Click here for your downloadable map of the campus map.
As we are experiencing one of the heaviest snowfalls in recent memory, many school kids are having their first snow days for a very long time. So why not embrace the novelty and enthusiasm by giving the pupils a snow based mapping activity!
We did a very quick Story Map of our walk around the neighbourhood, talking a few pictures on my phone and adding them to the map… Again you can tailor this to your own requirements.
Have you checked out our free resources recently? We’ve updated this area of our website to make it easier for you to see what’s available. We have lots of high quality resources for each stage of the curriculum, written by geography experts such as Dr Paula Owens and Alan Parkinson. Have a look and get some fresh ideas for the new term!
You can now browse and filter all of our resources by subject. We’ve added a subject page for all of the major curriculum areas – you can see some examples on this image of the starting screen:
After selecting a subject, you can browse the available resources – each has a short description to help you decide which are most useful to you:
You also have the option to open a Filter Results panel, which allows you to select multiple stages and subjects – so for example you could look at Geography resources for Stage 2 and Stage 3, or Outdoor Learning resources for Primary levels:
For those who like to keep their options open, we’ve included a Primary and Secondary page so that you can browse and filter all resources available for those stages.
We think this is going to make life much easier for you. As always, it would be great to get your feedback. Does the new design work for you? Have you put any of the reources into practice? Get in touch and let us know!
As Christmas approaches we thought we’d pull together a few Christmas themed activities for Primary schools.
Activity 1: Whats the quickest route for Santa?
This is a whole class activity and involves the use of pupil postcodes. The locations are plotted onto a map, pupils will then have the ability to see all the locations Santa has to go in order to visit all the pupils in the class. Pupils should then either work independently or in teams to identify the quickest route for Santa to go. The amount of combinations should make it an interesting little competition to see who identifies the quickest route! (Perhaps a Christmas themed prize for the winner 🙂
Step 1: Create a excel spreadsheet with the pupils postcode and their name. NOTE: Make sure the postcode column has ‘postcode’ at the top and the name column has ‘label’ at the top. Please also ensure that you save the file as a .csv (comma separated value) rather than an .xls.
Step 2: Once you have saved your file in Excel, you need to upload it into Digimap for Schools. Simply open the annotations toolbar and then go to the markers section and upload your file. Step 3: This is the stage at which you are able to start planning Santa’s route. You will see all the locations with the pupils name beside it. You then simply get the pupils to draw a line between the different pupils houses to see which is the quickest route. You can use the measurement tool to get the length of the individual routes. Remember you can add some photos to your map also!
Activity 2: Digimap Christmas Jigsaw’s
This can be done either as an online Jigsaw or as a hard copy. You can generate a series of maps with ‘secret’ Christmas phrases or words that correspond to places on your maps. E.g.
To create an online Jigsaw I’ve used Jigsaw planet https://www.jigsawplanet.com which is very simple to use and allows you to create your jigsaw. Alternatively you can simply download a Jigsaw image from Google e.g. http://miamibox.us/puzzle-piece-template.html and place it over your map in Powerpoint. Here are is an example of both:
These are quite festive little activities which can be all done pretty quickly in Digimap fro Schools. We wish you all the very best in the run up to Christmas and hope these activities can be of some help!
We’ve created a quick video to show you how to do these tasks above….
The Geography GCSE curriculum has changed over the last number of years so we decided to have a quick look into what had changed and more importantly how Digimap for Schools can cater for these changes. We looked in particular at the AQA, Edexcel, OCR, WJEC and CEA examination boards. We noted that the majority of these examination boards now mandate that two field studies are required, one for physical and one for human geography.
As we got into the bare bones of the specifications we noted some common themes occurring in the Controlled Assessment/Fieldwork. Many of them had similar themes for the Data Collection and Data Presentation elements of fieldwork. We created this short video highlighting how Digimap for School can help. Hopefully this will showcase how beneficial the service is to teachers and pupils at GCSE.
Below is a personal review of Digimap for Schools by Megan Roodt. Megan is an NQT and has been very generous in sparing some time to write and share this review with us. Thanks Megan.
The Geography National Curriculum for England states that students should be taught to “use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to view, analyse and interpret places and data,” (DfE, 2013) however, whilst it can be agreed that proficiency in GIS is a valuable skill of Geographers, implementing its effective use in the classroom can be both ambitious and daunting to teachers and students. So firstly, why would the Department for Education signpost the use of GIS in the Geography National Curriculum? GIS has revolutionised the way in which we view land on Earth, (Heywood et al., 2011) and has been noted as one of the 25 most important developments for human impact in the 20th Century due to its powerful analytical abilities, (Fargher, 2013) thus students who are familiar with its uses not only have a better understanding of their environment but are better equipped to enter the technological business world, (Butt, 2002; Demirci, 2008). Traditionally, GIS software was quite complex with time-consuming downloads and processing; indeed, GIS was not initially created for use in the classroom but rather as a decision-making tool to be used by government and business. Unfortunately, such characteristics made the use of GIS unsuitable for the contemporary Geography classroom that is under increasing curriculum and timetabling pressures. So how do we then, as teaching practitioners, effectively implement GIS in our classrooms in a way that both fulfils the criteria of the National Curriculum and acts as a tool to promote learning among our students?
