Here at 393 we mainly write about legal directories, publications and websites focused on the business world.
However, a new global venture called Legal Atlas caught our eye recently.
The initiative, which is both educational and practice oriented, aims to map the world’s laws.
At the center of the project is a new online application that allows users to research laws and legal frameworks around the world, and their effect on human and natural resources.
Legal Atlas uses cloud-based data management, web application programming, and mapping tools to build comprehensive legal information around specific resources and special interest topics.
The site is still in prototype mode, but even the beta version has real visual appeal – leaning heavily on the global map as the dashboard to find out more about the laws of different countries.
Legal Atlas was founded by James Wingard and Maria Pascual, and is based in the college town of Missoula, Montana.
Jim and Maria met while working together in Afghanistan, and their time in the international development and NGO world inspired them to launch Legal Atlas.
In a call last week, Jim explained more about what he wants to achieve:
“Around the world, inadequate law and inadequate implementation of law are prime drivers of challenges like armed conflicts, natural resource degradation, and poverty.
While law does not create or solve all problems, its misuse is a key ingredient in missed opportunities, as wells as failed and failing systems around the world.
Naturally, the national laws of a country constitute one of the areas that international development efforts must consider and often work to improve.
In many countries this type of information is still not easily accessible or well organized, so sizable resources are regularly being spent simply tracking down legislation and conducting preliminary reviews, often repeating time consuming and expensive efforts.
Legal Atlas is an online tool supporting all types of studies that need to rapidly access, review, and understand legal frameworks.”
In November 2012, the Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law recognized Legal Atlas as the world’s most innovative idea promoting justice worldwide.
Follow the site’s progress on Twitter and Facebook and watch the neat video below for more information about Legal Atlas.
Nima H. says
Very neat idea. It looks like they’ve put a lot of work into the development of the site too. I couldn’t find any country that actually had legal information under it. Did you find any of them Lloyd?
Lloyd Pearson says
Thanks for commenting. Yes, it’s a great idea with real potential. There is some information on there, but you have to click around to find bits. It’s a work in progress and not complete yet.
Jim Wingard says
Nima and others who may be interested – We have limited content in the alpha prototype (on purpose) as we develop the user-interface and finalize the database structures. Happy to show anyone how it works tho for the content we are using to test things – just contact either Maria or myself at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for the post, 393 Communications!
Talwant Singh says
Very great idea. If you need any help regarding laws of India, please let me know.
Jim Wingard says
Thanks! The offer of support is sincerely appreciated. We have local experts experts review, occasionally locate, and generally vet the legal sets we compile. FYI on how we work, we structure our database by ‘topic’, targeting full frameworks. For the topic marine fisheries, for example, this might include everything from the Constitution to endangered species, marine protected areas, primary fisheries laws, trade and health laws, etc.