We’ve put together a series of 4 short guides on using Digimap for Schools. The guides are intended to be worked through over 4 weeks and new subscribers to the service will be sent one each week, post sign-up. Each guide takes just 10 minutes and by week 4, you’ll be making the most of the cross-curricular potential that Digimap for Schools offers.
We guide you sequentially through key features and provide short videos to demonstrate each function. A short practise exercise plus links to some of our lesson ideas are included.
Have a look and let us know what you think!
- Week 1 Maps and Places Get to grips with the essentials of searching, zooming and viewing our range of maps – contemporary, historic and aerial.
- Week 2 Making your mark Find out how to add text, shapes, symbols and images to your maps. Create prints in different sizes and formats. Organise your maps into folders for different classes or projects.
- Week 3 The numbers Check out how to find a grid reference and measure map features. Add measurement labels to any shapes and lines you create.
- Week 4 Explore and Report Explore the Geograph images available at your location. Add buffer zones. Create and upload a file of points to your maps.
Remember we have lots of resources, written by curriculum experts, with great ideas for using Digimap for Schools. Browse by subject and level at our resources site:
Keep in touch
We really value your feedback so let us know if we can improve these, or if there are any other resources that we can provide to help you get mapping!
When I spotted a great tweet from Rob Chambers (@RobGeog) the otherÂ week on how they use Digimap for Schools in GCSE Controlled Assessment at St Ivo School, I seized the chance to get some examples of what they’re up to. Â Rob was kind enough, despite the chaos of a new term, to provide a list of how they use the service. Â It’s brilliant to see how many way Digimap for Schools can be used. Â Rob’s ideas are listed below, hopefully you will find inspiration for how you can be making the most of Â Digimap for Schools for Controlled Assessment.
Huge thanks for Rob for the details!
We use Digimap in a number of ways specifically for GCSE Controlled Assessment
Our GCSE Controlled Assessment is usually based on urban studies in St Ives, Cambridgeshire.
Examples of use include:
* Creating base maps for use in data collection sheets which students are then able to map evidence on during fieldwork.
* Students will then use Digimap to access maps which they can then insert in Word or similar and use to present data – there are various examples below – these particular ones are examples I have created for PowerPoints but they are in effect what the students have gone on to do.
* creating flow lines on top of the maps (to show traffic flows)
* using as a base map to locate other data presentation techniques in terms of where the data refers to (to help with analysing spatial differences)
* students also use the distance tool to calculate relevant distances.
* students also use Digimap as a simple GIS – e.g. work on land-use in the CBD last year – during data collection they had a blank map from Digimap to mark on land-use – then back in the computer room they used tools on Digimap to draw polygons around the individual buildings and shade according to different land-use types (example given below is a student one which was saved in digimap).
* this year we have been looking at traffic management – students had a base map in the town for identifying where things were such as double yellow lines, cycle racks etc. and took pictures – back in the classroom they have then again used tools in Digimaps to add a layer using symbols to show the location of these.
To help Digimap for Schools users make the most of the service, we have a number of free resources available that have been written by curriculum experts. A brand new resource is now available which is aimed at using the modern and historic mapping to investigate coastal change.
‘Investigating changes to coastal spits’ written by Janet Hutson uses the annotation tools to mark the extent of coastal spits on the 1890s historic mapping. Then pupils use the modern map to annotate the current extend of the spit. These extents can then be compared on the 1890s and current mapping toÂ provide evidence for conclusions drawn about anyÂ changes.
You can find Janet’s fantastic resource under the Key Stage 3 resources, on the Free Resources page.
Today’s blog post comes from Ken Lacey, Education Manager at Ordnance Survey. Â Here, Ken highlights parts ofÂ the new Geography curriculum that Digimap for Schools mapping and tools support.
Published in April 2014 the subject aims and learning outcomes of the Geography GCSE subject content document should enable students to build on their key stage 3 knowledge and skills to:
â€œDevelop and extend their competence in a range of skills including those used in field work, in using maps and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)â€¦â€¦..â€�
Within the section titled Scope of Study, reference is specifically made to maps in Para 10 where we read:
â€œThe use of a range of maps, atlases, Ordnance Survey maps, satellite imagery and other graphic and digital materials including the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), to obtain, illustrate, analyse and evaluate geographical information. To include making maps and sketches to present and interpret geographical informationâ€�
Within the section titled Assessment of fieldwork, attention is drawn in Para 23 to â€œThe following areas of knowledge, skills and understanding should be assessed through the fieldwork assessmentâ€� and includes the following â€œprocessing and presenting fieldwork data in various ways including maps graphs and diagramsâ€�
Digimap for Schools provides a range of GB wide Ordnance Survey map scales including a historical One inch map layer dated 1895 â€“ 1899 and provides a range of tools to illustrate, analyse and evaluate geographical information. The tools allow the user to illustrate their map with drawings and text, add photographs and analyse areas with the point or line buffer tool.