Digimap for Schools may very well offer the solution to this problem. As a collaborative venture between EDINA, JISC Collections and Ordnance Survey, Digimap for Schools offers an online mapping service to both students and teachers, (Digimap for Schools, 2017). The online nature of this service instantly makes it incredibly time-effective to implement in the classroom; there is no need for downloading software or mobile apps, maps can be accessed at any time and on various platforms (e.g. laptops, iPads or mobile phones) and all that students require is internet access. A far cry to the bulky and time-consuming GIS software that I became familiar with at university!
During a GIS club run by the Geography Department at The Mountbatten School, students were asked to create a proposal to identify the best locations for bins and recycling centres on the school grounds. Using Digimap for Schools, students collected raw data which was uploaded to their own maps. Students then used buffers and their personal understanding of various environmental and human factors to analyse and interpret the data to make justified decisions which would then better inform their proposal. Something that soon became apparent was that the way in which Digimap for Schools is set up can allow for a brilliant example of differentiation by outcome in that students had complete control over what went onto their maps and what functions they were going to use to make their decisions. The only premise was that their decision would need to be justified; both an important command word in the new GCSE specification and a skill to be used throughout personal and professional life.
The user-friendly layout of Digimap for Schools meant that students quickly became not only familiar with the functions available but also confident in its uses. As such, students could complete complex GIS functions in a short period of time and view the results instantly which further motivated them to challenge their data by processing alternative solutions which only made for better informed decisions. Other features of Digimap for Schools that students really enjoyed included being able to upload their own images to maps, annotating their choices and using historical maps and aerial images to view their map area in different settings.
From a teacher’s perspective, the service is very simple to use and, as many classrooms and IT suites are now fitted with interactive whiteboards, it is easy to demonstrate to students how to perform functions on Digimap for Schools. Digimap for Schools offers a simple yet effective service that makes the use of GIS both effective and enjoyable in the classroom whilst fulfilling the requirement stated on the National Curriculum.
Overall, I would highly recommend the use of Digimap for Schools in the Geography classroom as I’ve experienced its value as an efficient tool in promoting geographical enquiry and independent decision-making; it has a layout that students quickly become familiar with, the outputs of functions are immediate which allow students time to process and manipulate data as they feel appropriate and it is a service that puts as much emphasis on the process as it does on the output which, in my opinion, provides an authentic learning experience for both students and teachers.
Butt, G., 2002. “Chapter 10: The Role of ICT in the Teaching and Learning of Geography” in Reflective Teaching of Geography 11 – 18: Meeting standards and applying research. Continuum: London.
Demirci, A., 2008. Evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of GIS-Based application in secondary school geography lessons. American Journal of Applied Sciences. 5(3): 169-178
Department for Education, 2013. The national curriculum in England. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/381754/SECONDARY_national_curriculum.pdf. Accessed: 10/08/2017
Digimap for Schools, 2017. Digimap for Schools: About. Available from: http://digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk/about
Fargher, M (2013) Geographic Information (GI) – how could it be used?’ ch 15 in Lambert, D & Jones, M (Eds) Debates in geography Education. Routledge: Oxon.
Heywood, I., Cornelius, S., Carver, S., 2011. An introduction to Geographical Information Systems. (4th ed.). Pearson Education Limited: Essex.
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
We have recently updated our aerial imagery in the Digimap for Schools service. This has been quite a major event in our calendar with a huge amount of data being updated. The update consisted of approximately 80,000 individual 1km tiles, all of which were captured in 2015, which is approximately 30% of the country.
Prior to this update just over 50% of the data was from 2013 or later, this now has increased to 77% of the data now being from 2013 or later.
This means that more up to date imagery is now available in Digimap for Schools for a significant part of the country. The map below shows the approximate distribution of the updated data. http://digimap.blogs.edina.ac.uk/files/2017/03/2015_aerial_update.png
Click on the map to view a larger version
This is the first update we have received from Getmapping, and we are expecting another update later this year containing data captured in 2016. This data will obviously be introduced as quickly as possible into the service, ensuring that the most up to date data is always available to Digimap for Schools users.
We’ve included a couple of nice images we happened to stumble upon whilst playing around with the new aerial imagery. The first is an image of a Cruise liner in the Firth of Forth. This is particularly nice as it illustrates the quality of the imagery where you can literally measure the basketball court.
Cruise Liner on the Firth of Forth
We also found another fantastic example, one which surprised the entire Digimap for Schools team as it has been built with such precision it looks somewhat other worldy…
NOTE: If you want to find it yourself, search for Canworthy in Digimap for Schools, then use buffer tool to measure 1 mile from the T-junction at Canworthy Water, slide to Aerial or AerialX and you’ll see it to the NE of Canworthy Water just beyond the buffer circle.
Please feel free to have a good dig around as there are undoubtedly plenty of other hidden gems out there. Do let us know if you do find anything of interest, we like to let our users know about these little gems.
Darren Bailey from the Ordnance Survey recently contacted us with an updated Digimap for Schools User Guide (thank you Darren!). This User Guide is incredibly comprehensive and covers every element of the service. This updated version does a fantastic job of instructing users on how to use some of our newly released features i.e. the Map Manager and Geograph functionality.
This User Guide is a fantastic resource and gives clear and simple instructions on how to use the full functionality of the service. We recommend that all users refer to this document if they have any issues or problems when using the service.
To download this resource follow this link: http://digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk/schools/Resources/allstages/userguide.pdf