Apr 122017
 

Hi folks, we have planned a series of webinars in May.

Webinars are free to attend. They are open to all schools subscribed to Digimap for Schools and anyone interested in learning more about the service. To join a webinar, you must register to book your place.

To see more details on the webinar content and register, click the link after the webinar of interest to you.

Hope to see you there!

If you have any questions about attending a webinar, or would like to suggest topics for future webinars, please comment below or get in touch with the Digimap for Schools Helpdesk – digimap.schools@ed.ac.uk

Upload CSV points and other new tools released

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Jul 132015
 

Last week, we added some great new marker Annotation Tools to Digimap for Schools. Take a look at the marker drop down menu and you’ll find a new row of markers.

New marker annotation tools

New marker annotation tools

Stickman marker – have some fun placing lots of little stickmen on your map!  Stickman behaves like any of the other markers so you can edit the colour fill to add different coloured markers to represent various data.

Grid reference marker – just like the grid reference tool, this tool allows you to click on the map and a marker with a label of the grid reference.  Grid reference markers on your map will then be saved or printed with your map.

Add points from file – this is exciting new tool allows you to upload a CSV file of point data that you may have collected on fieldwork, to create point annotations.  This is really useful if you have collected data in a spreadsheet or using a mobile app.  You can create a CSV file and providing you have location information (Postcode, Easting/Northings or Latitude/Longitude coordinates) you can add the points to your map.  Have a go or see the help page for further information.

Resizing of uploaded photos has also been improved.  Now if you use the Scale Feature tool to resize your photo, the photo is of much better quality as previously it became a bit pixelated.  This is a really useful feature if you add graphs to your map as they will now be much clearer.

 

Impress your history colleagues!

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Apr 302014
 
On Saturday I presented at a knowledge exchange event for teachers of Scottish history at the national musuem of scotland.  My presentation focused around how Digimap for Schools can be used to bring historical events to life.  In addition to showing how our new historical maps are superb for highlighting the change in our landscape at then end of the 1890s (as in this illustration of Friockheim junction nr Forfar)
Friockheim now
Friockheim 1890s
I also highlighted how contemporary maps show a wealth of historical knowledge.  To do this I set a quiz.  Having spent many wonderful family holidays in East Lothian with my young children I thought of a particular iconic place then gave the audience 8 interesting historical facts.  I want to share these facts with you so that you can impress your colleagues with some history trivia!  This place:
  • Was settled by an early Christian hermit in the 6th century
  • In the early 15th century King James I imprisoned his political enemies here
  • By the 16th century was the location of one of Scotland’s most important castles
  • Mary Queen of Scots had a garrison of 100 men stationed here in early 16th century (incl French troops)
  • In 1546 the Lauder family rebuilt the small chapel above the castle
  • After the Battle of Killiecrankie, it was the only Jacobite stronghold, until in 1690, 2 years after the battle, they were starved into submission
  • Features in Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1893 sequel to Kidnapped
  • In 2010 during his visit here David Attenborough  described this place as one of the wildlife wonders of the world
Contemporary mapping of this place shows some of these historic features.
Bass Rock annotated
With use of the annotation tools, the island’s history can come to life…….
Bass Rock annotated
We hope you enjoy this example of how your history colleagues could use the service.  If you don’t already have one of our staffroom posters, download one here: http://digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk/Resources/flyers/staffroom_poster.pdf

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!

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

 

A few lovely enhancements you’ll see from next week

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Mar 212013
 

You may have noticed we’ve added a short announcement to the service home page indicating there are a few new tools being added next week.  Here’s a taster of what’s coming……..

Buffer Tool

We’re adding an exciting new tool to the annotations toolbar.  Buffering is a common term used in spatial analysis and means identifying a zone of a specified distance around a particular feature.  Our new tool – the point buffer tool – allows you to click a point on the map from which you’d like to draw a circle of a certain size.  You determine the radius of the circle from the point you identify either by selecting a distance from the list we’ve provided or one you enter yourself. The tool accepts distances in miles and kilometres and is a great way to draw exactly a circle of a certain size.  If you like the tool let us know because we could even offer a line buffer tool that would enable you to carry out the same analysis from a line feature you draw – great for identifying features a certain distance from a road or river or a walk you’ve plotted yourself.

Welcome to the font picker!

You’ll be able to add more interesting styles of text next week as we’re introducing 7 font types and a range of sizes from 10 to 96 all in a drop down selector you’ll be familiar with, enjoy!

