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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
New BBC weather map causes storm
New BBC weather map
The map shows the UK from a southern perspective
The BBC's new weather map has caused a political storm with the Scottish National Party claiming it gives a "distorted" view of Scotland.

New 3-D television weather forecast graphics began on Monday but the SNP MP for the Western Isles, Angus MacNeil, called for the BBC to think again.

He said the map makes it more difficult for people in the north and the islands to get an accurate forecast.

The graphic shows the UK from a southerly perspective.

Outdoor activities

Mr MacNeil has put down his first Early Day Motion at Westminster calling on the BBC to rethink the new weather graphics.

I am obviously very disappointed in the slanting map which gives England and Wales precedence
Danny Vallance, Ayr, Scotland

He said England had a landmass which is less than twice Scotland's area.

But recent changes give England a presence on the TV screen which is 10 times that of Scotland, he said.

Mr MacNeil said: "People in my constituency depend on reliable weather forecasting for a range of crucial outdoor activities - including fishing and crofting - but this new map leaves them with almost zero visibility for weather in the isles.

"There would be outcry in London if the map was angled from the north, because it would have Barra bigger than London and Lewis twice the size of the south-west.

"We are well used to changeable weather, but this map is a change too far.

"The BBC needs to rethink their daft distorted map. They need to see Scotland as it is."

Angus MacNeil SNP MSP for Western Isles
Angus MacNeil said the map was daft and distorted

A spokesman for the BBC said: "Central to the new look is a 3-D globe because the old graphics were considered dull and flat by the audience.

"Scotland is actually no smaller than on the old 2-D maps, but with the new 3-D forecast, the bottom part of the map (the south) is closer to the viewer.

"However, the forecast works its way around the entire country, and for the first time the new system enables us to give viewers a detailed, close up of the weather on the ground in Scotland and elsewhere.

"Our various national and regional forecasts will also continue to provide detailed analysis of the weather in specific areas."

The spokesman added that it was the first major change to the look of BBC weather for 20 years.

"Clearly, it will take a little time for audiences to get used to the new system," he said.

"But we feel it gives audiences the extra clarity and detail they have told us they want from our forecasts."

The BBC said it would continue to monitor audience feedback.

Weather presenter Carol Kirkwood showcases the new graphics

BBC defends new weather forecasts
17 May 05 |  Entertainment


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