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Web-based mapping for open access - building capacity and exploring user preferences

Looking across Tay Road Bridge towards Dundee City

This page contains information on “Web-based mapping for open access – building capacity and exploring user preferences”, a one year project funded by the Macaulay Development Trust (start: March 2016). The project’s primary aim was to enhance the James Hutton Institute’s capability to promote wider use of socio-economic and environmental data through open access mapping tools. The research has been carried out by staff in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group at the James Hutton Institute and was split into three work packages, described on our funding application as follows:

  • WP1: “The first work package will assess ways in which web mapping facilities can be made more accessible and useful to end users, and can deliver policy impact”
  • WP2: “A second stream of work will develop and implement a web-based tool for mapping the SEP Index, and its component indicators and Strategic Objective scores, at multiple spatial scales”
  • WP3: “A third activity will be to produce recommendations on methods and indicators for assessing the “Greener” Strategic Objective at Data Zone level”

The web mapping application developed as part of this work will provide a user-friendly resource to view and download spatial social and economic datasets produced by researchers in SEGS. Our research activities included an external workshop held in Edinburgh on the 3rd October 2016 (“Exploring online mapping applications for socio-economic data: their use and impact”), which explored the needs and preferences of professional end users with regards to online mapping. In addition, three mini-workshops were held with social, natural and computer scientists at the James Hutton Institute in order to explore the “Greener” objective in Scottish policy, and its quantification and measurement for small geographical areas.

Included below are downloadable reports and other project outputs. For further information on this work, please contact the investigators Jonathan Hopkins or Andrew Copus.


  • Exploring online mapping applications for socio-economic data: their use and impact: Workshop report. Download


  • Socio-Economic Performance Index (developed by Andrew Copus as part of the RESAS Strategic Research Programme 2011-2016, with additional PAWSA funding from the Scottish Government):

SEP Index final report - Executive Summary (full report published in 2015) Download

Infographics for the SEP Index values and Strategic Objective scores for data zones in rural areas and small towns. These include graphs which show average values/scores for different regions, based on the 8-fold version of the Scottish Government's Urban Rural Classification. (Please note that the analysis in the final report used the 6-fold version of this classification, and the Executive Summary does not therefore distinguish between "remote" and "very remote" types of rural area and small town).

SEP Index values (2011) Download

Strategic Objective score: Wealthier and Fairer (2011) Download

Strategic Objective score: Healthier (2011) Download

Strategic Objective score: Safer and Stronger (2011) Download

Strategic Objective score: Smarter (2011) Download

Data table 1 (SEPDATA.csv): data zone information and raw data for all data zones in Scotland. Download

Data table 2 (SEPDATA_RST.csv): data zone information, raw data, scores and SEP Index values for data zones within rural areas and small towns in Scotland. Download

Metadata: includes description of contents of the data tables, and details of how the Strategic Objective scores and SEP Index were calculated. Download

  • Web mapping application (in development, includes the SEP Index and Strategic Objective scores)
  • Metadata - spatial data and description of mapping tool. Download


  • Producing recommendations on methods and indicators for assessing the “Greener” Strategic Objective at Data Zone Level: Report from mini-workshops. Download

Web resources and links:

This project was funded by the Macaulay Development Trust.

The Macaulay Development Trust
Page updated 10th August 2017
Project Information
Project Type: 
Archived Project


Areas of Interest


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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.