SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the past week. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • Aberdeen University (18 Jul 14)
  • Durham University (25 Jul 14)
  • CONSER (23 Jul 14)
  • Edinburgh University (21 Jul 14)
  • London Metropolitan University (24 Jul 14)
  • Natural History Museum (25 Jul 14)
  • Newcastle University (24 Jul 14)
  • Oxford University (22 Jul 14)
  • Southampton University (27 Jul 14)
  • University of the West of England (UWE) (23 Jul 14)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.

Marine Digimap: New Data, New Downloader

Marine Digimap has updated datasets in its brand new Marine Download facility.  The new interface provides a single place to get both Hydrospatial data and charts. The Hydrospatial data is now the newer Hydrospatial One dataset from SeaZone which also provides access to much higher resolution gridded bathymetry data, one arc second instead of six.  The Charted Raster dataset has been replaced with Hydroview Charts; these are still the same scanned Admiralty Charts though they are much more recent and include some small scale charts covering whole oceans (still not for navigation though!).

Version of Marine Downloader Launched in July 2014

Marine Download overlays listMarine Download works in the same way as Data Download, Environment Download and Geology Download; you select your area, pick your products and download the  data. The main difference is with datasets as these don’t all form continuous coverage of the UK Coastal waters. We have therefore included overlays that show where the tiles of each dataset can be found. These are very useful when choosing your data, just open the “Show Grid / Overlay” menu on the right of the map and pick the overlay for the data you are selecting.

Remember there can be a lot of overlap between the Hydroview Charts and also large areas with no data, you will get all the charts that present for the area and scale band that you choose. If there is no data for the area you have selected then you will not be able to add anything to the basket, if you try you will get an error message informing you of the products with no coverage.

For a full description on how to use the new interface, have a look at the help page: How to use Marine Download

List of Hydroview Charts in Marine DownloadThe data in Marine Download is broken into three categories, Hydrospatial, Hydroview Charts and Bathymetry. In the Hydrospatial category the same themes as before can be found, the Hydroview Charts are broken up into categories depending on their scale including those extra charts with wider ocean or global extents.

The old interfaces for downloading data, Hydrospatial Download and Charted Raster Download, will be withdrawn in the coming weeks, if you have teaching materials that include them then please update these as soon as possible.


If you have any questions about the new download or the withdrawal of the old interfaces then please get in touch:

  • Email:
  • Phone: 0131 650 3302


Tickets now available for our Fringe Show: What Skeletons Are in Your Closet?

I am delighted to report that once again I will be part of an EDINA show for Edinburgh Beltane and Fairpley‘s excellent Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, an Edinburgh Festival Fringe show in which academics and researchers spend an hour sharing “dangerous” and challenging ideas.

::: Update ::: view our new trailer for the show:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Last year my colleagues and I spoke about FieldTrip GB and the concept of crowdsourcing your neighbourhood – and what challenge or disruption might be possible in that process. It was great fun and we learned a lot in the process of putting the show together, there was even a tie up to another Fringe show through an amazing wee music video made for us by the lovely Eccentronic.

This year my colleague, Helen Aiton, and I will be returning with a very different show based on the Statistical Accounts of Scotland which we are calling “What Skeletons Are in Your Closet?“, and I wanted to tell you a bit more about it in the hope that you might just be able to join us, in The Stand in the Square‘s Yurt in St Andrew’s Square, on Tuesday 19th August!

Image of the listing for the What Skeletons Are in Your Closet show.

Our listing on the CODI 2014 site, see also Page 279 of the Fringe Guide.

So, why are we talking about the Statistical Accounts of Scotland? Well firstly because they are fascinating resources. The two Statistical Accounts of Scotland, covering the 1790s and the 1830s, represent some of the best contemporary reports of life during the agricultural and industrial revolutions in Europe. The first Account was the personal initiative of Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster, a Scottish Baronet and Member of the Union Parliament at Westminster. He used Westminster money to carry out a survey of 166 questions put to ministers of the Kirk in each of the 938 parishes of Scotland (subscribers can view the full list in the Related Resources section of the Online Service)

Sir John’s vision was to cover the whole of Scotland with an overall, consistent, description to “meliorate the condition of the people” (read  more about Sir John’s vision here) and to form an account of the “quantum of happiness” of the communities of Scotland. It was a hugely ambitious idea and, as you might imagine, not all ministers provided the same levels of details – some contemplate detailed daily life, folk lore, and provide far more detail than required, whilst others keep their responses curt and factual. Regardless of length the ministers also each brought their own personalities to their returns with their own personal interests, with many sharing their thoughts on the moral state of their parishioners and their activities. 

