Welcome to Marine Scotland Information - MSI for short.

We have created this site to help guide you through the many data and information resources we make available. MSI forms part of our family of sites that makes information available and downloadable for everyone. The family of sites consists of:


In Marine Scotland, we have been publishing maps, reports and data for a long time, but it was initially constrained to publishing information on individual pages, as separate documents. As we published more and more, it became difficult to find the right information, and it was becoming a challenge for us to keep track of the content as well!

When the National Marine Plan consultation was published, the accompanying National Marine Plan Interactive was launched, providing interactive maps of much of the informaiton that was published in Scotland's Marine Atlas. It was quickly realised that the new interactive resource needed to be updated as new informaiton became available, and as Marine Planning developed, much more information became available. To provide more context to the maps, we developed additional information pages about the rationale, and data used to create the maps. Those information ages have now been brought into this site, and links with the Mapping portal, so you can move between the two sites with direct linkage. National Marine Plan Interactive also provides mapping services to other portals, and allow users to access data directly through Web Map Services.

In November 2014, we launched the Marine Data for Scotland portal, which provides access to downloadable data and reports. It also provides a clear citation structure for the datasets through the use of digital object identifiers. This means links using the citation structure will retain the link back to the data, even if the site structure is changed or the whole site moves. Marine Data For Scotland also provides machine readable services which means you can pull and analyse data directly from the site, and get lists of all resources available.

In February 2015, Scottish Government published the Open Data Strategy outlining how we will make data open and accessible. The strategy highlights the need to make data discoverable, usable by all, and of a known quality. We have embraced the prinicples of the Open data Strategy and on this site we aim to provide you with data of a known and documented quality, accessible in open non-proprietary formats where possible, and in as accessible ways as possible by providing machine readable services (see pages below for more detail on this)


This site is designed to provide you with:

  • Information: Pages that provide explanations and background for topics and data made available. An information page will typically explain something about the topic, and provide you with linsk to maps and data sources. Information is organised by themes, allowing you to either search or navigate the site to find information. 
  • Maps: All the individual map layers from National Marine Plan Interactive as well as other sources can be serached via this portal. The maps are typically linked to information pages, and we provide links to access the maps directly. Maps are organised by types of maps (file types and sources), allowing you to search or use the map-menu to navigate the site.
  • Data and links:  The data sources are either directly downloadable data files, such as spreadsheets, pdf files and other documents. In addition, the data section also contains links to external controbutors of relevant information and data portals that allow you to reach additional data relevant to a topic.  Data sources are also organised by types of data - allowing you to search or use the data menu to locate relevant links. 
  • Images and media: Where appropriate and illustrative, we include images and/or other media files - typically on information pages.