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.

  • British Museum (03 Apr 17)
  • Brunel University London (01 Apr 17)
  • Cambridge University (11 Apr 17)
  • CONSER (Not UK Holdings) (19 Apr 17)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (19 Apr 17)
  • Dundee University (01 Apr 17)
  • National Library of Wales (01 Mar 17)
  • Northumbria University (03 Apr 17)
  • School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) (11 Apr 17)
  • Senate House Libraries, University of London (04 Apr 17)
  • Warwick University (05 Apr 17)

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


An endorsement

We recently received some fantastic feedback on Digimap for Schools from Dr Neil Clifton, a retired chemistry teacher/lecturer in his eighties. When his grandson showed him the service, Neil was so impressed he sent us an endorsement. A lifelong mapping and geography enthusiast, whose son studied geography, Neil enjoys contributing photos to the Geograph project.

We particularly like Neil’s point about the maps helping young people to develop a love for their environment and wanted to share his considered thoughts with you:

 

Every child/pupil/student in every school in Britain should have access to this brilliant facility which has been developed by a team at Edinburgh University in co-operation with Ordnance Survey.

For little more than the cost of a set of text-books, the project allows access to the whole range of Ordnance Survey mapping, right up to the largest scale of 1:1250, (on which even garages, sheds and tiny streams are depicted, and where appropriate, named).

The team has put much thought into the project, which has made it easy to use, and attractive in appearance, so that even young children will enjoy exploring and using it, for locations such as their immediate home surroundings, as well as for locations that they have visited, or hope to visit, in more distant parts of Britain.

A beginner, in perhaps year 1 or 2 in their junior school, might look at a map showing their own school.  And as the child develops and matures, they will trace their own house and the route they follow to get to school.  Then, finding perhaps the location of the local supermarket, where the railway station is situated and so on, their confidence as map-users will increase all the time.  The pond or stream where they go fishing will be found – and perhaps the map will enable the discovery of other possible fishing sites nearby.

The benefits to those students taking geography examinations can hardly be overstressed.  But there are so many other ways in which the use of these maps will help the young person to acquire a love of the environment and a care for its well-being.   It is here that our future botanists, naturalists, photographers, walkers, cyclists, and leaders of the next generation of young people are born.

If any teacher is still unconvinced of the real and lasting value of making this resource available in their schools, I would urge them to look at the (free) trial which shows just a small area of the country.

Dr Neil Clifton, April 2017

 

 

 

Digimap Service Disruption: 16th May 2017

Digimap will be making use of an extended “at risk” period on Tuesday 16th May 2017 and will be UNAVAILABLE between 08.30 and 12.00 hours. We will endeavour to restore full service as quickly as possible. However, during this period it will not be possible to log in to Digimap or to retrieve requested data.  Any […]

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.

  • Edinburgh University (01 Apr 17)
  • Kent University (10 Apr 17)
  • Lancaster University (01 Apr 17)
  • London Metropolitan University (03 Apr 17)
  • National Archives (01 Apr 17)
  • National Library of Scotland (03 Apr 17)
  • Open University (01 Apr 17)
  • Queen’s University, Belfast (03 Apr 17)
  • Royal Asiatic Society (03 Apr 17)
  • Sussex University (01 Apr 17)
  • Swansea University (01 Apr 17)

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


Geograph images now available!

screenshot of Geograph images on a Digimap for Schools map

Geograph images as viewed in Digimap for Schools

You can now view images from the Geograph project in Digimap for Schools. Geograph aims to collect images for every grid square in Great Britain. So far more than 5 million images have been contributed.

Just click the Geograph icon on the toolbar to start searching and viewing images. Our search facility offers suggestions as you type to aid your explorations. A short help video is available on  YouTube, to help you get started.

Dr Paula Owens has authored some fantastic new learning resources to accompany the new Geograph feature.  They have lots of ideas to inspire you to use the images. Landscape Alphabet has some fun ideas on using the images in Key Stage 1 to support language development. There are three resources aimed at Key Stage 2; A focus on rivers, Flooding and Other Hazards, and Photographic! There’s also a Getting Started resource with lots of suggestions for searching.  All resources include ideas for linking in literacy and numeracy.

