Updated OS Mastermap in Digimap for Schools

Over the summer we’ve taken the opportunity to update some of the maps used in Digimap for Schools. The Ordnance Survey have been working with their Mastermap collection and had a slight rejig of some of their classifications and added some new data schema’s. (at this stage you can tell I’m not a professional cartographer ;-))

As a result there have been some additional classifications added to their data which allows for better cartographic representation of the data itself (i.e. they can put more information on the maps). To the casual observer who maybe doesn’t have a forensic eye for detail many of these changes may not be glaringly obvious but we have found a few examples of how the data has changed the maps for the better! We found that some of the best examples of this tend to be in the coastal regions and below is an example of a before and after:

As you can see form the top image the area is simply classified as shingle and rock, whereas the image below is much more refined in giving better classification of the areas.

Anyhow this was just a quick update to let you know that some of the maps may have changed slightly (for the better ;-))

Using Fieldwork or Data collection Apps with Digimap for Schools

Last week I ran a webinar on “Fieldwork and Simple GIS” with Digimap for Schools. During the webinar someone asked if they can upload data from the Survey 123 app into Digimap for Schools. At the time I wasn’t sure (as I’d never used Survey 123) so I asked the person to send me a copy of the data that they got from the app. I’m pleased to say that within a minute I was able to upload their data into Digimap for Schools!

I’ve since had a look at other app’s and the way they deliver their data and the good news is that Digimap fro Schools can easily handle this!

Rather than write loads about how I did it I thought it easier just to do a quick video to show you. (just click on the below to play)

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

Also this is just a print out of what the CSV file looked like when I printed the locations on a map. (Click on the map for a better view)

Land Use Maps and Simple GIS

Hi folks, yesterday (25th April) we ran a quick 30 minute webinar showcasing some of the activities you can undertake very quickly and easily using Digimap for Schools.

I recorded the session, so you can have a look below or go directly to our youtube page to find other useful webinars.

https://www.youtube.com/user/digimapforschools

The session below covers some simple concepts that help create a land use map; drawing area’s, using the colour palette to tailor your map, editing areas and text, adding images and also creating map keys.  We also do some very simple GIS using postcodes and buffers, and actually delve a little deeper and download some official crime stats and map them in Digimap for Schools.  Have a gander below, though you may want to expand the view to full page 😉

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

Digimap for Schools and Coastal Erosion

Over the Easter period Digimap for Schools made a trip to Sheffield for the GA Conference, which happened to be celebrating their 125th anniversary.  The conference itself was fantastic with lots of great ideas and plenty of excellent CPD for teachers and trainee teachers alike.

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We had our usual display and demo on the Ordnance Survey stand and it proved to be a busy few days with lots of interest from everyone, though we did find that most of the attendees where well aware of Digimap for Schools and quite avid users:-)

One of the most cited uses of Digimap for Schools was for illustrating the impact of coastal erosion.  A few people in particular highlighted Cowden Sands as a great example of displaying the tangible impact of coastal erosion.  I thought I would post up a few maps as examples of what is very quickly achievable by pupils.

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digimap_for_schools (13) digimap_for_schools (12)
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Map Skills for GCSE using Digimap for Schools

We have a very useful resource in our Resources centre which highlights the common skills for GCSE Geography which can be developed using Digimap for Schools.  The resource was developed by the award winning geographer Alan Parkinson, who delves deep into the new GCSE Geography curriculums and highlights the exact GCSE map skills students need to develop and demonstrate.

Alan highlights the Map Interpretation Skills required in the new specifications and identifies how Digimap for Schools can fulfil them!  (We’ll be honest and tell you it doesn’t fulfil them all but it does cover a conservative 85% of the requirements 😉   i.e we currently don’t “demonstrate the understanding and construction of cross sections” – unfortunately you’re going to have to dig out the graph paper (or Excel) and do this manually.

Please come along and have a look, its a great way of ensuring that you are getting the most out of Digimap for Schools, and a good reminder of what exactly needs to be covered.

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The resources is available in our Resources centre or you can download it directly here: https://dfsresources.edina.ac.uk/resource/digimap-schools-support-gcse

Planning for Pupil Progress at Key Stage 3

Calling all Secondary KS3 Geography teachers!
 