An extract from the Dumries report for 1791-99

An extract from the Dumries report for 1791-99 highlights that, despite “dramming”, there hasn’t been a fight worth mentioning for 11 years… the minister commends the women for ensuring this orderly behaviour.

EDINA runs the Statistical Accounts of Scotland Online Service and that means we are immersed in the Accounts from their wonderful insight into life in Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries, to their weirder and more amusing stories, gossip and boasts. We have been looking for weird and interesting nuggets from the Accounts, and sharing these via Twitter and Facebook, for a while now but we wanted to do something different with this show…

The Accounts capture the lives of all of those in the parish and that means they provide a rich account of the lives of those beyond the traditional history books – the lives of women for instance – but also life on the edges of society, including those living in poverty, those with disabilities, migrant populations, etc. So, in this show our focus is going to be on these people, these overlooked communities, these lives on the edge, but we will also wonder how our own accounts of daily life overlook those on the margins… indeed some of those on the margins in the 18th and 19th century remain on the margins of our own records of daily life now, even in a world with social media and ready access to the means to capture your own daily life.

So, we will be looking back at those outsiders but also posing some questions. We want those coming along and participating in the event to think about what we might do if we wanted to create a new Statistical Account: What would we want to capture in order to assess the “quantum of happiness” of the people of Scotland in 2014? Who would we need to represent to go beyond the statistics that are, these days, widely collected on the Scottish Population? What’s missing and who is missing from those accounts? How could we move beyond the numbers to something nearer Sir John’s vision for that rich account of life across the nation?

Of course I’d also welcome your thoughts, both on these questions and any thoughts or experience of these outsider pasts as captured in the Statistical Accounts, here in the comments section. We’ve already heard – via Twitter – about a brilliant piece by Ella Smith for Deaf History Journal’s Summer 2014 issue (see the British Deaf History Society website for more on this publication), which looks at how the lives of deaf people are captured by the Statistical Accounts. Ella delves into the first and second Accounts to find both numeric and descriptive accounts of deaf people in Scotland and I’d definitely recommend a read of her article if you can find a copy of DHJ in your local library (or when it becomes available to purchase online).

So, please do join us on the 19th, join in the discussion here on the blog, or help us spread the word about the event. And whilst you are booking a ticket for  “What Skeletons Are in Your Closet?â€� you might also want to look at some of the other #codi14 shows, I gather that “I know what you ate last summer” – taking a critical view of store cards and personal data tracks and traces – and the lovely Dr Felicity Mehendale’s “Are we wasting your data” – on finding the right balance between useful health data and patient privacy – are both in the same “Our Privacy” strand.

I’d also recommend you take a look at “The Internet – A Human Right?â€�, a show relating to the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Spreading the Benefits of Digital Participation Inquiry which I was involved in earlier this year. It will be a tricky topic if discussions during and launching the Inquiry are anything to go by so I recommend coming along and adding your voice to the mix! I’ll be along at this one too!

Related links:

You can also find out a wee bit more about the Statistical Accounts in this video of Helen talking the Accounts and the Online Service:

Click here to view the embedded video.


SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the past week. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • City University London (30 Jun 14)
  • Cranfield University (20 Jul 14)
  • Exeter University (04 Jul 14)
  • Southampton University (20 Jul 14)
  • Women’s Library @ LSE (07 Jul 14)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.

School Pupils Take COBWEB Out Into the Field

School Pupils undertake pond dipping as part of the FieldTrip in the Dyfi Biosphere

On Monday 7th July the COBWEB team were delighted to see our prototype app for collecting biodiversity data – one of three use cases the project is exploring - undergoing some extreme testing from young citizens of the Dyfi Biosphere. 

The event, which took place at the RSPB’s Ynys Hir Reserve, brought together 53 school pupils aged 11 and 12 from Ysgol Bro Ddyfi along with five of their teachers, experienced RSPB staff, and members of the COBWEB team to test the app as part of a fieldtrip on invertebrates. Pupils, working in groups of 4, spent the day searching for invertebrates and recording their findings using both the prototype app and bilingual (English and Welsh) paper forms. 

