ScotLIS: Sharing our data journey at Ordnance Survey’s OSMA conference

Blog post by Alan Howie, Data Architect at the Registers of Scotland.

On Tuesday 12 September myself, Cheryl Hunter (product owner for ScotLIS) and Alastair Reid (product owner for data) attended OSMA, a yearly event which brings together all the government organisations that use Ordnance Survey data within the One Scotland Mapping Agreement.

This year the event was held at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. There was a great turn out on the day with around 100 delegates all interested in finding out more about the latest datasets being made available within the agreement and catching up with developments from around the OSMA community.

Left to right: Alastair, Cheryl & Alan at Dynamic Earth

There was a variety of entertaining presentations from representatives of OSGB, Scottish Government, ThinkWhere Improvement Service, Greenspace and Angus Council.

I also delivered a presentation during the conference. My role at RoS focuses on the transformational data journey needed to support the delivery of Scotland’s new land information service, ScotLIS. Starting at the end of the ScotLIS journey, the presentation started with the delivered product (which is currently in private beta). The talk then went back to the principles of data transformation within RoS: Unlock, Link, Restructure & Reuse.

Unlock & Link

With the groundwork laid I then focused on how RoS follows these principles to “unlock” data from two proprietary systems – our land register and our mapping system. At the moment we use data from each but we don’t actually marry either of them up. We just have a page of text and a map with coloured polygons. I then touched on the work we’ve completed to “link” the data to provide an enriched dataset.

Restructure & Reuse

By doing the previous steps we can then provide a tailored “reused” view to ScotLIS. This culminated in a “ta da!” moment when the data team provided an automated, robust nightly delta allowing ScotLIS to use live data for its private beta.

The final part of the presentation looked to the future — the “restructure” phase — where I discussed the vision RoS has moving forward for a new Land Register model and its benefits.


Alongside the presentation, Cheryl and Alastair had a successful day on our stand, both discussing and demoing a live view of the ScotLIS beta service. Delegates were extremely interested in this and provided feedback to the team.

What’s next for ScotLIS?

We’re continuing to take user feedback on board as the service moves towards public beta in October 2017. If you’d like to be involved in the future of our digital services, sign up for our User Experience panel here.

Find out more!

You can also follow the team via @RegistersOfScot on Twitter and on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube for more updates. Want to comment? Let us know below.

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