Digimap for Schools has added a new historic map layer to the popular online map service, extending its potential for use in schools across a wider spectrum of the national curriculum.
Iâ€™m working on the development of a new linear buffer tool for theÂ Digimap for SchoolsÂ service. Linear buffering is a common feature in GIS applications.
200 meters buffer on a part of river clyde in Glasgow
In geometrical terms such an operation on polygons is also known as Minkowski sum and offsetting.
I came across 2 libraries that would offer this sort of functionality. One isÂ JSTSÂ andjsclipperÂ the former being a port of the famous JavaÂ JTS Topology suiteÂ and the later being a port of the C++, C# and DelpiÂ Clipper. I finally decided to go for jsclipper due to being unable to build a custom cut-down version of the huge JSTS library.
The resulting tool made use of jsclipper to calculate the buffer polygon along with OpenLayers, used to draw the buffer polygon and the inner linear path.
One of the challenges encountered was jaggy rounded ends on low buffer widths which is due to the way jsclipper handles floats. Fortunately jsclipper provides a method to scale up coordinates before passing them to jsclipper for offsetting and then scaling them down again before drawing. The Lighten and CleanPolygons functions also provided a way to remove unnecessary points and merge too-near points of the resulting buffer polygon.
All in all, jsclipper is a light, fast and robust library for polygon offsetting and would recommend having a look at it:Â https://sourceforge.net/p/jsclipper
This week we have a guest post about the Whose Town? Project from Clare Padgett, Library Services Officer at Edinburgh City Libraries and part of the Whose Town? team. We bumped into her at the Scottish Association of Family History Societies Conference and she kindly offered to let AddressingHistory blog readers know more about this new resource about Edinburgh’s past.
School pupils across Edinburgh are getting to grips with an award-winning new digital teaching resource which uses real life case studies to illustrate key periods of history.
Whose Town? is an award-winning and innovative resource for teaching Social Studies developed by Edinburgh City Libraries. The resource is aimed at pupils aged between 8 and 13 and is linked to the Curriculum for Excellence, second, third and fourth levels. It is available on Glow, the Scottish schoolsâ€™ intranet and on free CD.
Whose Town? looks at Edinburghâ€™s past from the 1850s to the 1950s through the eyes of people who lived there. There are 14 lives to discover who lived in Victorian times, at the beginning of the twentieth century, during the Second World War and in the Fifties. Archival material is collected in a digital box and hidden in an attic for pupils to uncover and examine. Each life is captured at a particular point in history, creating a snapshot of their life: a Life in a Box.
Pupils can discover what life was like for Levi, a destitute and orphaned boy in late Victorian Edinburgh, or how nine year old Bessie became the youngest Suffragette. They will uncover Lucaâ€™s story as he established an ice cream business in Musselburgh, or learn from John what it was like to grow up in wartime Edinburgh. They can hear a first hand account from Hugh of working on Edinburghâ€™s trams in the Fifties or the early days of television from Bill.
Edinburgh City Libraries worked closely with the volunteer contributors. Many of the participants who appear as â€˜livesâ€™ within the resource generously gave their time, memories and personal archives for inclusion in Whose Town? Nancy Comber (Pugh), who was an evacuee during the Second World War said:
“I really enjoyed being part of this project – it’s a brilliant idea and I’m sure the children will get a lot out of it. The fact that they’re looking into the lives of real people – some of whom, like me, are still alive – should help to make it much more interesting. It makes it like a kind of living history, which is possibly easier to relate to than just reading a book about someone’s life.”
Whose Town? is a Heritage Lottery Funded project. It has been developed by Edinburgh City Libraries in collaboration with Edinburgh Museums and Galleries and Edinburgh City Archives, and has been supported by many partner organisations.
Over the summer, we’ve been working hard to tweak one of the zoom levels to provide 1:25,000 scale printing and to process the new map data which will be released in Digimap for Schools on Tuesday 13th September.
At the start of August, we changed the map product that is used for the 8th zoomed in view in Digimap for Schools from a ‘zoomed in’ version of the 1:50,000 Scale Raster to the 1:25,000 scale Raster. The key benefit of doing this is that you can now create printable PDF maps at 1:25,000 scale, which is one of the key scales used in the Geography curriculum across the country.
To view the changes, zoom into the 8th most zoomed in view level, and click make printable map. Click on the thumbnail image below for an example to view a 1:25,000 scale pdf map created from Digimap for Schools.
Annual Data Update
Every year, near the start of September, we update the map data available in Digimap for Schools. This year, the update will be taking place on the evening of the 13th September. All the maps in Digimap for Schools will be updated, so if there has been any new buildings in your area in the last couple of years that aren’t currently on the map, the may be on the new maps. The annual update of the maps provides a great opportunity to take a look at some of the changes that have been taking place across the country. My favourite example this year is the rapid development of the London 2012 Olympic venues. Here’s a sneak preview of some of the changes you’ll be able to check out for yourself after the 13th.
Please note that the MasterMap data used to create the two most zoomed in levels in Digimap for Schools, will be updated later in September. Our data engineers have to process the raw MasterMap data to create the rasters images we use, and this takes quite a long time of leaving the servers to work away at it. We’ll let you know when the MasterMap data will be updated.
Finally, we have also updated the GB view, the most zoomed out level that you see when you log in, by adding relief detail. Showing relief at this level is really useful as you can clearly see the difference between the mountainous parts of the country and the flatter lands.
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: