The City of Edinburgh Council has been successful in obtaining £25,000 of funding from innovation body, Nesta, to help develop a new online service to help citizens and visitors explore and enjoy all the outdoor areas in the capital.

The project will use open data will to help citizens and visitors alike enjoy Edinburgh’s parks and green spaces better.
The service, which will be launched in the autumn,  will allow comments and photos to be added by those visiting the city’s outdoor spaces. They will be able to create new routes or provide further information to help future visitors.

With a wide audience range, it is hoped that the service will continue to grow and develop throughout each month in the year, but it will also use campaign weeks and events to raise the profile of the service on a continual basis.

Sue Bruce, Chief Executive for The City of Edinburgh Council, said:-“Edinburgh is renowned for its rich heritage, beautiful parks and other green spaces. This is a really exciting project, which will encourage residents and visitors into our open spaces to have a lot of fun as well as being a truly educational experience. The Council has an award-winning website and is very keen to promote open data, which will allow all of the content to be used by anyone wanting to learn more about and enjoy Edinburgh.”

The website is part of a pioneering project run by Nesta called ‘Make it Local Scotland’.  The City of Edinburgh Council will work with local web developer James Baster and this is one of four projects across the country taking part in the programme.

‘Make it Local Scotland’ aims to help local authorities maximise use of the vast amounts of data they hold to create innovative, web-based services that benefit their community.

Jackie McKenzie, Head of Innovation Programmes Scotland, said:- “The open data movement is often focused on accountability of public services.  That’s important but only part of the picture.  The Make it Local Scotland programme and this excellent project from The City of Edinburgh Council shows how the data held by councils can be used in innovative ways to transform services and create real value for citizens and communities.”