Scotland’s Land Information System – what is it and why does it matter?

Think tank: The David Hume Institute

Author(s): Andy Wightman

March 7, 2023

This report from UK think tank the David Hume Institute looks at what Scotland’s Land Information System is and why it matters.

A new report, written by land reform expert Andy Wightman, commissioned jointly by the David Hume Institute and Built Environment Forum Scotland, says the lack of a fully functioning land and building information system is holding Scotland back.

The paper discusses Scotland’s land information service – what it is and why it matters – and what still needs to be done to fulfil a 2015 Scottish Government commitment in 2015 to deliver a comprehensive Scottish Land Information Service (SCOTLIS).

Information about land and buildings is used everyday by businesses, policy-makers, academics and ordinary citizens. This information ranges from land ownership to valuation, from energy efficiency ratings to building types and from vegetation cover to flood risks.

All of this information exists in some form, however much of it is not easily available and virtually none of it is made available in an integrated form. As the impacts of climate change intensify, there is even greater need for more timely, more comprehensive and more accessible information about land and buildings in Scotland.