OpenLawMap is the first geographical map of legal places for any jurisdiction in the world. It is an interactive and user-generated map showing sites of legal significance in the UK, with related blog entries and discussions.
Law can be an overwhelming and seemingly abstract subject to study. Some commentators have called law a series of commands, or a process of interpretation, or the embodiment of reason. Law is, though, an extremely human enterprise. It takes effect in the physical world around us. It presents us rights or limits our behaviour in the places where we live and work. Its disputes stem from the interactions of people in real places.
The main aims of the OpenLawMap project are to chart these places and encourage discussion about them. We want users to be able to see the places around them where legally important events occurred, and be able to search for sites appropriate to their studies and interests (e.g. environmental law sites; places where tort disputes happened; legal locations in literature).
Relevance is a crucial theme. Many of our students here in Lancashire did not know that Preston courts have hosted some of the most significant criminal trials in the UK in the last 30 years. Recording and discussing this, helps them to understand that they are studying in a major trial centre and trigger further interest in the legal importance of the events that happened on our doorstep.
For students (and teachers and anyone else), you can get mapping quickly and easily. You can explore and chart the legal events that happened in your village, town, city or region. You can develop your writing and publishing skills. By becoming a contributor, you can create an individual page that demonstrates those contributions and that you can add to your CV and online profile.
The OpenLawMap project originates in Lancashire Law School, UCLan and is kickstarted by the generosity of the School – we hope you can check it out! OpenLawMap, though, is very much an open educational resource. It is open to anyone interested in law, and the way it takes effect around them, to use and develop in ways they find interesting and useful.
Take a look http://openlawmap.co.uk/