In September 2016, Getmapping contributed their high-resolution aerial imagery data for free inclusion into the Digimap for Schools service. This imagery has been hugely successful and has quickly attracted lots of attention and usage from our schools. We asked some of our users to give us a little insight into how they are using this Aerial Imagery in their school activities.
We found that the aerial imagery was being used widely across Primary schools in conjunction with the native functionality of Digimap for Schools e.g. adding photos and text to the maps and imagery to supplement and personalise it.
“Aerial photographs have been beneficial to compare Ordnance Survey maps with aerial images. For example, we have used it when looking at river features in Year 5. In the past, comparisons would have been made using Google maps but they haven’t been able to be annotated like you can on Digimaps. We have also used it for Year 3 when looking at Stone Age features like Skara Brae Orkney Isles. The children also enjoyed looking at aerial photos of the Jurassic Coast.”
St. Katharine’s C.E. (V.A.) Primary School
The Secondary school students have also been finding that collating and overlaying images and text on the aerial imagery to be incredibly beneficial
“We use it for students in year 7 looking at school environments up to year 11 controlled assessments /new field work specs. The aerial photography is useful for bringing a landscape to life from a map which many students find as a bewildering array of lines and colours. Seeing the relief from a map takes some skill having an immediate photo makes this easier…same applies to land use. I use the annotation tools to highlight similar features on maps and then on a photos at the same scale. It stops students using google earth where there is too much temptation to go to street view !”
Geography Teacher Chiltern Edge Community School
Many of those that responded cited it as incredibly beneficial in the delivery of GCSE and A-Level to those students at the higher age ranges, and an integral part of their fieldwork assessments. We believe this usage can only increase with the new format of GCSE and A-Level Geography which now includes 2 independent field studies as part of the new curriculum.
“The Aerial Imagery function in Digimap for Schools has proved very useful for our GCSE and A-Level students in planning their fieldwork data collection. Together with the ‘how to guides’ on land-use mapping, we are hoping for some excellent map based presentation this year.”
Mr S. Williams
Borden Grammar School
Below is a really nice testimonial of how teachers and pupils are using Digimap for Schools as a day to day resource in their teaching and learning. Abingdon School is using the service and all of its features to enhance students understanding of the connections between the human and physical worlds. The service is dynamic enough to cater to all students within the school and unlike many textbooks is accessible to all students in the school.
“We are very pleased with the service and the aerial photography is an important part of how we can use Digimap for Schools in our lessons on a day to day basis.
Aerial Imagery has broadened the topics we can investigate with the students, from historical and modern land use mapping to investigating the course of a river, understanding coastal processes and the processes of glaciation within landscapes.
The students find the sliding bar easy to use and like the option of choosing aerials with or without labels. They can now digitize and label geographical features from aerial photographs with ease.
The ability to change transparency of aerial imagery and OS mapping to show both simultaneously, is an important tool, allowing students to better understand the connections between the human world and the physical landscape.
All in all, Digimap for School is a vital tool for geographical study, we use all three mapping tools OS mapping, Historical Mapping and Aerial Mapping, with all ages from 11 to 17 year olds and they find using the service intuitive. In addition, this year will have our first batch of 6th Form students using the tool, in combination with a variety of other services, to aid and resource their independent investigations.”
GIS Teaching Support Coordinator