Jings, Crivvens, Help Ma Boab!
Okay so we’re all about mapping as many different types of Scotland’s ‘national local’ building blocks as possible, but it’s also always been our intention to keep the maps we’ve already published (see below) up to date – as external circumstances dictate (and our time allows)…
However as you may have noticed, as far as external circumstances are concerned, we’re all living in Rather Strange Times…
There was a slew of Local Council elections planned from March to 14th May, but only the earliest one took place as planned. The rest were postponed due to the Coronoavirus Crisis. The re-scheduled dates, where any were set, were for October & November ie. soon.
But they’re not going to happen.
The UK Government has now formally posponed all local elections in England & Wales until the 6th of May 2021 at least, which is normally ‘Local Council Election Day’ across the UK, although only in a quarter of councils in any year, and every 5 years in Scotland, with the next one not being scheduled to take place until May 2022. However it is the scheduled date for the next Scottish Parliamentary Election.
So it’ll be a couple of months yet before anything is confirmed as to what exactly is happening where, and when in the world of Scottish electoral politics….
And actually in between our weekly pot rattling, we’ve had time to think and reflect (haven’t we all?). Maybe knowledge mapping Local Councils, Electoral Wards & Local Councillors, and UK Parliamentary Constituencies and elected MPs, isn’t a top top priority right now? Maybe what is important is healthcare, and the ‘national local’ infrastucture that delivers it (and boy oh boy do we all not know our own ‘local’ so well by now?).
Most of this is the direct responsibility of the Scottish Government (though obviously not as ‘black and white’ as that). We do have some Scottish National Governance & Politics maps in the ‘Research & Development Lab’. However we have been concentrating on fine tuning the mapping process with those we have done already so that, when we do gear up production of the others, it will be as quick & efficient – and pack the most useful amount of knowledge in – as possible.
(And actually having an extremely unscheduled and sudden UK General Election in December last year – the 3rd in 4 years 🙁 – had already derailed our production schedule before Coronavirus hit a few weeks later).
(And actually, thinking about it, the voting system for the Scottish Parliament – and therefore the Scottish Government – is a completely different system to Westminster with a mixture of ‘first past the post (FPTP) and proportional representation. And so actually maybe what we’ve perefected won’t help us too much after all, it certainly can’t just be carbon copied from the UK Parliament maps that’s for sure…).
Anyway all this means we will have to ‘pivot’ (to use the business parlance of the day). In other words change the focus of what we’re doing.
I would have added ‘day to day’ to the end of that last sentence, however Scotland The Map is not a full time concern. It’s me – founder & CEO of the mapping consultancy Knowledge Mappers – wearing both my R&D and Scottish hats, pushing MindManager to the limit and giving something back to the nation, especially the primary knowledge resource producers (ie. the ones we link to in our maps).
Part of the reflection process has been looking back at what Scotland The Map has published already…
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…
When I look at these maps I am reminded of the many ‘people hours’ that went in to creating each one. Establishing the ‘base map template’ (ie. core visual knowledge framework), building out on top of each one to create a completely different map, and then the time updating them – incorporating newly discovered knowledge resources as well as checking the ones there already. All these hours of work are hopefully visible to the viewer, in the breadth and depth of the contextual knowledge embedded and attached to the many seed branches that make up the visual framework, and the many official / definitive / plain old useful knowledge resources linked to.
However our circumstances are such that we now have caring responsibilities for vulnerable people, and so are shielding ourselves, so we’re even less sure of how many hours we can spend now.
Also now is not a good time to be trying to keep a consultancy business going (and without it, the Scotland The Map project would not be possible).
Anyway time to get on with the pivoting. We’ll see what we can do with what we’ve got already.
Watch this space…