Green Map Meeting
Every Thursday, 18:30
Electron Club, CCA, Glasgow

Green Map Meeting #4

Posted by Kevin McDonagh Sunday, 25 February 2007- 5:09 am
I'd like to say Hi to the new contributers Will, Liz and Alex. All of whom were at the last meeting. There were a lot of great marketing ideas being thrown around the meeting my fave of which was the scanning in of personal note books for display in the site. Will said: "Better to just over document everything" which I think will serve us really well. Hopefully all the knowledge we gater we can share with the Glasgow community to do with as they please. Notebooks, videos, photos all that good stuff.

Sorry it took so long to skin the blog but I was dumb founded by these new blogger widget things. Everything is not perfect some links are duff and the sections that are scored out will be up soon, but getting something up soon as possible is better than something perfect that no one will see.
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Call for help in debugging the CSS

Posted by Kevin McDonagh Friday, 16 February 2007- 4:52 pm
Hello there people, I've been making a lovely CSS website for the Glasgow Green Map. A lot of the people reading this will have had a stab at making a website before and so will know what I am talking about. The problem I am having is that I need the site to work on as many platforms and in as many browsers as possible. At the momment if you are using a standards compliant browser in Mac OSX or Windows, we're laughing. But if you are using Linux or using internet explorer 6 or 7 on a windows machine things go a little skew wiff. If anyone can help me suss out the issues and the browser hacks I can use to fix them then that would be a great help.

Heres where the html page is resting just now.

And heres a picture of what it should look like.
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Recycling info for Glasgow

Posted by hannah c Monday, 12 February 2007- 12:41 pm
Following the successful City Council pilot scheme that put recycling bins into the back courts of tenemental properties in the city’s West End, the scheme is to be extended across Glasgow.

In order to increase the recycling rates in the city, 30,000 new blue 240 litre recycling bins will be placed in back courts serving around 100,000 households. (Around 60% of Glasgow residents stay in flatted property.)

The bins and 11 new vehicles have been funded from the £27 million award for Glasgow from the Scottish Executive’s Strategic Waste Fund. The funds are for recycling projects till 2020.

The new bins can take paper, plastic bottles, food and drink cans. Each household will receive a reusable bag into which they can put their recyclables. Paper can be put loose into the new bin. They will also receive booklets and leaflets and posters will be displayed in back courts.

The first stage in the expansion will be the delivery of 9,000 blue bins in the West End. This capitalises on the resources already in use from the pilot scheme in the North East and West End which involved about 5,000 households from 2004. The scheme will then spread to the south east, south west and east end.

All the items collected from the bins will be taken to Polmadie Materials Reclamation Facility (MRF). There, the recyclable materials are sorted, baled and sent on for reprocessing.

Councillor David Stevenson, Executive Member for Environmental Protection Services said: “Following the award from the Strategic Waste Fund we can now provide a back court recycling service for the huge number of tenemental properties in Glasgow.

“We hope all residents in these properties will now do their bit to improve the environment we live in by using the new bins.”


Glasgow City Council is keen to provide a back court service to tenemental properties in the city, where possible. Where this is not possible due to logistical/access problems, recycling points will be placed in suitable locations nearby for residents to use.

  • 93,000 households already have a four weekly blue bin recycling collection
  • 55,000 households have an organic bin collection
  • 5,000 back courts have had recycling bins as since 2004 part of a pilot scheme
  • The present recycling rate in the city is around 16.5%
  • Easter Queenslie Complex was upgraded to a multi function public recycling centre in 2006. Plans are being put in place for the upgrade of the other three Disposal Complexes at Dawsholm, Polmadie and Shieldhall.
  • There are 320 recycling points across the city
  • Education officers visit schools and community facilities to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and school children visit Polmadie MRF to learn about the sorting process.
All households will receive a booklet, compiled by the Council and Waste Aware Glasgow, with the ‘does and don’ts’ of recycling with a blue bin as any contaminated collections can’t go to be recycled and have to be taken to landfill.

For further information on recycling in Glasgow as well as details of recycling points, go to

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Setting up some account details

Posted by Kevin McDonagh - 8:40 am
Hello there peeps. I've been trying to set up the web server/s for the green map and its looking promising for the next meeting. One for dev, one for uat (User Acceptance Testing) and one for prod (Production). Sorry I've been loose on the tasks but until there is an actual site up there isn't really that much to do apart from get it there. A few things though. Someone could set up a Gmail account for the green map something simple like ( and then also set up the calendar to reflect the milestones on the green map project planner. Whoever does this better say so via the messages or blog and tick it off the to-dos so that everyone doesn't do it after you.

I'm also in the final stages of getting the Unix/mySql accounts setup (through Andrew's goodwill) and will be needing peeps to work together to set up the first environment, Dev. Everyone who is a contributer will have access to Dev so I can provide you with all of the account details. I suggest that a few peeps get together online via msn/jabber/skype etc., to chat while doing it and share the knowledge while setting it up. I think the most important part of actually working within a team is this knowledge transfer because no matter how menial the task everyone stands to learn something when working together.

I'll be available night or day via phone/email/msn if anyone needs any help. I'm always available in some form or fashion.
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Green Map Meeting #2

Posted by Kevin McDonagh Thursday, 8 February 2007- 10:50 pm
Woo! More volunteers! It's nice to see more people coming along as they hear about our interesting project. That must mean we are doing something that interests peoples curiosity!

I tried out my first workshop "Google Maps explained" which is meant as a very easy introduction for beginners and those not used to computers.I gave the thrown together class to some not beginners and it went down pretty well. It illustrated once again that when people are giving up their time for some sort of tutorial or workshop you should be well prepared because otherwise why would they give up their time? In saying that I think everyone enjoyed themselves and I learnt a little bit about how to handle the presentation a bit better next time. Having tasks for people to do as quickly as possible is important rather than having people listen to someone talking, I guess thats why its a "workshop".