We hope you will find Geograph a useful tool and enjoy viewing the wonderful images that are available. Do send us your feedback and any examples of fun images you find!

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.

  • Aberystwyth University (01 Apr 17)
  • Bath University (04 Apr 17)
  • Bristol University (04 Apr 17)
  • British Library (06 Apr 17)
  • CONSER (Not UK Holdings) (05 Apr 17)
  • Edinburgh Napier University (01 Apr 17)
  • King’s College London (02 Apr 17)
  • Kingston University (01 Apr 17)
  • London School of Economics and Political Science (01 Apr 17)
  • Manchester University (01 Apr 17)
  • Natural History Museum (01 Apr 17)
  • Nottingham University (04 Apr 17)
  • Sheffield University (01 Apr 17)
  • University of the Arts London (17 Mar 17)
  • York University (01 Apr 17)

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


Upcoming webinars

Hi folks, we have planned a series of webinars in April and May.

Webinars are free to attend. They are open to all schools subscribed to Digimap for Schools  and anyone interested in learning more about the service. To join a webinar, you must register to book your place.

To see more details on the webinar content and register, click the link after the webinar of interest to you.

Hope to see you there!

If you have any questions about attending a webinar, or would like to suggest topics for future webinars, please comment below or get in touch with the Digimap for Schools Helpdesk – digimap.schools@ed.ac.uk

Behind the scenes at the Digital Footprint MOOC

Last Monday we launched the new Digital Footprint MOOC, a free three week online course (running on Coursera) led by myself and Louise Connelly (Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies). The course builds upon our work on the Managing Your Digital Footprints research project, campaign and also draws on some of the work I’ve been doing in piloting a Digital Footprint training and consultancy service at EDINA.

It has been a really interesting and demanding process working with the University of Edinburgh MOOCs team to create this course, particularly focusing in on the most essential parts of our Digital Footprints work. Our intention for this MOOC is to provide an introduction to the issues and equip participants with appropriate skills and understanding to manage their own digital tracks and traces. Most of all we wanted to provide a space for reflection and for participants to think deeply about what their digital footprint means to them and how they want to manage it in the future. We don’t have a prescriptive stance – Louise and I manage our own digital footprints quite differently but both of us see huge value in public online presence – but we do think that understanding and considering your online presence and the meaning of the traces you leave behind online is an essential modern life skill and want to contribute something to that wider understanding and debate.

Since MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – are courses which people tend to take in their own time for pleasure and interest but also as part of their CPD and personal development so that fit of format and digital footprint skills and reflection seemed like a good fit, along with some of the theory and emerging trends from our research work. We also think the course has potential to be used in supporting digital literacy programmes and activities, and those looking for skills for transitioning into and out of education, and in developing their careers. On that note we were delighted to see the All Aboard: Digital Skills in Higher Education‘s 2017 event programme running last week – their website, created to support digital skills in Ireland, is a great complementary resource to our course which we made a (small) contribution to during their development phase.

Over the last week it has been wonderful to see our participants engaging with the Digital Footprint course, sharing their reflections on the #DFMOOC hashtag, and really starting to think about what their digital footprint means for them. From the discussion so far the concept of the “Uncontainable Self” (Barbour & Marshall 2012) seems to have struck a particular chord for many of our participants, which is perhaps not surprising given the degree to which our digital tracks and traces can propagate through others posts, tags, listings, etc. whether or not we are sharing content ourselves.

When we were building the MOOC we were keen to reflect the fact that our own work sits in a context of, and benefits from, the work of many researchers and social media experts both in our own local context and the wider field. We were delighted to be able to include guest contributors including Karen Gregory (University of Edinburgh), Rachel Buchanan (University of Newcastle, Australia), Lilian Edwards (Strathclyde University), Ben Marder (University of Edinburgh), and David Brake (author of Sharing Our Lives Online).

