Improvements to using Digimap data in CAD systems

As many of you may be aware, the number of users of the Digimap service using CAD systems has increased considerably over the years. As this user base has grown we have endeavoured to make the data we provide as easy to use as possible in these systems. As part of this effort to continually improve the service we offer, we have made some considerable enhancements to the products we offer for use in CAD systems.

Part of the problem is that there is a proliferation of systems in use under the general banner of ‘CAD’ systems, including AutoCAD, Revit, Rhinoceros, Vectorworks to name a few. A common factor between these systems is that they can accept vector data in DWG format, however, the way that DWG data is handled can vary between systems.

A number of our products in DWG format were loading into CAD systems but some were not correctly spatially referenced. This meant that although the data looked fine and worked perfectly well on its own, but it was difficult to overlay or integrate it with other datasets. We have now fixed this issue, so that it is possible to overlay common products together much more easily.

To accompany the DWG map data we also provide Digital Terrain Model (DTM) data to allow you to create a landsurface to loacte buildings and infrastructure on. In the past we only provided the OS Terrain 5 DTM in a format that was not so easily used in some CAD systems. To remedy this, we are now delivering OS Terrain 5 DTM in the XYZ format that can be used in most CAD systems.

These are the Changes we have made:

  1. All data available as DWG should overlay correctly where appropriate in AutoCAD Map 3D, AutoCAD, AutoCAD Civil, Revit and Rhinoceros.
  2. All data has the correct Spatial Reference (British National Grid) and Units (metres).
  3. OS Terrain 5 Contours are available as 3D Polyline data which is suitable for creating surfaces in Revit and Rhinoceros 5.
  4. OS Terrain 5 DTM is available in an XYZ format which can be used to create surfaces in AutoCAD and Rhinoceros 5.
  5. OS MasterMap Sites Layer is now available in DWG.
OS MasterMap Topography Layer Building Height Attribute data on top of OS Terrain 5 Contours

OS MasterMap Topography Layer Building Height Attribute data on top of OS Terrain 5 Contours

We have updated our help pages in line with these changes and recommend that you consult the AutoCAD FAQ page which has further details for how you can load Digimap data in to common CAD packages.

We hope our CAD users find these changes useful but if you have any questions about using Digimap data in a CAD system please let us know. Similarly if you can provide us with any information about using Digimap data in a CAD system we would be very pleased to hear from you.

  • Phone: 0131 650 3302
  • Email:


COBWEB and Open Geospatial Consortium’s (OGC) 99th Technical & Planning Committee (TC/PC) Meeting

The Open Geospatial Consortium’s (OGC) 99th Technical & Planning Committee (TC/PC) Meeting will be hosted by University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland from 20 June to 24 June, 2016.

COBWEB will be sponsoring the event and invites OGC Members to join us for an icebreaker event on the evening of Monday 20th June, and a side event on the afternoon of Tuesday 21st June. To register, please visit the registration page here.

This meeting will be partly framed by a theme of Citizen Science and use of public and open sources to collect and improve geospatial information. Over the course of the week attendees will hear how OGC standards have been used to make citizen sourced data discoverable and available at interfaces that make it easy for others to use, securely where necessary.

COBWEB will demonstrate the use of semantics, quality assurance and different serialisations to make the data comprehensible. We invite attendees to join us in a discussion of how open interoperability standards can help unlock the huge potential latent in the wealth of citizen data and take forward work undertaken in COBWEB as the project finishes.

More information on the OGC meeting is provided on our events page:

Visit the OGC website at



Monday, June 20, 2016 – 08:00 to Friday, June 24, 2016 – 16:00

Digimap Dataset Updates: May 2016

VectorMap Local Raster

Latest version of OS VectorMap Local Raster

A number of datasets in the Ordnance Survey Collection have been updated in May this year. We’ve also made a number of improvements to some of the datasets that are popular for 3D modelling which will hopefully make it easier to use these datasets in CAD applications. The main changes are:

  • OS MasterMap Sites Layer now available in DWG and ESRI Shapefile format (previously it was only available in GML)
  • OS Terrain 5 DTM is now available in XYZ format for use in CAD applications
  • OS Terrain 5 Contours in DWG format are now provided as as 3D contours with the height of each feature set to the correct contour height

The data format help page has been updated to reflect these changes and is a good place to go if you are interested to see which datasets are available in a specific format.

Continue reading

SUNCAT updated

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

  • British Library (19 May 16)
  • Brunel University (01 May 16)
  • Cambridge University (11 May 16)
  • Imperial College, London (01 May 16)
  • Natural History Museum (01 May 16)
  • Robert Gordon University (02 May 16)
  • Royal College of Music (16 May 16)
  • Senate House Libraries, University of London (11 May 16)
  • Southampton University (15 May 16)
  • Strathclyde University (03 May 16)
  • Warwick University (18 May 16)

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

International Museum Day!

On Wednesday the 18th May it is International Museum Day. Since it’s inception back in 1977, this day has provided an opportunity to raise awareness on how important museums are in the development of society. This year’s theme will be Museums and Cultural Landscapes. Participation in International Museum Day is growing among museums all over the world. In 2015, more than 35,000 museums participated in the event in some 145 countries.

A photograph of the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, 2005. By No machine-readable author provided. Maccoinnich~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims). [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

There are a number of SUNCAT Contributing Libraries which are museum libraries: the British Museum; National Coal Mining Museum; National Museums Scotland (see the wonderful museum building above!); National Museum of Wales; and the Natural History Museum. Here are some wonderful museum-themed titles found in these and other SUNCAT Contributing Libraries.

  • Ladies museum.
  • The torch; or Glasgow museum.
  • Leather Archives & Museum News.
  • Fossum : the magazine of Friends of the Sedgwick Museum.
  • The Bruce Museum : a museum of the arts and sciences.
  • Ka ‘Elele : news of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum.
  • Under the dome : the British Museum staff magazine.
  • Farmer’s Weekly Museum.
  • Memoirs of the Raffles Museum.
  • Trolley fare / Pennsylvania Railway Museum Association.
  • Water Words : news from the Waterworks Museum, Hereford.
  • Oh! Cet cho! : museum kunst palast magazin.
  • Mermaid / Friends of Merseyside Maritime Museum.
  • Heirloom seed reference guide / from the Landis Valley Museum.
  • MoNA now : news from the Museum of Northwest Art.
  • Now & then : Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society newsletter.
  • The Potato Museum’s peelings.
  • The Flixton flier : newsletter of the Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum.
  • Palmnut Post : Magazine of Durban Natural Science Museum.
  • Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum Memoir.
  • AMuse news : Durban museums newsletter.
  • Meeting Place : Royal Ontario Museum.
  • Bloomers / British Museum.
  • British Museum Attendants’ Mutual Life Assurance Society, afterwards British Museum Life Assurance Society [Annual Reports.]
  • Museum documentation system : costume card instructions / Museum Documentation Association.

If you are a museum library and would like to participate in SUNCAT or if you would like to suggest a museum library as a possible Contributing Library do let us know by contacting us at


Keepers Extra Project: Workshop Two

We are pleased to announce that EDINA and the ISSN International Centre are hosting a second workshop as part of the Keepers Extra project. The event will be held on the 6th and 7th of June 2016, at University of London Institute in Paris.

eiffel_towerThe Keepers Extra project, being carried out at EDINA as a Jisc investment, builds on prior work that encourages collaborative activity such as the recommendations outlined by the JARVIG working group. Building on the first workshop held in Edinburgh in September 2016, this event will bring together representatives of international archiving agencies, national libraries, research libraries and consortia, and other key stakeholders to exchange knowledge and update one another on recent projects.The project team will report back on the a recently conducted agency consultation, and we will continue to explore how archiving agencies and libraries can respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by the long tail, including publisher participation negotiations, sharing information and handling content, and resourcing. This event is intended to be formative in the foundation of an ongoing international e-journal preservation network.

This event is invitation only. A full report will be posted after the event.


SUNCAT updated

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

  • British Library (12 May 16)
  • CONSER (12 May 16)
  • Exeter University (06 May 16)
  • Glasgow University (06 May 16)
  • ISSN (11 May 16)
  • The London Library (06 May 16)
  • London Metropolitan University (27 Apr 16)
  • London School of Economics and Political Science (01 May 16)
  • St Andrews University (05 May 16)
  • Sheffield University (01 May 16)
  • Southampton University (08 May 16)
  • University College London (28 Apr 16)
  • York University (01 May 16)

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

Belated Liveblog: eLearning@ed 2016

Last week I was delighted to be part of the team organising the annual eLearning@ed Conference 2016. The event is one of multiple events and activities run by and for the eLearning@ed Forum, a community of learning technologists, academics, and those working with learning technologies across the University of Edinburgh. I have been Convener of the group since last summer so this was my first conference in this role – usually I’m along as a punter. So, this liveblog is a little later than usual as I was rather busy on the day…

Before going into my notes I do also want to say a huge thank you to all who spoke at the event, all who attended, and an extra special thank you to the eLearning@ed Committee and Vlad, our support at IAD. I was really pleased with how the event went – and feedback has been good – and that is a testament to the wonderful community I have the privilege of working with all year round here at Edinburgh.

Note: Although I have had a chance to edit these notes they were taken live so just let me know if you spot any errors and I will be very happy to make any corrections. 

The day opened with a brief introduction from me. Obviously I didn’t blog this but it was a mixture of practical information, enthusiasm for our programme, and an introduction to our first speaker, Melissa Highton:

Continue reading

SUNCAT updated

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

  • Aberystwyth University (01 May 16)
  • Bradford University (05 May 16)
  • Bristol University (03 May 16)
  • British Library (05 May 16)
  • British Museum Library (04 May 16)
  • CONSER (04 May 16)
  • De Montfort University (21 Apr 16)
  • Kent University (01 May 16)
  • King’s College London (01 May 16)
  • Manchester University (01 May 16)
  • National Archives (01 May 16)
  • National Library of Scotland (02 May 16)
  • Nottingham University (03 May 16)
  • Oxford University (22 Apr 16)
  • Queen’s University Belfast (03 May 16)
  • St Andrews University (15 Apr 16)
  • Southampton University (01 May 16)
  • Wellcome Library (26 Apr 16)

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