User Friendly Information Systems

MAP21 Ltd works in association with various local community and public organisations to develop simple to use computer based information systems aimed at the general public.

MAP21 Ltd also has a GIS capability using this to prepare an Environmental Plan as part of a Local Agenda 21 for Stocksbridge (working in association with STEP and students in the Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield).


Sheffield Neighbourhood Atlas

Phase One - North West Inner City Area Neighbourhoods

Assembled by MAP21 Ltd in association with Ankie Hoogvelt of the University of Sheffield, 1997, as part of a community development research project funded by the UK Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) and URBAN (an EU initiative concerning urban areas)

Content © Sheffield City Council and the NWICA Forum

Format © MAP21 Ltd


This Sheffield Neighbourhood Atlas project, which began in April 1997, is an example of how user-friendly multimedia can provide the basis for an information system usable by a local community. It was initiated as part of a community development research programme carried out by Ankie Hoogvelt, Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, focusing on the North West Inner City Area (NWICA) of Sheffield in Phase One. The local information has been provided by various community groups and the city-wide information has been made available by Sheffield City Council; they hold the copyright. Digitising and formatting of the data was undertaken by MAP21 Ltd.

The project's main aim is to make available city-wide information on services and facilities open to residents in local communities, as well as to bring together information about locally available services offered by community groups. Initially the purpose is to encourage a greater level of participation in decision making by the residents of inner city communities. It is hoped that this example will allow other community groups within the city to develop their own local data bases and link in with the, as yet incomplete, city-wide information already made available in Phase One.

NOTE: Click here see the INDEX in more detail - this will take some time to download.

Icon of Atlas The INDEX diagram shows the range of data accessible to the user .

A CD-Rom relating to the NWICA Neighbourhood Atlas is available. It contains over 100 pages of data and photographs provided by local community groups, organisations and individuals, and over 300 pages of information relevant to Phase One provided by Sheffield City Council departments. This Atlas includes reference to some 100 organisations and services which are city-wide but are relevant to local needs.

In summary, the Atlas comprises a multimedia presentation of a local geographic area, its social and economic characteristics, community interests and activities, needs and resources. Its user-friendly, "web" like format allows for instant cross-referencing and easy browsing by the general public. The overall structure follows two information pathways: one of which is functional and public agency oriented (eg housing, health, training etc) and the other which traces the life cycle of the individual and so is client-oriented (eg mothers with young children, teenagers, older people, etc) .

The NWICA Atlas has the following specific, cross-linked information branches:

The Atlas has been disseminated very widely in the local community throughout its developmental stage, from May - September 1997. There is great enthusiasm on the part of both information providers and groups and clients to make the Atlas accessible at key venues within the area. However, initial distribution of the CD-Rom has confirmed the importance of updating and amending the Atlas on a regular basis - this is now being undertaken on an experimental basis by members of the local community working to develop a project seeking funding as a local community information network (NINE).

In its present CD Rom format the Atlas could be made available for sale as an educational resource for further and higher education, or to help local community groups. The Atlas could well be of interest to students of town planning, housing, estate management and community development, as well as to officials charged with making local government information available to the general public.

The example community Atlas can be used directly to support teaching and research in: Sociology, Social Work, Housing Management, Geography, Town and Environmental Planning.

MAP21 Ltd has carried out work on information management in conjunction with projects funded through the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) , URBAN (an EU initiative concerning urban areas), local Community Groups and a Community Health Trust in the UK.

Please contact MAP21 Ltd, 6 Woodvale Road, Sheffield S10 3EX about availability, or email:  


CD-Rom designed in HyperStudio* (registered trade mark)by MAP21 Ltd. The program runs on Windows 95, Windows 3.1 and Macintosh. The CD-Rom runs on computers with at least 8Mb RAM. Format © MAP21 Ltd Content © Sheffield City Council and the NWICA Forum.

*HyperStudio¨ -registered Trade Mark - Roger Wagner Publishing, Inc. HyperStudio® Player provided free of charge.




1 Nov 98