Why Digimap for Schools matters – an endorsement

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Apr 262017
 

We recently received some fantastic feedback on Digimap for Schools from Dr Neil Clifton, a retired chemistry teacher/lecturer. When his grandson showed him our service, Neil was so impressed that he requested access so he could further explore the maps and tools available. A lifelong mapping and geography enthusiast, whose son studied geography, Neil enjoys contributing photos to the Geograph project.

We particularly like Neil’s point about the maps helping young people to develop a love for their environment and wanted to share his considered thoughts with you:

Every child/pupil/student in every school in Britain should have access to this brilliant facility which has been developed by a team at Edinburgh University in co-operation with Ordnance Survey.

For little more than the cost of a set of text-books, the project allows access to the whole range of Ordnance Survey mapping, right up to the largest scale of 1:1250, (on which even garages, sheds and tiny streams are depicted, and where appropriate, named).

The team has put much thought into the project, which has made it easy to use, and attractive in appearance, so that even young children will enjoy exploring and using it, for locations such as their immediate home surroundings, as well as for locations that they have visited, or hope to visit, in more distant parts of Britain.

A beginner, in perhaps year 1 or 2 in their junior school, might look at a map showing their own school.  And as the child develops and matures, they will trace their own house and the route they follow to get to school.  Then, finding perhaps the location of the local supermarket, where the railway station is situated and so on, their confidence as map-users will increase all the time.  The pond or stream where they go fishing will be found – and perhaps the map will enable the discovery of other possible fishing sites nearby.

The benefits to those students taking geography examinations can hardly be overstressed.  But there are so many other ways in which the use of these maps will help the young person to acquire a love of the environment and a care for its well-being.   It is here that our future botanists, naturalists, photographers, walkers, cyclists, and leaders of the next generation of young people are born.

If any teacher is still unconvinced of the real and lasting value of making this resource available in their schools, I would urge them to look at the (free) trial which shows just a small area of the country.

Dr Neil Clifton, April 2017

 

Digimap for Schools tops 1,000 secondary school subscribers

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Feb 292016
 

Digimap for Schools reached a fantastic milestone last week with the 1000th secondary school subscriber.

The secondary school which became the one thousandth subscriber was Chilton Trinity School from Bridgwater in Somerset. Miss Sophie Carruthers, a Geography teacher at Chilton Trinity School added: “I subscribed as I am setting up the Duke of Edinburgh at Chilton Trinity and having used Digimap for Schools last year, at a previous school, I know how useful it is for mapping routes. In addition to this I teach Geography and we had limited resources for including GIS in our curriculum – Digimap for Schools will be a great addition to the classroom.”

The whole Digimap for Schools team are incredibly proud of this achievement, in addition to the over 1450 primary schools subscribed across Great Britain who are all accessing Ordnance Survey modern and historic maps every day.

Read more about this story on the EDINA website and the Ordnance Survey press release.

 

 

Updated mapping now available

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Feb 172016
 

A few of the mapping products in Digimap for Schools were updated this morning to the most recent versions available from Ordnance Survey.  The updated products and their release dates are:

  • Vectormap Local Raster (zoom level 10, street view – January 2016
  • 1:25 000 scale raster (zoom levels 8 and 9) – December 2015
  • 1:50 000 scale raster (zoom level 7) – December 2015
  • Miniscale (zoom levels 2, 3 and 4) – January 2016
Tweedbank 2015 map (1:25 000 raster)

Tweedbank 2015 map (1:25 000 raster)

tweedbank_2016 (1:25 000 rater)

Tweedbank 2016 map (1:25 000 raster)

Spot the differences!

Free training with Ordnance Survey – Feb dates

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Feb 052016
 

Darren Bailey from the Ordnance Survey Education Team will continue his travels running twilight training sessions on using Digimap for Schools.  Up coming dates in February are:

Rivington – 10/02/2016
Chorley – 11/02/2016
London – 22/02/2016
Andover – 23/02/2016

Contact Darren for more details on location and time – Darren.Bailey@os.uk

Digimap for Schools 5th birthday!

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Nov 102015
 

It is hard to believe, but Digimap for Schools is 5 years old today!

It is 5 years since the service was officially launched and we haven’t stopped growing in that time.

Back in 2010, Digimap for Schools looked a lot different! Despite it’s more limited functionality of only being able to view and print maps, it was quick to make it’s mark and was an instant success. This was recognised in early 2011 by the Geographical Association by being awarded Gold in the Publisher’s Awards at the GA conference.

