| The National Records of Scotland (NRS), the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) and the National Library of Scotland (NLS) are the partners in a new venture: ScotlandsPlaces. This combines catalogues and digital copies of maps, plans, photographs and other records from each institution to offer an online service, primarily for the benefit of local historians, but also for other researchers, including archaeologists, social and economic historians, genealogists, and architectural historians.
Utilising innovative technology, developed by the University of Edinburgh's Geography Department, the project builds on recent work by the NRS and RCAHMS in digital imaging of records, gazetteer construction and geographical information systems (GIS).
In terms of historical records, the main contributions to the site from the NRS include maps and plans from the Register House Plans series, eighteenth century tax rolls and Medical Officer of Health reports for Scottish counties.
The website was launched by Culture Minister, Michael Russell MSP, as part of the Scotland's Global Impact Conference at Inverness on 22 October 2009.
At the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) conference on 28 April 2010, ScotlandsPlaces made a presentation, along with eight other contestants, in a competition for the 'Most Pragmatic Enabling Idea' and the 'Most Beneficial Information Service'. The ScotlandsPlaces presentation covered not only the way the site improves access to historical information but also the site's wider public benefit of demonstrating the use and strength of web services.
New additions in 2013
NRS has added digital copies of the shop tax (E326/4), saddle horse tax (E326/9), cart tax rolls 1785-98 (E326/7), carriage tax rolls 1785-98 (E326/8) and dog tax rolls 1797-8 (E326/11). Further tax rolls, including the window tax rolls are expected to be added from summer 2013 until spring 2014.
Additions in 2012
The NRS and NLS has added digital copies of the 1691-1695 hearth tax rolls from Exchequer records (E69), land tax rolls (E106), male servant tax rolls 1777-1795 (E326/5) and female servant tax rolles (E326/6). In addition we have begun uploading Ordnance Survey name books (OS1), which contain historical and etymological information on place and feature names on Ordnance Survey first edition maps in the mid 19th century. Name books for 7 counties became accessible on 28 August 2012 and name books for the remaining counties are being added to the site between autumn 2012 and summer 2013.
Additions in 2011
The NRS and NLS have added new digital resources to the website in February 2011.
From the collections of the NLS, the site now boasts Ordnance Survey (OS) first edition 6-inch maps, 1843-1882; county maps of Scotland, 1580-1928; historical town plans, 1580-1919; bathymetric surveys of the lochs of Scotland from 1897-1909.
ScotlandsPlaces and INSPIRE
At the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) conference on 28 April 2010, ScotlandsPlaces made a presentation, along with eight other contestants, in a competition for the 'Most Pragmatic Enabling Idea' and the 'Most Beneficial Information Service'. ScotlandsPlaces was announced the winner of the 'Most Beneficial Information Service' category, coming first in both the delegates' votes and the scores of the three judges. The ScotlandsPlaces presentation covered not only the way the site improves access to historical information but also the site’s wider public benefit of demonstrating the use and strength of web services.
The ScotlandsPlaces project is one of Scotland's key responses to Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament, establishing an infrastructure for spatial information in the European Community (INSPIRE), which aims to ensure that the spatial data infrastructures of the European Community member states are compatible.