Available to all is Digimap for Schools free resources which provide a range of activities at all key stages to enhance the classroom experience using maps to broaden their geographic experience and skills. These include the resources titled â€˜Quick ideas for using Digimap for Schoolsâ€™ which presents 12 quick classroom or homework ideas which make use Digimap for Schools and â€˜Digimap for Schools to support GCSEâ€™ which highlights the use of Digimap for School at GCSE.
When I am not doing GIS or writing about GIS I try to escape to the mountains. They mountains have always had a magnetic like attraction over me, and are probably the reason I got into maps and geography in the first place. Mountains are magical, dynamic places but they do present dangers to those who venture into them. The risks and dangers increase significantly when you add snow into the mix.
Avalanches are the most obvious risk and they are not confined to the high mountains of the Alps and the Rockies. Avalanches occur frequently in the mountains of Great Britain. In fact, the constantly changing weather in Great Britain regularly creates quite unstable snow packs. Research into avalanche prediction and probabilities helps forecasters inform walkers and climbers and this research relies on GIS to analyse the various parameters that determine the risk.
I spotted this great article about the use of GIS in mapping avalanche probability in the Northern Cairngorms. It is written by a PhD student at The University of Edinburgh. They have used various data such as Ordnance Survey Panorama DTM and base maps from EDINA’s Digimap service. They have then used some free Open Source tools (GRASS – an open source remote sensing package which is also available as a plugin for QGIS.) to run the analysis.
Worth a read, oh, and there is nice pic of a slide from me! Link to the article.
EDINA had a day out in London running it’s Geoforum event. Geoforum aims to bring together Digimap Site reps from subscribing institutions around the country and showcase some of the new functionality in EDINA’s geoservices. It also gives site reps an opportunity to ask questions to the Digimap team and to chat with other reps about how information about, and support for, services is provided. There was a live blog running throughout the day which is well worth a read if you did not manage to attend the event. Links to videos and slideshare will be added as soon as they are available. The keynote speaker was delivered by Shelley Mosco of The University of Greenwich. Shelley is a member of the The School of Architecture, Design and Constructionand described the ways in which spatial data could be used to inform design. Shelly was keen to mention the importance of spatial data and GIS in the implementation of Building Information Models (BIMs). BIMs have been used in large engineering projects for some time, however the government is making them mandatory for all publicly funded building projects in England and Wales. This means that commercial organisations will be looking for students to have been trained in the concept of BIMs and the software that drives them. You can find out more about BIMs through the following links:
- BIM on Wikipedia
- BIM Task Group – government site promoting best practise for BIM
- COBie – Construction Operations Building Information Exchange
Shelley then handed over to two of her current MSc students who gave brief overviews of their experiences of learning about GIS and using spatial data in their projects. Both David Parfitt and Rob Park were self-confessed GIS newbies, but they managed to get data from Digimap and use it in their conservation projects. The data allowed them to visualise and analyse the environment and provide evidence to support their proposed designs. Their demo’s were excellent and really showed the power of simple GIS analysis.
You can view the slides from this presentation here:
Next up was a presentation that focused on Open Source Resources for Geospatial. The presentation looked at data, software and web-mapping. The main resources are listed below:
- OS Open data is available through the Digimap Data Download service.
- ShareGeo Open is a repository for open geospatial data. It has lots of useful and interesting datasets on a variety of subjects such as wind farms, crime, boundaries and DTMs
- Data.gov.uk – the uK government’s open data store
- QGIS – one of the best open source GIS out there. Lots of functionality and plugins that allow you to perform complex spatial analysis. It is also well supported by forums.
- gvSIG – anther fully functioning GIS.
- GRASS – a remote sensing package aimed at serious remote sensor’s. If you are a newbie to remote sensing, you can access GRASS tool through the GRASS plugin for QGIS which makes things really simple.
Digimap is a great web mapping tool, but how can you create your own interactive web map for your website?
- MapBox – simple intuitive web site that helps users build interactive web maps. Basic functionality is free, more advanced functions are available for a small fee.