“Mapwork skills continue to be poorly developed. It is not uncommon for students to be unfamiliar with Ordnance Survey maps. Maps are a basic tool of geography but students admit to being uncomfortable reading maps and have little opportunity to use maps in lessons. In far too many schools, map use is limited to specific examination requirements, rather than the progressive development of these specific geographical skills.”
Geography: a fragile environment? Leszek Iwaskow (Teaching Geography Summer 20132)
We have a fantastic resource in our resources centre written by David Gardner from the Ordnance Survey.
 
It highlights some of the issues around Mapwork and Mapskills in Secondary schools.
 
Its a fantastic resource at identifying EXACTLY where mapskills are required in the KS3 national curriculum and how best introduce and use them.
 
The resource allows teachers to plan for progression through years 5,6,7 and 8. There is also an incredible curriculum planner you can download and use to support you curriculum making process.
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Digimap for Schools in the Snow….

As we are experiencing one of the heaviest snowfalls in recent memory, many school kids are having their first snow days for a very long time.  So why not embrace the novelty and enthusiasm by giving the pupils a snow based mapping activity!

We did a very quick Story Map of our walk around the neighbourhood, talking a few pictures on my phone and adding them to the map…  Again you can tailor this to your own requirements.

Here’s my example: digimap_for_schools (71)

 

 

Digimap for Schools at Christmas

As Christmas approaches we thought we’d pull together a few Christmas themed activities for Primary schools.

Activity 1: Whats the quickest route for Santa?

This is a whole class activity and involves the use of pupil postcodes.  The locations are plotted onto a map,  pupils will then have the ability to see all the locations Santa has to go in order to visit all the pupils in the class.  Pupils should then either work independently or in teams to identify the quickest route for SScreen Shot 2017-12-08 at 09.26.43anta to go.  The amount of combinations should make it an interesting little competition to see who identifies the quickest route!  (Perhaps a Christmas themed prize for the winner :-)

 

Step 1: Create a excel spreadsheet with the pupils postcode and their name.  NOTE: Make sure the postcode column has ‘postcode’ at the top and the name column has ‘label’ at the top.  Please also ensure that you save the file as a .csv (comma separated value) rather than an .xls.

 

Step 2: Once you have saved your file in Excel, you need to upload it into Digimap for Schools.  Simply open the annotations toolbar and then go to the markers section and upload your file. step2Step 3: This is the stage at which you are able to start planning Santa’s route.  You will see all the locations with the pupils name beside it.  You then simply get the pupils to draw a line between the different pupils houses to see which is the quickest route.  You can use the measurement tool to get the length of the individual routes.  Remember you can add some photos to your map also!
Santa

Activity 2: Digimap Christmas Jigsaw’s

This can be done either as an online Jigsaw or as a hard copy.  You can generate a series of maps with ‘secret’ Christmas phrases or words that correspond to places on your maps.  E.g.

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To create an online Jigsaw I’ve used Jigsaw planet https://www.jigsawplanet.com which is very simple to use and allows you to create your jigsaw.  Alternatively you can simply download a Jigsaw image from Google e.g. http://miamibox.us/puzzle-piece-template.html and place it over your map in Powerpoint.  Here are is an example of both:

jigsaws

These are quite festive little activities which can be all done pretty quickly in Digimap fro Schools.  We wish you all the very best in the run up to Christmas and hope these activities can be of some help!

We’ve created a quick video to show you how to do these tasks above….

Click here to view the embedded video.

Pete

GCSE Geography Fieldwork/Controlled Assessment

The Geography GCSE curriculum has changed over the last number of years so we decided to have a quick look into what had changed and more importantly how Digimap for Schools can cater for these changes.  We looked in particular at the AQA, Edexcel, OCR, WJEC and CEA examination boards.  We noted that the majority of these examination boards now mandate that two field studies are required, one for physical and one for human geography.

As we got into the bare bones of the specifications we noted some common themes occurring in the Controlled Assessment/Fieldwork.  Many of them had similar themes for the Data Collection and Data Presentation elements of fieldwork.  We created this short video highlighting how Digimap for School can help.  Hopefully this will showcase how beneficial the service is to teachers and pupils at GCSE.

 

Click here to view the embedded video.