For the first time, the state of Scotland’s environment is being summarised by a range of expert panels.

Scotland's environment web
May 13, 2013

Scotland's environment - the key issues

Groups of experts from across the Scotland's environment web partnership, NGO’s and academia are convening to discuss the state of the environment and what the main environmental issues facing Scotland are. These groups will make an assessment of the state of the environment and present them as easy to understand pictograms.

This collaborative approach will help the public to better understand the environment and can be used as a vehicle to allow them to explore the content of Scotland's environment web, and partners’ websites. The methodology behind this process has now been finalised and workshops will be held on each topic throughout April, May and June. In June, the editorial group will review the outputs with the experts and they will be fed into production of the summary text and the public discussion.

Lets discuss the environment

Plans are well underway for an exciting new project which will help the Scottish public give their views on the environment. Scotland's environment web is leading a public discussion covering the key issues relating to our environment. After assessing environment issues as described above, Scotland's environment web will open this up to discover if the public agree.

Three workshops will be held in various locations around Scotland this summer. Members of the public will be invited to come along and provide valuable information and opinions on the issues important to them both locally and nationally. It gives us a chance to find out what the public’s environmental priorities are, whether people agree with the scientists views and why they hold the views they do. It is also an opportunity to signpost them to better information about the issues that matter to them.

Following the workshops, we will hold a similar discussion but it will be online. The online forum will take place in the autumn. Through these interactions, it is hoped that more widespread public discussion relating to Scotland’s environment will take place in the future.

Keen to extend the reach of the public discussion and recognising young people as one of our key audiences, Scotland's environment web is also running a youth discussion. We want to inspire young people to get involved in the environment and consider what they think is important. This will run concurrently with the public discussion. Materials will be provided that will support classroom debates on nominated environmental topics, a competition with tempting prizes, an ambitious closing event and an online forum. Teachers, youth workers and young people are all invited to take part. If you would like to find out more about either the public or youth discussions please contact us.

Showcasing Scotland's environment web

We thought it was time to showcase the leading edge approach Scotland's environment web has taken in providing vibrant, interactive tools to engage people in the environment. We are delighted to have recently had an article published in the spring 2013 issue of Connect magazine.

The article covers some of the main elements of Scotland's environment web and our developing technologies, with particular focus on the Spotfire apps, the interactive map search tool (land information search) and how different audiences will be able to use these digital tools to increase knowledge and understanding on Scotland’s environment.

Connect is a quarterly supplement to Holyrood magazine aimed towards the public sector and with a focus on information and communication technology issues and developments.

We have also been getting out and about to spread the word about Scotland's environment web at a range of events across Scotland, including the parliamentary reception at Holyrood organised as part of Scottish Environment Link's 'Environment Week', Edinburgh International Science Festival, the Scottish National Heritage's Sharing Good Practice Conference on accessing environmental data for community profiling, and the Association of Geographical Information “Geotheme” conference.

If you would like to feature Scotland's environment web at a future event, please contact us.

Scotland's environment web rises to the 'open data' challenge

Putting complex data out into the public domain for wider use and analysis by citizens and decision makers is a challenge for any organisation. A key aim of Scotland's environment web (LIFE+) project is to bring together data and information on Scotland’s environment so that it is easily available and in a useable form. We are therefore delighted to announce that Scotland's environment web will be launching its first visualisation and analysis application in June.

This application uses new technology called Spotfire and is one of the tools Scotland's Environment Web is using to make lots of detailed and complex environmental data much easier to access and understand. It is a visual data analysis tool which can read data from multiple sources all at once.

The Spotfire water application provides rapid access to a clear view of how many and which rivers and lochs in Scotland have improved or deteriorated over time. Users have the opportunity to search for information at different levels – by council area, postcode, or individual stretch or water. A map of all surface waters in Scotland is coloured by the standard that have been achieved, making it clear at a glance which are of high quality through to those that have been classified as low quality.

Using tools like Spotfire, Scotland's environment web will strive to put Scotland at the forefront of sharing information and helping to get much more value and use out of the vast quantities of data that are collected, and increase our understanding of Scotland’s environment.

NEW! Core briefings

We are pleased to announce that our series of core briefings has increased. Public engagement, citizen science and state of environment reporting have now been published on the website. The series will continue to develop and expand, providing more detailed information on the various aspects of Scotland's environment web (LIFE+) project.

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