Date entry forms with phone and collected invertebrate.
The RSPB Ynys Hir Reserve, which sits at the heart of the Biosphere, includes a diverse range of habitats including woodland and salt marshes, enabling the children to explore a wide range of invertebrates from wood lice to Damselflies, butterflies and water scorpians. There was also plentiful opportunity to observe (and fend off) horseflies and for close encounters with local vertebrates including fish, toads, and many bird species. Whilst the groups were not recording these vertebrates, much of the value of the data they were collecting - on insects, arachnids, molluscs, myriapods and crustaceans - is as an indicator of the health of other species that depend upon these plentiful invertebrates for their food.  

A group pond dips at the Ynys Hir Reserve Groups listen to an expert from the RSPB explain the Invertebrate activities.
The day proved to be an excellent test of the COBWEB prototype app with most pupils very happy to explore, test out and give very honest and helpful feedback on what did or did not work well for them. We have been testing the app with a range of small groups in the Dyfi and Greek Biospheres, with organisations including Dyfi Woodlands and Outward Bound, and a previous testing day at Ysgol Bro Ddyfi, but this was the first time we had run such a large scale test of the technology in the field. 

A pupil enters data on a phone using the COBWEB prototype app.

The COBWEB team were very encouraged by the usability of the app and by the positive comments received for the prototype but there were also lots of areas for improvement – which is part of why it is so important to run field testing with the local community like this. As a result of the Bro Ddyfi fieldtrip the COBWEB team are now looking at improvements to the interface and functionality of the app, particularly around improving the user experience where GPS is performing less reliably. We are also exploring some of the ideas the children had for the presentation of data entry fields in the app. 

A pupil examines an invertebrate he has collected
The COBWEB team would like to thank all of those involved in organising and taking part in this event, in particular the RSPB staff who were fantastic expert guides and hosts to us at the Ynys Hir reserve, and most of all the staff and brilliantly enthusiastic students of Ysgol Bro Ddyfi for being such fantastic and patient testers. We found the event hugely useful for our development of the COBWEB app and look forward to further collaborations with both Ysgol Bro Ddyfi and the RSPB as the project progresses.

Pupils collect data using smart phones at the Ynys Hir Reserve Pupils enter data into both the COBWEB phone app and paper forms.
Find out more

  • View the records the Ysgol Bro Ddyfi Students collected via the Dyfi Biosphere website [coming soon].
  • Download the Invertebrates Workbook used by pupils for this fieldtrip. 
  • Download the bilingual (English and Welsh) Invertebrate data collection sheet used by the pupils alongside the prototype app.   
  • Find out more about Ysgol Bro Ddyfi – a bilingual school based within the Dyfi Biosphere. 
  • Read more about the RSPB Ynys Hir Reserve and the habitats and wildlife species that form part of the reserve and the Dyfi Biosphere.   

The COBWEB Team welcome feedback on all of the above resources as we are keen to run similar field testing in future. We are also very happy for others, including schools and community groups, to make use of these resources. 

We would like to acknowledge that creation of these materials would not have been possible without the contribution of the Ysgol Bro Ddyfi teaching staff. The design of the data collection sheet was partly inspired by the OPAL project’s learning materials and the design of the exercise was partly influenced by the resources available through BBC Bitesize on curriculum content and levels. 



Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 10:00
Posted in Uncategorized

Updated Jisc MediaHub Roadmap

Current developments 

  • MediaHub Mobile App (iOS – for iPhone/iPad)
  • Filtering of Collections by ‘attribute’ e.g. exploring only Jisc-licensed content or only content that requires no login.
  • Suggested formats for citing video, audio and images.
  • Better resilience.
  • Higher quality videos.
  • Better usage statistics in line with COUNTER recommendations.
  • HTML User guides.
  • Better tool to upload images.
  • Bulk uploading as well as existing uploading of individual images.

