Frequently asked questions

What is the Spatial Hub?

The Spatial Hub is a collection of systems & applications hosted on cloud infrastructure to allow:

  • Data Collection: We collect spatial data owned by Scottish local authorities using a combination of technology, and strong partnerships which we have developed with local authorities over the years.
  • Data Processing: The collected data are processed, quality assessed, and amalgamated to national datasets using leading data processing products and robust techniques.
  • Data Publication: The national datasets are published using popular GIS standards including Web Feature Services (WFS) and Web Map Services (WMS) and are discoverable through the Scottish Spatial Data Infrastructure (SSDI) catalogue.

How can I access the Spatial Hub?

The Spatial Hub has three levels of access.

  • Public: The Spatial Hub web portal can be accessed without registration allowing search & preview of the published data, and information on the progress of data collection.
  • Data contributors: Scottish local authorities and other organisations can access the data uploading application by acquiring Log-in credentials (i.e. username & password).
  • Data consumers: Organisations which benefit from the One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA) can consume the published national datasets by acquiring an authentication key.
    If you fall under access levels .2 or .3 please submit a registration request using your organisation’s email.

I have forgotten my Log-in credentials.

If you have forgotten your username and/or password go to log in/out and click the reset password button. If you don’t remember your username, contact us.

I have forgotten my Authentication key.

If you have forgotten your authentication key please contact us.

How do I access a published national dataset?

To access the data of a published national dataset navigate to the Get Data section of the Spatial Hub web portal and navigate to dataset of interest. Following the instructions in the URL form generation use your authentication key generate the WMS/WFS URLs and use these in your client.

Can I preview a dataset?

Yes. To preview the published national datasets navigate to the Spatial Hub Viewer. This light-weight web-mapping application allows the preview of the national datasets’ geometry.

My local authority's data were created using OS base mapping (e.g. OS Mastermap). Can I still upload it?

Yes. The Improvement Service has agreed with the Ordnance Survey the licensing arrangements for publishing a national dataset of local authority data and there are no restrictions on you uploading local authority data to the Spatial Hub.

What is INSPIRE and what am I expected to do?

INSPIRE is an EU Directive, written into Scottish law in 2009, that dictates that all public sector organisations must publish their environmental spatial datasets as discovery services i.e. metadata records, view services i.e. web map services, and download services i.e. web feature services. INSPIRE also specifies data transformations, though these are very complex so we are taking a pragmatic approach to this aspect.

If I upload my local authority's data will it meet my INSPIRE obligations?

Yes. It is envisaged that the Spatial Hub will publish INSPIRE compliant national datasets on local authorities behalf.

If I upload my local authority's data who will be accessing it?

Currently, the data will only be available to OSMA partner organisations. Once issues around licensing, open-data and charging are agreed then the data may become available to members of the public and private organisations.

My local authority already publishes its data as a WFS. Can the Spatial Hub connect to this?

Yes. Within the data upload pages on the Spatial Hub there is the option to connect to existing WFS rather than upload the data again. This is the preferred method.

My local authority has lots of other dataset that it needs to publish under INSPIRE. Can I upload these now?

No. There is a programme of work to identify and request the most appropriate datasets to make available on the Spatial Hub. However you can influence this through making a suggestion on which datasets to make available via the Spatial Hub Scotland khub group.

What relationship does the Spatial Hub have with the SSDI (Scottish spatial data infrastructure)?

All data that is published as part of the Spatial Hub will have a corresponding entry in the Scottish Spatial Data Infrastructure Metadata Catalogue. There are direct links to each dataset’s metadata record on the dataset pages. The SSDI provides the ability for users to search, evaluate and use public sector spatial data.

Can I share the Spatial Hub data with partners?

Yes. In the first instance the data will available to all members of the One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA) for which a licence for sharing is not required. To share data with other partners the appropriate licences (usually an OS Contractor Licence) needs to be in place.