Label in Miles

Back in January we updated our measure line tool so that you could ask it to return distances in miles as well as kilometres.  You liked this enhancement a lot but of course you instantly said, what about the measurement label tool?  We’ve updated that now too so you can also have your measurement labels in miles or kilometres!

Elastic Photos!

Another feature we added back in January was the ability to add photos as a new annotation type to your map.  While this was a really useful new annotation type, you told us you really would like to be able to place the photo at a position/distance relevant to the pin of your choice.  We listened, and now we have elastic photos!  It’s so simple to do – once your photo appears on the map, pick up the Move Feature tool, then click on your photo and spin it round and round the pin, watch out you might get dizzy it’s so much fun!

Active Tool

Something that catches quite a few of us out is not knowing which tool is active.  We go to pan the map and still have the draw line tool active and start accidentally drawing a new line, much to our frustration!  To reduce the likelihood of this happening we’ve changed our tool icons so that when the tool is active the button background turns white – so there’s no missing the active tool now!

And finally, start again really does start again!

It’s a small one, but we felt the Start Again button should not just take you back to the GB view, but it really should clear all annotations also – it just makes more sense.

As ever we’d love to hear your views on the new tools after you’ve had a play.  Email us at edina@ed.ac.uk anytime with your feedback.

Draw your own Hill Figure

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on Draw your own Hill Figure
Nov 232012
 

Inspired by Ordnance Survey’s blog post about UK Hill Figures I started wondering how these hill figures appear on the detailed maps in Digimap for Schools and if I could draw my own.

Whipsnade White Lion detailed map

The fantastic detail on the OS maps in Digimap for Schools feature the Hill Figures, and make it possible to interpret the land around them and think about where they may be seen from.

So how about having a go at drawing your own hill figure?  You can make it anything you like using the wide range of Annotation Tools in Digimap for Schools.

Think carefully about the location for locating your hill figure, do you want it to be seen by as many people as possible, or do you want it in a secret location that only intrepid explorers venturing into the wilderness will come across?

Stick man hill figure

New Digimap for Schools tools and enhancements released

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Apr 052012
 

On Wednesday 4th April, EDINA released Version 3 of Digimap for Schools, which included a number of new features and enhancements.

The new tools and enhancements have been developed directly as a result of valuable user feedback we gained from the user survey we ran last Autumn and from talking to teachers at conferences such as BETT and at training events.

New tools and enhancements:

National Grid lines overlay – This new tool allows users to display National Grid lines on screen, over any map at any scale.  Being able to display National Grid lines on the screen is incredibly useful for teaching and learning about grid references.  Grid letters and numbers are displayed clearly, spacing and numbering is scale appropriate and automatically change as a user zooms in or out through the map views.  To view the National Grid line, simply click the button on toolbar.

View a bigger map – Users can now have the map fill their screen!  We have added a full screen option which hides the top, bottom and left-hand panels to enlarge the map area that is visible.  The top toolbar will still be visible to allow you to access the annotations, measuring and other tools.  Expanding the map looks particularly fantastic when teaching a class using a smartboard as so much more map can be seen in one go.  To toggle between the larger and smaller map, click the button in the top right of the toolbar (beside the Help icon)

Overlay national grid lines on screen and maximise the map area viewable

Alternative print formats – We have added two new outputs for printable maps; JPG and PNG.  These are common image formats (similar to those used for digital photos) which means users can easily insert maps generated from Digimap for Schools into programmes  such as Microsoft Word and Powerpoint.  These new format options are available in the print options panel.

Annotations enhancements – Two new enhancements have been added to annotations; the ability to fade the background map and the option to change the orientation of the toolbar.  The Fade Map option fades the background map on screen and on printable maps to allow annotations that have been drawn on the map to stand out more clearly.  This is particularly useful when you are adding features to a map of a dense urban area.  The Fade Map option can be activated by clicking the new icon in the Annotations Toolbar.  In addition to the ability to view a bigger map, you can now reformat the layout of the Annotation Toolbar to make it vertical. This means it can now sit over the search/print panel without hiding any of the map.

Annotations toolbar showing the new features

Help and information for using these new tools and enhancements can be found in the help pages, which can be accessed in the service by clicking the Help icon on the top right above the main map window.

EDINA value your feedback on Digimap for Schools, please leave any comments, suggestions or queries regarding the new tools or any other feature of Digimap for Schools below.