- Leaflet – the engine behind MapBox, it is free but requires user to do a “bit” of programing
- Openlayers – an alternative to Leaflet which is more flexible. Openlayers powers Digimap. Requires a fair amount of programming knowledge.
- MapServer – implements Openlayers for enterprise scale operations. MapServer is also used for Digimap services.
The latest round of teacher training events has taken place in the first two weeks of January. Despite the inclement weather Darren Bailey and Ken Lacey have visited;
Bartholomew School – Oxford
St Ivo School – St Ives
English Martyrs School – Leicester
Bishop Justus Church of England School – Bromley
Wrotham School – Seven oaks
Watford Grammar School for Girls – Watford
Thanks to all the primary and secondary teachers that came along to the events, and a special thanks to those who organised an event. Here’s some of the feedback that was received;
“Digimap is really useful and will improve the quality of geography teaching in primary schools”
“Plenty of useful info and hints”
“Really useful info and websites, Thank you”
“Fantastic Information, clearly presented and easy to follow”
Unfortunately the Lincoln events pencilled in this week have been a victim of the snow. They will be re-arranged for the end of March.
The next two events will be in London on the 29th January and Leigh on the 5th February, so if you are in the area and would like to come along, contact email@example.com
Darren Bailey and Ken Lacey from Ordnance Survey have hit the road with a series of free geography teacher training events for schools around the country. Terrible weather did not prevent almost everyone reaching the first two venues in Worcester and Ross on Wye where teachers enjoyed the chance of hands-on time with Digimaps for Schools.
“Digimap looks amazing“
“Great for Key Stage 2”
“Lovely to have resources and instructions to take home”
Each two hour sessions is run by Darren or Ken and most start at 4pm. Training is hosted by a lead school who invite primary and secondary geography teachers from around the area to come along. Some courses are completely full, but if you are a geography teacher in the following areas it may be worth asking Darren if there are any spare places. Dates are as follows:
05/12/2012 Frome BA11 4JF
12/12/2012 Bury BL9 0TS
07/01/2013 Chipping Norton OX7 5DY
08/01/2013 St Ives PE27 6RR
09/01/2013 Leicester LE4 0FJ
15/01/2013 Bromley BR2 8HZ
16/01/2013 Sevenoaks TN15 7RD
17/01/2013 Watford WD18 0AE
22/01/2013 Alfreton DE55 1AE
23/01/2013 Lincoln LN1 3SP
Would your school be interested in hosting a training session in the future? If you think you can get 20 or more geography teachers together, and can provide a suitable IT room, contact Darren Bailey at the Ordnance Survey to find out more. firstname.lastname@example.org
The GA Publishers’ Awards aim to recognise material which is likely to make a significant contribution to geography in primary schools, secondary schools or colleges, and to encourage the creative development of new materials. Further information about the awards can be found here: http://www.geography.org.uk/news/publishersawards/
The Award was presented at the Geographical Association’s Annual Conference at the University of Surrey, Guildford on Thursday 14th April 2011 to EDINA’s Director Peter Burnhill and Ordnance Survey’s Director General and CEO, Vanessa Lawrence.
Peter Burnhill said, “This Gold Certification from the Geography Association Publishers is splendid recognition for all those who have worked together on Digimap for Schools to bring Ordnance Survey mapping into the classroom.
“At EDINA, which is based at the University of Edinburgh, we aim to live up to your expectations and do for primary and secondary schools what we have done so successfully for universities and colleges, encouraging love of maps as well as helping to prepare students for the future.”
About Digimap for Schools
Digimap for Schools is a joint venture between EDINA (University of Edinburgh), Ordnance Survey and JISC Collections and provides easy access to a wide range of current Ordnance Survey maps including national coverage of OS MasterMap, as well as digital versions of the Landranger and Explorer series paper maps. Also included are street level maps showing street names and road-atlas style maps.
Subscribing schools can use a seamless digital map of Great Britain at each scale available. Maps can be printed as PDF files at A3 or A4 size and in landscape or portrait orientation. Maps can be printed with an individual’s own map title and name included with the scale bar and school name and address. Search tools include postcode, place name or national grid reference and maps can be moved to centre on any chosen location within Great Britain. Map keys are available for each scale map to explain the symbols used within the map.
For information on how to subscribe and links to a free trial demonstration version of Digimap for Schools, please check the following links:
Other articles that review the Geographic Association Awards: