LAST FEW PLACES: Science for Society: New Developments in Physical Geography – 24-29th July 2014

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Mar 212014

FREE summer course for mid-career specialist secondary geography teachers

Based at the University of Southampton, this course provides an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the latest technology for data collection and analysis, coupled with an insight into how geographical information is relied upon by industry business and government for visualisation, problem solving and decision making. Places will be filled as valid applications are received, so we recommend that you apply soon.

• 20 places available
• Based at the University of Southampton
• Field day in the New Forest
• Full day visit to Met Office, Exeter
• Full day visit to Ordnance Survey, Southampton
• Gala dinner with all Science for Society teachers at Goldsmith’s Hall, London
• All tuition, accommodation, food and travel during the course provided. (Delegates fund their own travel costs from home to Southampton).

To apply, visit the Goldsmith’s website:

And download the Science for Society application form.

Mapping Robert Burns

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Jan 242014

With tomorrow marking the anniversary of the birth of Scotland’s Bard, I thought I’d put together a quick wee map marking some of the key places from Burns’ life.

Based upon some of the places mentioned on the Visit Scotland website, I plotted and labelled some of the locations using Digimap for Schools.

There’s a wealth of information available online about all the different places Burns’ lived and visited, and places that appeared in or inspired his poems.

Other Burns related things that you could map include locations of streets and places named after Burns, or perhaps locations of Burns’ statues – there’s a lot of them around the country!  Remember you can upload photos, either your own or images found online, to your map in Digimap for Schools as well.

So get mapping, a great way to add another dimension to Burns related teaching resources.

Robert Burns map


Enhanced buffer tool, now it does lines too!

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Dec 122013

This morning, we released a wee enhancement to Digimap for Schools to extend the functionality of the buffer tool.  You’ve been able to buffer points, creating circles of a fixed size, for a while now but users immediately wanted to be able to buffer lines as well.  We’ve now enhanced the buffer tool to include buffering of lines.  This enables you to enclose a digitised line with a polygon.  The buffered polygon is created by specifying a distance from the line to use.  The resulting buffer shows all areas within that distance from the line.

Buffering lines is very useful when investigating various subjects such as seeing which areas will be effected by the development of new road, plotting exclusion zones along rivers and ecological corridors or investigating areas that would be effected by a flooded river.

Go and have a play, it is easy to use and great fun!

Christmas is coming early, user guide posted to all subscribing schools.

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Dec 102013

The Education team at Ordnance Survey have been working hard over the last few months to produce a comprehensive Digimap for Schools User Guide.  Over the next week, all subscribing schools will receive a printed copy of the new user guide.  This will give you detailed instructions on how to use Digimap for Schools.

You can access a digital version of the user guide online at:

Also included with the user guide being posted out, is a Christmas quiz, which your pupils can try.  They will need to identify certain places throughout GB and find the grid references and counties where they are located.   It’s suitable for all ages.

Give the quiz a try and please let us know how you and your pupils get on!

Country outlines map now available

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Oct 222013

You may have noticed that we have made a wee tweak to the GB level map view in Digimap for Schools, and have added simple country outlines for the countries of the UK. The idea of this change, is to provide a simple resource for younger pupils to learn, identify and then annotate on the map UK countries and their capital cities.

Pupils can create their own maps, adding annotations to label the countries and cities, to test their knowledge!

GB view level with country outlines


Creating river cross profiles with Digimap for Schools

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Sep 272013

Perse Upper School geography department posted a great video on YouTube this week demonstrating how to use Digimap for Schools to create river cross section profiles.   A fun traditional mapping exercise, the advantage of using Digimap for Schools is that you can easily follow the length of a river to profile the different sections, and profile any river in the country due to having GB wide maps.

Using Digimap for Schools and Excel makes it much quicker and easier than the old way of using a paper map, pencil, ruler and graph paper!

YouTube Preview Image




New enhancements – now you can delete maps and preview prints

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Sep 242013

New enhancements released!

This morning we released a new version of Digimap for Schools which includes a couple of great new features, this email highlights what is new, and where to find out more information and help.

Print Preview Extent – one feature that many teachers have requested is the ability to preview the area of a map to be printed, before hitting the print button.  Now you can with the Print Preview Extent function!  In the Print Options panel, you will find two new checkboxes.  Clicking on the Show Print Extent box, will display a shaded rectangle over the screen map to show the extent of the area that will be printed.  You can easily reposition the extent if you’re not quite happy with it.

Delete saved maps – Teachers and pupils love the ability to save maps but the list of saved maps for your school can grow very long.  To help manage the list, we’ve added the ability to delete maps, using the Map Manager tool.

Map Manager icon – open the Map Manager via the new icon on the tool bar.

In order to minimise the risk of saved maps being accidentally deleted, a PIN is required to access this tool.  Primary contacts will have received an email today with your school’s Map Manager PIN.  Please contact the EDINA Helpdesk at if you have not received your PIN.

We love to hear your feedback, so please let us know what you think of these new enhancements.

Our growing Digimap for Schools community, supporting budding geospatial experts

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Sep 182013

September is shaping up to be a record month for Digimap for Schools subscriptions, with numerous new schools signing up every day.  Take a look at the Discover our community page to find out who the latest subscribers are, and watch the number grow.

September 2013 is also a big month for the geospatial and mapping community in the UK, leading it to be dubbed ‘Maptember‘.  Various key conferences and events are being held in the UK this month, and we hope that Digimap for Schools is going some way to inspiring and supporting budding geographers and geospatial experts of the future!



Punchbowl Valley, Devil’s Chimney, Mousehole & Trap – Lundy place names

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Sep 062013

One of the most fun things about exploring maps, is the interesting and unusual place names you see printed on them.  This morning, while I was testing out one of the new enhancements coming soon in Digimap for Schools, I happened upon Lundy.  I’ve heard of Lundy but must confess to not knowing much about the island.

Panning around the 1:50,000 scale raster, 1:25,000 scale raster and VectorMap Local maps reveals an array of weird on wonderful place names that can tell you a great deal about the island – or make you wonder how some place names possibly came to be so called!

Some of my favourites are: Hen & Chickens, Frenchman’s Landing, Punchbowl Valley, Devil’s Slide, Mousehole & Trap and Goat Island.

Great Britain is full of such place names, what are some of your favourites?


Updated mapping – we’ve been busy!

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Aug 292013

We’ve been busy over the summer working away on enhancements to Digimap for Schools and carrying out our annual mapping update.

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve released updates to most of the mapping products.

Miniscale, 1:250,000 raster, 1:50,000 scale raster and the 1:25,000 scale raster have all been updated to the latest 2013 data from Ordnance Survey.  These products make up the maps on the zoom levels 2 – 9 (as you zoom in from the GB view) in Digimap for Schools.

As these are small and mid scale products, any updates can be quite subtle.  But if you know somewhere that has experience significant construction in the last year or two, updates may be on the map now.

1:25000 raster 2012 example


1:20000 raster 2013 exampleFor the more larger scale mapping, a new data product – VectorMap Local (VML) raster – has replaced the 1:10 000 Scale Raster product in line with Ordnance Survey’s recent announcement of withdrawal of this product.  Our data team have worked extremely hard over summer processing the MasterMap data for the most detailed zoom levels.  MasterMap is a complicated dataset that takes several weeks of processing to get it ready for going into Digimap for Schools.  We are thrilled it has also gone live before the end of August.  Both VML Raster and MasterMap are also the latest 2013 data from Ordnance Survey, enjoy!