The usefulness of making these connections across disciplines and across the wider debate on digital identity seems particularly pertinent given recent developments that emphasise how fast things are changing around us, and how our own agency in managing our digital footprints and digital identities is being challenged by policy, commercial and social factors. Those notable recent developments include…

On 28th March the US Government voted to remove restrictions on the sale of data by ISPs (Internet Service Providers), potentially allowing them to sell an incredibly rich picture of browsing, search, behavioural and intimate details without further consultation (you can read the full measure here). This came as the UK Government mooted the banning of encryption technologies – essential for private messaging, financial transactions, access management and authentication – claiming that terror threats justified such a wide ranging loss of privacy. Whilst that does not seem likely to come to fruition given the economic and practical implications of such a measure, we do already have the  Investigatory Powers Act 2016 in place which requires web and communications companies to retain full records of activity for 12 months and allows police and security forces significant powers to access and collect personal communications data and records in bulk.

On 30th March, a group of influential privacy researchers, including danah boyd and Kate Crawford, published Ten simple rules for responsible big data research in PLoSOne. The article/manifesto is an accessible and well argued guide to the core issues in responsible big data research. In many ways it summarises the core issues highlight in the excellent (but much more academic and comprehensive) AoIR ethics guidance. The PLoSOne article is notably directed to academia as well as industry and government, since big data research is at least as much a part of commercial activity (particularly social media and data driven start ups, see e.g. Uber’s recent attention for profiling and manipulating drivers) as traditional academic research contexts. Whilst academic research does usually build ethical approval processes (albeit conducted with varying degrees of digital savvy) and peer review into research processes, industry is not typically structured in that way and often not held to the same standards particularly around privacy and boundary crossing (see, e.g. Michael Zimmers work on both academic and commercial use of Facebook data).

The Ten simple rules… are also particularly timely given the current discussion of Cambridge Analytica and it’s role in the 2016 US Election, and the UK’s EU Referendum. An article published in Das Magazin in December 2016, and a subsequent English language version published on Vice’s Motherboard have been widely circulated on social media over recent weeks. These articles suggest that the company’s large scale psychometrics analysis of social media data essentially handed victory to Trump and the Leave/Brexit campaigns, which naturally raises personal data and privacy concerns as well as influence, regulation and governance issues. There remains some skepticism about just how influential this work was… I tend to agree with Aleks Krotoski (social psychologist and host of BBC’s The Digital Human) who – speaking with Pat Kane at an Edinburgh Science Festival event last night on digital identity and authenticity – commented that she thought the Cambridge Analytica work was probably a mix of significant hyperbole but also some genuine impact.

These developments focus attention on access, use and reuse of personal data and personal tracks and traces, and that is something we we hope our MOOC participants will have opportunity to pause and reflect on as they think about what they leave behind online when they share, tag, delete, and particularly when they consider terms and conditions, privacy settings and how they curate what is available and to whom.

So, the Digital Footprint course is launched and open to anyone in the world to join for free (although Coursera will also prompt you with the – very optional – possibility of paying a small fee for a certificate), and we are just starting to get a sense of how our videos and content are being received. We’ll be sharing more highlights from the course, retweeting interesting comments, etc. throughout this run (which began on Monday 3rd April), but also future runs since this is an “on demand” MOOC which will run regularly every four weeks. If you do decide to take a look then I would love to hear your comments and feedback – join the conversation on #DFMOOC, or leave a comment here or email me.

And if you’d like to find out more about our digital footprint consultancy, or would be interested in working with the digital footprints research team on future work, do also get in touch. Although I’ve been working in this space for a while this whole area of privacy, identity and our social spaces seems to continue to grow in interest, relevance, and importance in our day to day (digital) lives.

 

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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.

  • British Library (30 Mar 17)
  • Brunel University London (01 Mar 17)
  • Cranfield University (20 Mar 17)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (22 Mar 17)
  • London Library (29 Mar 17)
  • Oxford University (22 Mar 17)
  • Queen Mary, University of London (17 Mar 17)
  • St. Andrews University (15 Mar 17)
  • Warwick University (17 Mar 17)

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


Meridian 2 data on the move

In March 2017 Ordnance Survey withdrew the Meridian 2 dataset from their portfolio.  It remains available within Digimap, but has moved within the Data Download application from Vector Data to the Withdrawn Datasets category. Both national and tiled coverages are still available here.  Documentation about this dataset can also be found in the help pages: Meridian […]