Under Exploration

  • Searching in MediaHub for Multimedia content (images, video, sound) deposited in the Jorum Learning Objects Repository.
  • MediaHub Mobile App for Android.
  • Users can create and share their own Media Trails.
  • Linking to related material in other online services.
  • Institutional log in URLs (“targeted URLsâ€�) that direct users via the preferred log in mechanism, direct to media items.
  • Embedding video and audio content from MediaHub in web pages.
  • Interoperability with reading list software.
  • Users can contribute moving images and sound through an embedded YouTube
  • Plugins for VLEs including Moodle.
  • A Content-Development Strategy to meet user needs.
  • Simplifying the login screen.


January 2014

  • Advanced Search: Updated interface, including sort by proximity
  • Users can contribute content
  • Crowd-sourcing metadata
  • Zoom tool for images

April  2013

  • Simpler classification of collection types
  • Advanced Search: time/date, people
  • My MediaHub: bookmarking, commenting, tagging

September 2012

  • Explore by Place
  • Embedding of MediaHub search into your website

August 2012

  • Explore Newsfilm

December 2011

  • Explore by Learning Materials: now including Reviews
  •  Interactive Guided Tour accessible via the Help page.
  • New metadata and better display of data on Full Record Page
  • Improved Display of Brief Records Page

October 2011

  • Personal preferences in My MediaHub
  • Combining and re-running previous searches in My MediaHub
  • “Show allâ€� similar and recently viewed items
  • Searches that match any one or more words
  • Help guides

August 2011

  • Advanced Search: title/description, subject, media type, collection and collection type indexes
  • Most Popular: Items, searches
  • My MediaHub: search history, recently viewed items, marked items
  • Sharing and social networking via external services such as Twitter
  • Machine-to-machine interface: SRU and OAI-PMH

June 2011

  • Explore by Subject
  • Explore by Collection
  • Explore by Time

SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the past week. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • Cardiff University (10 Jul 14)
  • CONSER (16 Jul 14)
  • Courtauld Institute of Art (01 Jul 14)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (11 Jul 14)
  • ISSN (17 Jul 14)
  • King’s College London (01 Jul 14)
  • London School of Economics and Political Science (07 Jul 14)
  • Newcastle University (03 Jul 14)
  • Queen Mary, University of London (15 Jul 14)
  • Royal College of Music (16 Jul 14)
  • St Andrews University (03 Jul 14)
  • School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London (14 Jul 14)
  • Southampton University (13 Jul 14)
  • Swansea University (15 Jul 14)
  • Trinity College Dublin (03 Jul 14)
  • University College London (07 Jul 14)
  • Wellcome Library (16 Jul 14)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.

The ultimate survival kit for your spatial data


“Ubi amici, ibi opes: Where you find friends, there you’ll find riches.”
Plautus, 200 BC

“Where you find metadata, there you’ll find data.â€�
Antonius Mathus, AD 2014

Research is fundamental to all disciplines in academia and data output is often the result of this endeavour. Most universities view research data as a valuable asset that requires a management strategy to promote and support long-term data curation, preservation, access and re-use.

Universities need the resources to tie together the policies, infrastructure, tools, processes and training to support research data management. The Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc) has played a key role in providing these resources to many universities through a range of programmes including the following:

  • Repositories and Preservation Programme, which provided an investment of £14 million in Higher Education repository and digital content infrastructure.
  • Information Environment supporting digital repositories and preservation, including cross-searching facilities across repositories; funding for institutions to develop a critical mass of content, preservation solutions and advice for the development of repositories.
  • Jisc Managing Research Data (JiscMRD) programme, which supported UK academic institutions in their efforts to develop internal research data management policies to ensure data re-use.

The GoGeo service is another example of the Jisc commitment to UK academia to provide resources to securely manage and share research data that have a geographical (spatial) component. The free service offers the following resources for managing research data:

  • Geodoc metadata editor tool, which allows users to create, edit, store, import, export and publish standards-compliant (ISO 19115, UK GEMINI, INSPIRE, Dublin Core, DDI) metadata records;
  • GoGeo portal, which offers users the option of publishing their geospatial metadata records to public or private catalogues, the latter for those who want to control and restrict access to information about their spatial data;
  • ShareGeo, a repository for users to upload and download spatial data; and
  • geospatial metadata workshops, which use presentations and hands-on practicals to introduce attendees to geospatial standards, metadata, geoportals and the GoGeo service.

The ultimate survival kit for your spatial data is a guide that provides a concise overview of these GoGeo service resources which can serve as a complement to your current research data management practices if your datasets have a spatial component. This guide also shows how the GoGeo service resources can be used to manage your spatial data information (metadata) and share it with your project colleagues, or with researchers and students in your department or academic institution.

You’ll discover that

  • it’s much easier and more efficient to use Geodoc to create and export a metadata record to bundle with its spatial dataset than it is to send the dataset without any information to a colleague who might return with questions. Your colleague can also import your metadata record to Geodoc to update if edits are made to your shared dataset.
  • it’s much easier and more efficient to use Geodoc to create and publish metadata records to a private research metadata catalogue on the GoGeo portal than it is to send bundles of metadata records or spatial data information to fellow researchers.

The ultimate survival kit for your spatial data document offers more in detail about the possibilities, the potential that the GoGeo service has to offer for spatial data management and sharing, whether at the personal level, amongst trusted colleagues or visible to the world if you have no further need of your spatial data and wish to share it with others who could benefit from your research endeavours. There could be others who have data that could benefit your research as well?

Please contact me to request a copy of this guide. The guide will include a questionnaire, and if you answer the 10 questions, you will receive a GoGeo-Geodoc coffee mug filled with chocolates. There is nothing to write other than your name and address; each question can be answered with the tick of a box.


Thank you very much.

Tony Mathys
Geospatial Metadata Co-ordinator
The University of Edinburgh
160 Causewayside
Edinburgh EH9 1PR

My Desk tel: (0)131 651 1443
EDINA Help Desk tel: (0)131 650 3302


An electronic version of the The ultimate survival kit for your spatial data guide can be found on the GoGeo portal’s Geodoc login page at



Digimap Roam: Printing PDFs from Chrome

We are getting a few reports from users experiencing issues when printing PDF maps using Chrome web browser. Unfortunately, the map watermark and any semi-transparent annotations are being printed as solid filled features. We have discovered that this occurs when the PDF is viewed and printed from within the Chrome browser, using Chrome’s in built PDF plugin.

We have investigated this problem and discovered that the bug is with Chrome and occurs with all PDFs with semi-tranparent layers not just those created by Digimap. The problem only happens on Windows computers with versions of Chrome released since the end of April (Chrome 34.0.1847 onwards).

Digimap users with Chrome should see a warning when they open the Print… window, informing them about the problem.

Print interface showing chrome alert

As the alert message suggests you can disable the plug-in to prevent it from opening PDFs or you can use the following workaround.
Printing from Chrome alternative method

  • Create your printable map as normal it will appear at the bottom of your web browser.
  • Don’t click the file name to open the PDF, click the little arrow and choose ‘Open with system viewer’.
  • Providing it is installed on your machine, the map will open in Adobe Reader which will print the semi transparent layers correctly.

We hope that the issue is resolved by Google who develop the Chrome browser, it has been reported to them. Should you wish to disable the plug-in entirely then you can follow the instructions with the image below. You can also download the map as a file to your computer, and then open it directly with Adobe Reader, this is usually the best option anyway as it allows you to print the PDF multiple times or store it if you don’t want to print it just yet.

Disabling Chrome PDF plugin

  • Type Chrome://plugins into the web address bar in chrome, this opens a list of all the plug-ins you have installed for Chrome.
  • Scroll down to the Chrome PDF Viewer on the Plug-ins page and click on the blue “Disable” link.
  • You will no longer have the option to view PDFs in the web browser.
  • Use this page to reactivate the plug-in if you want to reverse the change in the future.


If you need any assistance with opening your PDF map, please contact the EDINA helpdesk:

  • Email:
  • Phone: 0131 650 3302


SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the past two weeks. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • British Library (27 Jun 14)
  • Bristol University (07 Jul 14)
  • Brunel University (01 Jul 14)
  • Cambridge University (01 Jul 14)
  • CONSER (02 Jul 14)
  • Dundee University (01 Jul 14)
  • Durham University (27 Jun 14)
  • Glasgow University (03 Jul 14)
  • Goldsmiths University of London (30 Jun 14)
  • Hull University (27 Jun 14)
  • Kent University (01 Jul 14)
  • Leicester University (30 Jun 14)
  • National Library of Scotland (01 Jul 14)
  • Nottingham University (01 Jul 14)
  • Royal Society of Medicine (03 Jul 14)
  • Southampton University (06 Jul 14)
  • Warwick University (02 Jul 14)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.