Storm Ideas has completed a rich interactive mapping application and web site for the Scottish Government, visualising a wealth of data for the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD). The web site comprises a careful balance of the latest advances in mapping technologies and optimised accessibility, engaging as wide an audience as possible with this data.
The SIMD identifies concentrations of deprivation across Scotland. Indexing these areas allows effective targeting of policies and funding with the aim of focusing on concentrated areas. The mapping application incorporates a broad range of data indicators covering areas such as income, health, education and crime and is publically available through the SIMD website. In addition, it is hoped that the application can be shared and adapted for use by stakeholders both within the Scottish Government, and Local Authorities and NHS boards.
The mapping application, developed using the established and familiar Bing Maps framework, colour codes geographical ‘data zones’ to give a visual representation of these statistics and seamlessly offers an alternative satellite aerial view.
Users will be able to compare current geographical statistics with data sets from 2004 and 2006 and view more than three hundred variations of map through a range of changeable domains, classifications and colour schemes.
Storm Ideas implemented two versions of the mapping application to accommodate the diverse viewing habits of the Scottish public. An HTML version will be widely accessible and will allow the web site to be indexed by search engines. Users can engage with the interactive Microsoft Silverlight version for a richer experience with added functionality.
The Silverlight map allows users to view the whole of Scotland, in addition to particular regions and areas. Users can also free scroll and zoom around the entire country employing market-leading Microsoft Visual Earth technology, compare the data sets for two regions and alter the opacity of the colour coding. Both versions of the application offer a simple, intuitive experience for the end user, who can view these statistics by region using familiar navigation tools.
Storm also integrated powerful search functionality, allowing users to discover relevant information quickly and easily. Users can search by postcode or by any location that can be matched to recognised intermediate geographies such as Local Authorities and Constituencies.
Project manager for the Scottish Government, John Fraser, said: “We are really pleased with the new web site which offers our users significant improvements in terms of both functionality and intuitiveness over our previous system. Storm took the time to understand our needs and those of our users and have worked hard to create a site which fully meets our original requirements. Throughout the very tight timescale of this project there has been a real feeling of combined determination to produce a high quality product which has certainly paid off. We are already receiving very positive feedback from our stakeholders.”
Storm Ideas’s Paul McGinness said: “We’re delighted to bring this crucial information to the public using industry-leading mapping technology. It’s quite an achievement to represent this extraordinary level of detail, while maintaining the performance and accessibility of the mapping application.”
We will be posting more on this project in the near future, including a video explaining the full functionality of the mapping application.
Over recent months, Storm has built a number of rich Silverlight mapping applications for Scottish Government web sites, including the Drinking Water Quality Regulator and Government Summer Cabinet 2009.