We all agreed on some tasks on the trusty white board but alas there were no programmers if there are any programmers out there interested in the project get in touch!

Go go green map team!

And since I never posted last week... I've included a pic of our last meeting (Green Map meeting #1).

Green map meeting #1 tasks

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A brief history of the Glasgow Green Map project

Posted by hannah c Tuesday, 6 February 2007- 3:45 pm
Hi folks, this is my first time as a blogger and not quite sure how I'll take to the format, but here goes.

A few years ago I was lucky enough to obtain a grant from Scotland Unltd to develop a publication called the Glasgow Guide to Charity shops. This was done for number of reasons - a life long love of charity shop shopping, identifying that charity shops loose money when people donate things they can't resell (and it adds up to loads of dosh that could otherwise be used to save cats for example), recognition of the support these enterprises give to people who benefit from the income they generate; the volunteer and training opportunities they provide; the quality low cost goods they provide to people and of course, the positive environmental benefits that reusing items, that would other wise go to landfill or get chucked in my back court.

Whilst carrying out research for the project I came across the Green Mapping System and thought that the concept of Green Mapping linked into the idea of creating a Guide to Charity Shops and promptly signed up to Green Map Glasgow.

The project took a shape with the involvement of 17 students from Glasgow School of Art's Product Design department. The students were recruited to develop prototype guides of Glasgow. As part of the research a Green Mapping Conference was staged at the Science Centre (cunningly titled Green Mapping the Future), with the support once more from Scotland Unltd and Community Recycling Net work Scotland (CRNS) plus a fantastic group of volunteers including Jane Briggs, Neil Mcguire, Davie Anderton, Axelle Camille Melin.

New York based Wendy Brawer, founder of the Green Map System, came over to speak at the conference and lend her support to the project. She and Ian Grout (1 year Product Design tutor) worked with the students to explore the concept of Green Mapping for Glasgow.

The students then went out and about collecting data for the guide and some, in fact most, volunteered in charity shops to gain a better understanding of the work they do.

After 6 weeks of hard work and a few all nighters, 7 prototype guides were

Last year members of the Pollokshields community created a local Green Map of their area (left) which shows how community Green Mapping can work.

Up until this point the Glasgow Guide to Charity Shop project has been on hold, due to funding and a lack of time on my part to develop the concept. However, I am pleased to report that following a generous donation from Glasgow's Community Recycling Forum of nearly £4000 and other bits of money from SEPA, The Generous City Program and the Scottish Executives Increase Fund and hopefully advertising revenue, a printed version of the map marketed under the brand name Dear Green Place, is due for release in April 2007. It will focus on Reuse project i.e projects that take donations of reusable goods and sell them this includes charity shops and emerging social enterprises such as Spruce Carpet - Scotland's first and only carpet reuse solution.

With kind support from the Electron Clu,
Kevin and Co. are coordinating the development of the web based Green Map which will be located at

I am coordinating the development of the over all initiative with help from a volunteer board who are looking at how the concept can be developed most effectively for the city. This involves sourcing funding and exploring the wider applications for Green Mapping in a community development context, which may involve Green Mapping workshops across the city for example.

Over the next few months working with volunteers to produce the first printed guide and support the development of the web based guide, not that I can offer much in the way of programming skills.

For me the purpose of the Green Map for Glasgow is to help make the city a more sustainable place.

Reducing the waste that goes to landfill is a starting point for this, but certainly not the only issue that needs addressed.

How does Glasgow become a more sustainable city? To be quite honest I am not entirely sure it can. We have the worst traffic pollution in Scotland and an emphasise on economic regeneration which centres on the development of shopping centres, airports and roads.

How can a Green Map address this ? Well providing people with better information on things like reuse is certainly one benefit. The other interesting thing about Green Mapping is that the process of mapping brings people together on an issue. Highlighting a problem on a map focus attention on a problem which can result in action to improve, for example, the look and function of a green space - so community empowerment is another outcome of this process. Key to the success of the project is involving people in the project so please comment and feed back information and ideas.

It's worth mentioning that Green Mapping does feature in Glasgow City Councils Environmental Strategy page 30 and the strategy is definately worth a look to understand how the sustainable develoment agenda is being locally interpreted.

And now to end my first blogging session a quote that I think reflects the ambition behind the Glasgow Green Map project.
The future of cities crucially depends on utilising the rich knowledge of their people, and that includes the environmental knowledge...........Cities ultimately reflect their inhabitants. If we decide to create
sustainable cities, we need to create the cultural context for this to
Herber Girardet

cheers hannah
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First Review of Cork and Open Green map code

Posted by Kevin McDonagh Friday, 2 February 2007- 11:29 pm
I've just been looking over the code that Seb and Diarmaid wrote for the Cork Green Map Project. They endeavored to start on making it as extendable as possible with the eventual aim of releasing the code as an Open Green Map System for others to adopt. So obviously this is very appealing for us as we can benefit from their toils.

Looking over the code just there I would say that overall they have done a very good job. The methods and classes are small and well named. There is significant documentation within the classes including return types and expected params. There are also a lot of references to design patterns in the codings variables that I expect will help us get to grips faster with the flow of what is actually going on. To top it off, there are also online docs and the starts of an API. I'd say for a two man project this was a very impressive state of code and its obviously been a labour of love.

The first thing we're going to have to do is upload the code to our personal repository and then get all three instances of the Green map set up. Once thats there it will be easier to start following the path the application is taking since we've set it up three times and will be a bit more used to it.

Well done to Seb and Diarmaid for their excellent efforts.
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