Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

PastMap integrates five heritage databases on one online map

Scotland map

Just announced by RCAHMS (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland) today, April 25, 2013:

A web-based mapping service which goes live this week provides a single gateway into every aspect of the historic environment in Scotland, from archaeology and historic buildings, to industrial heritage and designed landscapes.

PastMap is a free, interactive mapping tool which pools information from five key heritage databases, providing a first port of call for anyone interested in the nation’s historic environment, from students and researchers to land managers and the general public.

Hosted by RCAHMS, PastMap consolidates data from organisations including Historic Scotland, local authorities, and RCAHMS itself. You can explore maps of Scotland featuring their particular areas of interest, choosing from the multiple layers of archaeological and architectural information to find what you need. This will allow you to:

Obtain listing information on more than 46,000 buildings which have been granted listed building protection by Historic Scotland
Explore information and imagery on over 300,000 architectural, archaeological, industrial and maritime sites through Canmore, the RCAHMS database
Access details on the 8,000 Ancient Monuments whose importance has been recognised by being granted ‘Scheduled Monument’ status by Historic Scotland.
Investigate Historic Environment Records prepared by the 17 Scottish local authorities who currently participate in PastMap, recording the historic environment at a local level
Discover details of gardens or designed landscapes which have received recognition and a degree of protection through the planning system from Historic Scotland

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said how useful it was to see all of this information about the built heritage of Scotland made easily accessible on one website. “Understanding our past and being able to view and use the records of Scotland’s historic environment will prove to be an invaluable tool. PastMap is at the forefront of an exciting digital area – the spatial presentation of data from multiple sources. In this regard the heritage sector is leading the way in Scotland. This resource merges information from a range of partners and is an excellent example of different and diverse organisations coming together and working for the greater common good”.

Robin Turner, Head of Survey and Recording at RCAHMS said, “PastMap will continue to incorporate new data from RCAHMS, Historic Scotland, local authorities and other sources, to ensure that the site remains the benchmark for information about the nation’s historic places.”

Via Mapping Scotland’s Historic Environment Online – News – RCAHMS

Reproduced by Open Government Licence

This has to be something that could be described as long overdue.

We are heavy users of the various online historic databases and mapping services offered by the various local authorities, but it has always been frustrating to access multiple system repeatedly in order to drill down into what should have been a single service.

Even more frustrating is (or was) the moment you got fed up trying, and asked someone if they knew, only to find their reply was a url pointing at the one online resource you didn’t get around to looking at when your patience gave out and you stopped working through them.

I’ve occasionally both criticised and defended the various systems in discussions about their relative merits, but am now pleased that usually countered negative remarks by pointing out that however slowly it may have been changing, these various systems were all moving forward and getting slowly better.

PastMap is not a new name or service, but what we see there today is a vast improvement on what used to be on offer.

I only have one ongoing grouse and major complaint with these systems, and the “new” PastMap is no exception – being made to feel like a criminal when first arriving to use them, and being presented with a volume of War & Peace to which I must agree as their Terms & conditions, and End User Agreement, and whatever else.

It’s simply unnecessary overkill, since if anyone does anything that is legally enforceable, then this agreement means nothing, the law will deal with sin of sufficient magnitude.

I didn’t read it, but I clicked it, so if I did do something naughty, it’s probably unenforceable since I failed to complete my part of the contract from the start, by agreeing without reading, and rendering it invalid.

Find the new PastMap here:

PastMap

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April 25, 2013 - Posted by | Maps | , , ,

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