How Digimap for Schools looked when it was launched

How Digimap for Schools looked when it was launched

The interface and functionality has constantly developed over the years in response to feedback from the users we meet at conferences, training sessions and email contact. User feedback is invaluable in guiding the development of the service.

We’ve added many notable enhancements since 2010 including: historical maps, annotation tools to add your own data, measurement tools, saving maps and a superb range of free resources written by curriculum experts.

The Digimap for Schools Community keeps on growing with over 2400 schools across Great Britain using the service. Millions of screen maps are generated every month, in June 2015 nearly 4,070,000 screen maps were generated making it the busiest month ever for Digimap for Schools. Just last month in October 2015, Macmillan Academy in Middlesbrough became a record breaking school generating over 116,000 screen maps, uploading 1199 images and saving 374 maps in one month – they were busy!

The Digimap for Schools team will enjoy celebrating this special anniversary, sorry we can’t send a piece of birthday cake to all of our wonderful subscribing schools!

Watch our new video resources about the historic maps

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Nov 092015
 

If you’ve enjoyed looking at the beautiful new 1950s maps within Digimap for Schools, you really should watch our interview with Chris Fleet, Senior Map Curator at National Library of Scotland, talking about both sets of historical mapping NLS have donated to Digimap for Schools.  Chris is full of interesting facts about the mapping products, how they were scanned and points we must remember when looking at scanned paper maps.

These short videos are a superb resource for you to watch with your pupils.  Both interviews are available on the Digimap for Schools YouTube Channel.

Interview Part 1 – An introduction to the 1890s and 1950s maps

YouTube Preview Image

 

Interview Part 2 – About digitising historic maps and making them available online

YouTube Preview Image

We hope you enjoy watching the videos and learning more about these wonderful historic maps.

1950s mapping and text box annotation now available

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Oct 122015
 

Today the Digimap for Schools team release two new wonderful features – 1950s OS historic mapping and a text box tool.

The 1950s mapping fill in the mid point time period between the 1890s and current OS mapping.  The 1950s mapping are perfect for comparing changes over time and exploring the landscape, urban areas, road network and other features of post-war Britain.

We’ve made a small tweak to the interface to enable the selection of any two time periods, using the buttons and the slider (shown below) you can choose whether to view 1890s, 1950s or mapping from today, and any combination of two maps.

New map selection and slider

When a decade button is blue, click it to toggle it off and switch on the other map.  You can watch a demo video on the Digimap for Schools YouTube Channel

The 1950s mapping is lovely to look at and a wonderful addition to the mapping available in Digimap for Schools.  The maps have been provided by the National Library of Scotland.

The other great feature we’ve added, is the ability to add a text box to your map.  Until now, users have only been able to add short text labels which is a bit restrictive when you want to write a longer piece of information to annotate the map.

The Text Box tool can be found in the Annotations Toolbar in a sub-menu of the Label tool.

Text box tool

Click to activate the tool and click on your map to add the Text Box.  Then simply click in the box to start typing.  Resize the box to display as much text as you like!

1950s Milton Keynes map with a text box

1950s Milton Keynes map with a text box

 

October training dates with Ordnance Survey

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Oct 052015
 

Darren Bailey from the Education Team at Ordnance Survey will be out and about through October running CPD sessions which include training in Digimap for Schools.  Dates and locations are:

6/10 Newham

13/10 Dorking

14/10 Wigan

15/10 Oswestry

19/10 Islington

If you’d like to find out more about attending, please contact Darren – Darren.Bailey@os.uk

Quick start guide now available

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Oct 022015
 

We’ve put together a two page quick start guide with our top ten tips to get going with Digimap for Schools.  The guide is a PDF file available from the link below.  You can print it, download or view on screen.  Please share with your colleagues and pupils, anyone that is unsure about how to get started using Digimap for Schools.

Digimap for Schools Quick Start Guide – Click to view, download and print.

If you are then looking for ideas, remember we have fantastic resources available here – http://digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk/resources

The Geographical Association have also created a fantastic page with examples of use from teachers across different stages – http://geography.org.uk/resources/ordnancesurveymappingresource/workingwithdigimap/

Upcoming training events with Ordnance Survey

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Sep 152015
 

Darren Bailey from the Ordnance Survey Education Team has a few CPD events coming up.  Darren’s event provide a great introduction to Digimap for Schools and using OS mapping in primary schools.  If you’d like to attend or find out more details, please contact Darren – Darren.Bailey@os.uk

Epsom – 21/09/2015

Southampton – 25/09/2015

Addlestone – 29/09/2015