate sizes of ‘equivelant administrative units’, the number of people & entities involved, the variations in the way things are done locally etc., ‘national overview of ‘what’s what’ at local level everywhere’ resources are very difficult & time consuming to produce, so those that do exist tend to be very narrowly focused in scope.
But what if there was some way of connecting together those ‘national overview’ resources that do exist, with ALL the locally produced local knowledge resources, to make a single body of ‘national local’ knowledge accessible to all? Something like a visually rich, information dense, hierarchically structured, intuitive to navigate, easy to share, ‘single, clickable index’ knowledge map perhaps?
Thus knowledge mapping Scotland’s Local Councils, their administrative & electoral geographies and associated bodies has been one of the first priorites of the ScotlandtheMap project, and over time they will be used as the framework upon which we will build a comprehensive virtual library of ‘national local’ knowledge.
The geographies of Scotland’s 32 Local Council Areas dominate public life – whether that be through the planning, funding & delivery of public services to local communities, or local democratic oversight & accountability – so knowledge mapping them was one of the first priorites of the ScotlandTheMap project.
This ‘national local’ knowledge map ‘visually connects’ general & geographic knowledge resources about ALL of Scotland’s 32 Local Councils for the very first time ever in a single, information rich, intuitive to navigate, easy to share, digital document. With thumbnail location maps, embedded contextual ‘facts & figures’ such as geographic area and population, 100’s of hyperlinks to official / definitive / ‘plain old useful’ knowledge resources (all available in the public domain but scattered in different places around the web), as well as a variety of attached index markers that tag them with some of the contextual knowledge and enable dynamic filtering to hide / show map content as well as aid internal navigation, this map will help you to discover what you need to know about them.
This map also establishes a comprehensive & robust visual knowledge framework upon which we can build many other maps about the ‘national local’ building blocks of Scotland based on Local Council Areas in the future.
Our Scottish Local councils – General & Geographic Knowledge Atlas is the ideal starting point for ‘thumb & brain friendly’ desktop (or even ‘in the field’) research for anyone with an interest in any, or all, of Scotland’s 32 Local Councils. It is made up of a visual framework of…
32 Scottish Local Council general knowledge seed branches – with unique identifying codes, embedded logo & thumbnail location map image and contextual general ‘facts & figures such as geographic area and population as single data fields, as well as attached multiple hyperlinks to core general & geographic knowledge resources, and index markers that also tag them with some of the contextual knowledge.
Each of these seed branches also has collections of sub-branches, each with a single hyperlink to official / definitive / plain old useful General or Geographic knowledge resources about the Council found in the public domian…
General Knowledge Resource Link Collection – This includes the local council’s website home, A-Z of services and councillors pages, profiles by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), the National Records of Scotland and the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, and Wikipedia Articles on the council and geographic area administered by the council.
Geographic Knowledge Resource Link Collection – This includes the local council’s website mapping pages (if they have them), their entry in the Gazetteer for Scotland, the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland Council Area Overview Map, the various current & historical online map viewers from the National Library of Scotland, global online mapping services like Google Maps & Open Street Map, and the Wikipedia List of articles about places in the Council Area.
Together these elements establish a comprehensive & robust visual knowledge framework upon which we can build many other maps about the ‘national local’ building blocks of Scotland based on Local Council Areas in the future.
MindManager Users – As with all our maps, the MindManager (.mmap) version of this map is also both a base map to add your own content to, or a source of content that can be added to your own existing maps.
Explore the other tabs for comprehensive descriptions of the knowledge seed branches and knowledge link collections that make up this knowledge atlas map….
More About Digital Knowledge Mapping
For those of you unfamiliar with the digital knowledge mapping process, here are just some of the features and benefits …
Musings on re-inventing wheels and finding stuff…
Map Finder Panel
Use the tools in this panel, which is included on every page (as is the sticky menu at the top of every page) – to find the maps you are looking for. You can do a free text search, or filter by category, tag or publication date. Alternatively you can just browse the ‘All Map Listing’, or the ‘knowledge map of knowledge maps’ at the foot of this (and every) page for one that catches your eye.
Maps by Category
Maps by Time
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