Digimapping your Daily Mile!

We are delighted to present new learning resources that give you some great ideas for bringing your Daily Mile into the classroom. As well offering a simple way to build physical activity into your pupils’ day and clear benefits to physical and emotional health, your Daily Mile offers a hook for building your pupils’ numeracy and research skills.

The Daily Mile initiative was officially launched in 2016 to encourage all schools to get outside and walk or run for 15 minutes a day. The idea began in 2012 when Elaine Wyllie, head of a Scottish primary school, was shocked that a class of pupils struggled to run a lap of their playing field. The children and teachers decided to start running around the field for 15 minutes a day to see if they could get better at it. Within 3 months, every class in the school was doing their Daily Mile and the children loved the freedom of running, jogging, skipping or walking with their friends in all weather.  Hundreds of schools have picked it up and it’s spreading to Europe and North America too!

How can Digimap for Schools help?

Have a look at our Daily Mile resource section for ideas. A few suggestions to get started:

Measuring your Daily Mile!

Measuring your Daily Mile!

  • Plot your route and check the distance with the line drawing and measurement tool
  • Explore your area using a 1-mile buffer – where could children reach by running a mile in different directions? Extend this exercise by looking at aerial and historic maps of your area.
  • Choose a famous route, such as Harian’s Wall or the West Highland Way. Find out the distance and calculate how many Daily Miles it would take your class to complete the route!
  • Add Geograph photos to your maps to see what geographic features have been photographed in your area or find photos of famous landmarks.
  • Research and plot a route, with distance and stopping points, to show tourists around your town.

We hope you enjoy exploring the resources and bringing your Daily Mile into the classroom! Remember, we would love to see photos of the maps you create or of you out and about on your Daily Mile – tweet them to us @digimap4schools.

Managing your saved maps

We have recently added the ability to create sub-folders within your Digimap for Schools account, to help you store and organise your saved maps. You could create folders for different classes, projects, dates, places or schemes such as Duke of Edinburgh.

To get started, click on the Map Manager icon on the toolbar:

Map Manager icon

Map Manager icon





You will need your PIN to continue. These have been emailed to the main Digimap for Schools contact at your school. Check with them for the number or contact us to request it.

The Map Manager area will open and you will see a list of saved maps. It’s a good idea to create folders first. Click Add Folder on the left and name your folder. When you next create and save a map, you can select any of your folders to save the map within.

You can make the list of saved maps more manageable by filtering. Just enter your term(s) in the four boxes at the top of the list and your list will reduce. In the image below, we have input 7 in the Class box and sam in the name box:

Filtering saved maps

Filtering saved maps









To move maps to any folder, just click a map and drag it to the folder of your choice. You can move multiple maps by checking the boxes to the right of the maps and dragging all of the selected maps to a folder.

We’ve made a short video on this feature:

Click here to view the embedded video.


We hope it will be a really useful tool for you. Let us know how you find it and if there is anything we can do to improve it.

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




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!

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

Free Digimap webinar: Creating 3D models from Digimap data – 26 April 2017

The Digimap team are hosting a free webinar, on Wednesday 26 April 2017, from 1-1:30pm. The session will give an overview of how to create 3D models in common GIS and CAD packages (ArcGIS Pro, QGIS and AutoCAD) using data downloaded from Digimap. The session will look at the datasets available from Digimap that are […]

Digimap for Site Reps webinar – 29th March, 1-1:30pm

This free webinar will briefly cover recent changes to Digimap Collections and offer a summary of copyright issues. An ideal way for Digimap site reps, or any staff who support Digimap users, to get information on key aspects of Digimap activity. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions on any aspect of Digimap. […]

The King Lives on!

Elvis fans

Elvis Fans, PYMCA, 2005.

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the birth of Elvis Presley – the King of Rock and Roll. Born to a modest background in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis became one of the biggest selling artists of the 20th century, selling more than one billion records. Elvis earned gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, as well as three Grammys and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Elvis never studied music formally. He sang at the Pentecostal church he attended as a child. Elvis’ devoted mother, Gladys, bought a guitar from the Tupelo hardware store for his eleventh birthday. Reports differ but apparently Elvis had either a rifle or a bicycle in mind.

After moving to Memphis at age 15, Elvis began to practise guitar regularly and absorbed R&B on Beale Street, the historic heart of the Memphis blues scene. Elvis came to the attention of Sam Philips, the boss of Sun Records in Memphis. After struggling to find the right track for Elvis, they struck gold on a 1954 late night recording session when Elvis started playing Arthur Crudup’s 1946 song, That’s All Right. Never released in the UK, That’s All right was remastered and re-released in 2004.

Watch this ITN News report from 2004 and see a ‘gaggle’ or a ‘pride’ of Elvis impersonators celebrate the re-release on a London bus:



Radio appearances, touring and record releases led to regional success for Elvis and after offers from three major record labels, Elvis signed with RCA in November 1955.  Now managed by Colonel Thomas Parker, by 1956 Elvis was an international star. His 1956 hits included Heartbreak Hotel, Blue Suede Shoes, Don’t Be Cruel, Hound Dog, My Baby Left Me and Love Me Tender.

Elvis was idolised by teens but felt the wrath of many for what they considered his overly suggestive performances. On his final performance on the Ed Sullivan TV show, Elvis was only shown from the waist up! Watch this 1958 clip from 30 seconds in, to hear London teenagers interviewed about Elvis. Our favourite quote – “He sends me!”:

Elvis Presley Fans

 Elvis Presley Fans, ITN News, 1958.

Elvis also achieved commercial success in films, making his debut in 1956 in Love me Tender for 20th Century Fox. Watch this video for lots of fantastic images of Elvis filming Love me Tender:

Memories of Elvis by Music Historian Micheal Ochs

Memories of Elvis by Music Historian Michael Ochs, Getty Moving Images, 2007.

In 1960, on his return from 2 years of national service in Germany, Elvis stepped back from live performance. He spent much of the 1960s making movies, which were often accompanied by soundtrack albums of variable quality.

A punishing schedule, often filming three films a year, meant very few non-soundtrack albums were released. A notable exception was the 1967 gospel album, How Great Thou Art, which won him a Grammy. By 1968 Elvis has grown increasingly dissatisfied with his career. An acclaimed performance in a 1968 TV special marked the start of his return to successful recording and live performance.

Chart success and a series of Las Vegas residencies followed the 1968 TV comeback. Elvis maintained a prolific touring schedule from the late 1960s up to his death in 1977. Wary of the public and divorced from Priscilla in 1973, Elvis’ use of prescription drugs increased in his later years and his onstage presence was not what it had been.

Get an insight into Elvis’ life in the 1970s in a fascinating 1980s interview with his step-brother, David Stanley. Including lots of Elvis songs, this interview tells of life on the road with Elvis, the singer’s wealth, legendary generosity and his increasing reliance on prescription drugs.  David recounts how angry Elvis would get with him about his use of marijuana, being so anti-drug use that he was keen to send narcotics police to David’s school to round up the kids who were on drugs. The interview quotes Elvis:

“If there’s anything I’ve tried to do, I’ve tried to live a straight clean life, not set any kind of a bad example”.

David describes how Elvis’ drug use steadily increased from 1973, initially using prescription drugs to cope with the punishing touring schedule. According to David, Elvis had complete trust in the doctors that prescribed him sleeping tablets, amphetamines and barbiturates, an attitude that David ascribes to his poor background.

LBC/IRN Audio Archive logo

Life with Elvis, LBC/IRN Audio Archive, 1987.


Elvis died on August 16th 1977 at Graceland, the Memphis mansion he purchased in 1957. His death caused widespread shock and grief – see footage of fans paying their respects outside Graceland on the day after his death:

Elvis Presley Dies

Elvis Presley Dies, ITN News, 1977.

Almost forty years after his death, his appeal endures. Graceland was opened to the public in 1982 and annual visitor numbers are in the region of 600,000. Several single reissues achieved high positions in the UK and US charts in 2004 and 2005, following the dance remix of A Little Less Conversation that was used in a Nike advertising campaign in 2002.

His death also spawned a raft of Elvis tribute artists and impersonators. A 2011 Telegraph article has video footage of a contest, held on Elvis’ birthday, to find Japan’s best Elvis impersonator!

Elvis impersonator

Elvis Impersonator, PYMCA, 2003.

Birthday celebrations are planned in Tupelo (as reported by The Washington Times), Los Angeles, Graceland in Memphis and by lots of Elvis fan clubs around the globe.

If you can’t join in and feel the need of some Elvis action, let us leave you with this fun report on how it’s thought that Elvis’s ancestors came from Aberdeenshire in Scotland:

Elvis Presley Ancestors from Scotland

Elvis Presley Ancestors from Scotland, ITN News, 2004.

Further Resources:


Jisc MediaHub support

As the new academic year is well underway, we thought it would be a good time to remind you of the various ways that you can find help and support for using Jisc MediaHub.

There is a support section within the service, with PDF guides, a guided tour and a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).


YouTube channel

Jisc MediaHub also has a YouTube channel with some short videos on using the service. We have just published a new video, Explore Jisc MediaHub, with some examples of the Explore pages available in the service – have a look:

Watch on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1xlwzZg

Click here to view the embedded video.



We run short webinars to introduce users to the service.

The next introductory webinar is on Wednesday 11 February 2015 – click here for more details and registration.

A recent webinar is available to view – watch on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1qzUWxl

Click here to view the embedded video.


Help us improve our support

We’re trying to improve the support that we offer you. New help pages are in development, along with some more short videos.

It would be great to hear from you if you have any other ideas on support that would be useful. More videos, webinars, guides or anything else you can think of – just let us know and we’ll endeavour to provide it!

You can email us your suggestions at edina@ed.ac.uk, or leave a comment below.