1950s mapping and text box annotation now available

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on 1950s mapping and text box annotation now available
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

 

Upload CSV points and other new tools released

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on Upload CSV points and other new tools released
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.

 

Historic maps in Digimap for Schools reveal landscape changes

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on Historic maps in Digimap for Schools reveal landscape changes
Mar 242014
 

Eagle eyed Digimap for Schools users will surely have noticed a few changes to the homepage and interface this morning, this is because we have just added historic maps from the 1890s to the service.

This exciting new addition allows  you to view a map of your school, street or anywhere in Great Britain in the 1890s.

These beautiful Ordnance Survey maps published between 1895 and 1899 as the Revised New Series in England and Wales and the 2nd Edition in Scotland, provide an additional rich learning resource and context for exploring how the landscape has changed in the last 120 years.

To view a historic map of your school, street or anywhere in Great Britain, use the new historic map slider (beside the pan arrows) to fade the current OS map and reveal the historic map underneath.

slider_blog

Drag the historic slider to reveal the 1890s maps.

The historic maps have been scanned from original paper maps and made available courtesy of the National Library of Scotland.

Learning resources with ideas for using these wonderful maps across all stages and  curriculum areas are in development and will be available soon.

Enhanced buffer tool, now it does lines too!

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on Enhanced buffer tool, now it does lines too!
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!

New enhancements – now you can delete maps and preview prints

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on New enhancements – now you can delete maps and preview prints
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 edina@ed.ac.uk 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.

Updated mapping – we’ve been busy!

 digimap for schools, Maps  Comments Off on Updated mapping – we’ve been busy!
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!

 

A few lovely enhancements you’ll see from next week

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on A few lovely enhancements you’ll see from next week
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.

Measurements in Miles vs KM – help us decide!

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on Measurements in Miles vs KM – help us decide!
Oct 152012
 

Ever since the popular measurement tools for measuring distances and areas were introduced to Digimap for Schools, we have received feedback from teachers requesting the ability to measure distances in miles as well as metres/kilometres.  Ordnance Survey ran a workshop for teachers last week, and again this request was made which got us thinking….

This is something we can easily add to Digimap for Schools, however it sparked a fierce debate in our office about whether we should be adding the ability to measure in Imperial units or to stick with Metric units only.  So we thought we would open it out to you, our users and interested observers, to gain your opinions.

Should we support the fact that we commonly talk about distances in miles, while the digital maps available in Digimap for Schools are measured in metres, by adding an imperial measurements option?

Do you teach your students using imperial and metric units?  Would you rather only use metric, or is there a need to use imperial units as well?

We are really keen to hear your views, as we can’t decide!

Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

Measurement tools – miles option?

 

New Digimap for Schools tools and enhancements released

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on New Digimap for Schools tools and enhancements released
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.