Publication - Advice and guidance

Land reform community mapping tool: guidance

Guidance for communities on how to use our community mapping tool to define their community boundaries and areas.

Published:
8 Jun 2018
Land reform community mapping tool: guidance

The Community Mapping Tool has been created to assist communities in defining their community geographically for the process of forming a compliant Community Body, and for the purpose of submitting an application under either Community Right to Buy (Part 2), a Community Right to Buy Abandoned, Neglected or Detrimental Land (Part 3A) or a Right to Buy Land to Further Sustainable Development (Part 5).

The Mapping Tool can be used to identify the boundaries of a number of geographic areas, including Community Council area, Electoral Ward, Locality, Settlement, Postcode District, Postcode Sector and Postcode Units. In addition to Postcode Area and an Island, these form the prescribed types of area a community can define itself by for the purposes of a Right to Buy.

The Mapping Tool may also be of help in the mapping of land for any subsequent application.

Using the mapping tool

The basics

Zooming in and out – you can zoom in and out by turning the wheel on your mouse or by clicking on the + or – symbols located at the top right of the map. 

Moving around – you can move around the map by holding down the mouse button and moving in the opposite direction you wish to travel.

Boundary layers – to display geographical boundaries, choose the type of area you want from the menu bar located on the left of the map, and click the appropriate check-box to enable the boundary. You can select several layers if required.

Identifying tools 

Identifying tools can be accessed from the target symbol on the menu bar located on the far right of the map. In each case, the areas displayed will depend on the boundary layers you have selected. The tools are:

  • ‘identify’ – This can be used to identify information in relation to an area. Once you have selected the tool, click on an area of the map that you wish to identify. The area will then be shaded blue and its information displayed in the ‘Search Results’ box located at the bottom of the map
  • ‘circle’ – Allows you to identify the information of all areas located within a circle. Once you have selected the tool, hold down the mouse at a location of your choosing and move the cursor. This will expand the circle. Once you reach the required circle extent, release the mouse and the results will be displayed and listed in the ‘Search Results’ box
  • ‘square’ – This works in the same way as the circle tool
  • ‘freehand’ – This allows you to draw a shape using straight lines. Once you have selected the tool, click on an area of the map once and move your mouse the required drawing distance. Click again to end your drawn line and begin a new one. Once you have drawn your desired shape, click the first point to complete the shape or double click the mouse button. This will then shade your chosen shape blue and provide the information in relation to that shape in the ‘Search Result’ box

Measuring tools 

Measuring tools can be accessed from the pencil symbol located on the menu bar located on the far right of the map. The tools are:

  • length (LineString) – This tool allows you to measure the length of a line. Once selected, click an area of the map once and move your mouse the required distance. Click again to end the drawn line and begin a new one. Once you have drawn the desired distance, double click to display the length. This will display the length in kilometers or miles, depending on your measurement settings. 
  • area (Polygon) – This tool allows you to measure an area of land. Click onto the map at three or more points to select the boundaries of the area. Double click to complete the shape. The shape you have drawn will be highlighted grey and bounded in blue. The area of land will be shown in acres or hectares, depending on your measurement settings.  You can modify the shape by clicking on the boundary, holding and dragging.
  • ‘length + Area’ – This tool can be used in the same way as the ‘Area (polygon)’ tool, but will also display the total distance of the outline of the shape.

Once you have drawn your required boundary line/shape you can toggle between distance and area using the star button

Build tool - selecting multiple areas

To select multiple areas and ‘build’ your Community, enable the boundary layers of the areas you wish to include. Once enabled, hold down the control key and click on an area of the map. This will activate the builder tool. Once activated, release the control key and click on any other areas of the map you wish to include. Selected areas will turn blue (shown below) and results will be displayed at the bottom of the map. To deselect an area you should double click it and the blue highlighting for that area will be removed. Please note that if you deselect an area you will have to hold control again to reactivate the builder tool.  

To deactivate the builder tool, click ‘reset map’ on the menu bar located on the far right of the map.

Defining your community for a right to buy

If you are a community looking to submit an application for a Community Right to Buy, your Community Body must represent a community defined by one or more of the following areas prescribed in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. The prescribed areas are: 

  • a community council area
  • electoral ward
  • locality 
  • settlement 
  • postcode area (e.g. EH)
  • postcode district (e.g. EH11)
  • postcode sector (e.g. EH11 A)
  • postcode unit (EH11 3ED)
  • island

Mapping requirements for a right to buy 

There are a number of requirements relating to the quality and features of maps submitted as part of a Community Right to Buy application. The Community Mapping Tool will automatically generate all the required features for you when selecting ‘Print Map’. All maps submitted should contain the following:

  • drawn to a metric scale corresponding to a scale used by the Ordnance Survey for that land
  • sufficiently detailed
  • show the compass orientation of North
  • contain map grid reference numbers and sufficient surrounding details (fences, houses etc.) to enable the position of the land to be fixed accurately (where the boundary of the land does not correspond to surrounding features, you should provide measurements for the space between each point, ensuring you highlight each point on any map, e.g. A to B = 40m, B to C = 20m)
  • show the boundaries of the land and
  • where measurements are given, those measurements should be to one decimal place

If you wish to acquire maps from another source, you should ensure that they meet the requirements above. 

Contact

If you are unable to access the Community Mapping Tool or encounter any problems contact the Community Land Team.

Email: CRTB@gov.scot
Tel: 0300-244-9822

Community Land Team
Q Spur
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
Edinburgh
EH11 3XD