Free September training sessions

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on Free September training sessions
Sep 022014

Darren Bailey from Ordnance Survey has begun a new tour of English schools to run teacher training events providing hands on training in Digimap for Schools.

The first event in Hatfield yesterday (1st Sept) had a great turn out of keen teachers, eager to get to grips with the service.

Teacher training in Hatfield

Teacher training in Hatfield

Upcoming events will be held in:

  • 15-9 Lancaster
  • 16-9 Aldershot
  • 18-9 Manchester
  • 22-9 North Cheam
  • 23-9 West Drayton
  • 29-9 Appley Bridge
  • 30-9 Dewsbury

If you would like to find out more information about one of these events, please contact Darren –



New term, new mapping data

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on New term, new mapping data
Aug 282014

Over summer, the Digimap for Schools team have been beavering away processing updated Ordnance Survey mapping for the annual data update.   Every year, we take updates from Ordnance Survey and put them into Digimap for Schools, so recent changes in your area may now be on the maps.

The mapping is all 2014 data, the specific month for each product is:

MasterMap May 2014
VectorMap Local Raster July 2014
1:25 000 Raster April 2014
1:50 000 Raster June 2014
1:250 000 Raster June 2014
MiniScale January 2014

Geography GCSE subject content April 2014

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on Geography GCSE subject content April 2014
May 262014

Today’s blog post comes from Ken Lacey, Education Manager at Ordnance Survey.  Here, Ken highlights parts of the new Geography curriculum that Digimap for Schools mapping and tools support.

Published in April 2014 the subject aims and learning outcomes of the Geography GCSE subject content document should enable students to build on their key stage 3 knowledge and skills to:

Develop and extend their competence in a range of skills including those used in field work, in using maps and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)……..”

Within the section titled Scope of Study, reference is specifically made to maps in Para 10 where we read:

“The use of a range of maps, atlases, Ordnance Survey maps, satellite imagery and other graphic and digital materials including the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), to obtain, illustrate, analyse and evaluate geographical information. To include making maps and sketches to present and interpret geographical information

Within the section titled Assessment of fieldwork, attention is drawn in Para 23 to “The following areas of knowledge, skills and understanding should be assessed through the fieldwork assessment” and includes the following “processing and presenting fieldwork data in various ways including maps graphs and diagrams”

Digimap for Schools provides a range of GB wide Ordnance Survey map scales including a historical One inch map layer dated 1895 – 1899 and provides a range of tools to illustrate, analyse and evaluate geographical information. The tools allow the user to illustrate their map with drawings and text, add photographs and analyse areas with the point or line buffer tool.

Available to all is Digimap for Schools free resources which provide a range of activities at all key stages to enhance the classroom experience using maps to broaden their geographic experience and skills. These include the resources titled ‘Quick ideas for using Digimap for Schools’ which presents 12 quick classroom or homework ideas which make use Digimap for Schools and ‘Digimap for Schools to support GCSE’ which highlights the use of Digimap for School at GCSE.

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.


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.

LAST FEW PLACES: Science for Society: New Developments in Physical Geography – 24-29th July 2014

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on LAST FEW PLACES: Science for Society: New Developments in Physical Geography – 24-29th July 2014
Mar 212014

FREE summer course for mid-career specialist secondary geography teachers

Based at the University of Southampton, this course provides an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the latest technology for data collection and analysis, coupled with an insight into how geographical information is relied upon by industry business and government for visualisation, problem solving and decision making. Places will be filled as valid applications are received, so we recommend that you apply soon.

• 20 places available
• Based at the University of Southampton
• Field day in the New Forest
• Full day visit to Met Office, Exeter
• Full day visit to Ordnance Survey, Southampton
• Gala dinner with all Science for Society teachers at Goldsmith’s Hall, London
• All tuition, accommodation, food and travel during the course provided. (Delegates fund their own travel costs from home to Southampton).

To apply, visit the Goldsmith’s website:

And download the Science for Society application form.

Christmas is coming early, user guide posted to all subscribing schools.

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on Christmas is coming early, user guide posted to all subscribing schools.
Dec 102013

The Education team at Ordnance Survey have been working hard over the last few months to produce a comprehensive Digimap for Schools User Guide.  Over the next week, all subscribing schools will receive a printed copy of the new user guide.  This will give you detailed instructions on how to use Digimap for Schools.

You can access a digital version of the user guide online at:

Also included with the user guide being posted out, is a Christmas quiz, which your pupils can try.  They will need to identify certain places throughout GB and find the grid references and counties where they are located.   It’s suitable for all ages.

Give the quiz a try and please let us know how you and your pupils get on!

Introducing VML Raster – a new mapping product for Digimap for Schools

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on Introducing VML Raster – a new mapping product for Digimap for Schools
Aug 142013

Many users will be familiar with the Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 scale raster mapping product that is used in Digimap for Schools on the 3rd most zoomed in view scale.  On 1st March 2013, Ordnance Survey announced the up coming withdrawal of this product from their mapping catalogue in 2014.  This has given us the opportunity to update the mapping used for this zoom level and add in OS VectorMap Local (VML) raster to replace the 1:10,000 scale raster.

OS have decided to withdraw the 1:10,000 due to the dated cartographic styling it uses.  The styling was developed in 1995 – so it is older than most Digimap for Schools users!!  The data has been maintained and updated with changes on the ground mapped, but the styling is now showing its age.

A detailed announcement from Ordnance Survey can be found here

VML raster is a much more modern looking mapping product and is more in-keeping with other the style of other map products.  You will hopefully agree that the flow through the stack in Digimap for Schools is much nicer with VML raster.

Example of 1:10,000 scale raster

VML raster exampleA new map key illustrating the symbology used on the VML raster will also be added, to replace the 1:10,000 raster key.

VML raster will be available in Digimap for Schools from 24th September , when we will be releasing a couple of great new tools – keep an eye out for the blog post about these new enhancements!  (Amendment: We actually exceeded our target of September 24th and have delivered it on the 27th August to ensure its ready for the new school term.  Many thanks to our hard working engineers for this! the new tools are still planned for September 24th!)

New tools well received at training events

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on New tools well received at training events
Feb 072013

Thanks to Gareth Rogers and Andrew McGeown for hosting the latest two teacher training events.

Another two really good training sessions, and the first chance to show the new photograph tool after its release.

There are five more events this month at;

Rochford – 13 Feb
Benfleet – 14 Feb
Lancaster – 26 Feb
Blackpool – 27 Feb
Kendal – 28 Feb

If you are interested in coming along – email

More on teacher training events

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on More on teacher training events
Jan 222013

The latest round of teacher training events has taken place in the first two weeks of January.  Despite the inclement weather Darren Bailey and Ken Lacey have visited;

Bartholomew School – Oxford
St Ivo School – St Ives
English Martyrs School – Leicester
Bishop Justus Church of England School – Bromley
Wrotham School – Seven oaks
Watford Grammar School for Girls – Watford

Thanks to all the primary and secondary teachers that came along to the events, and a special thanks to those who organised an event.  Here’s some of the feedback that was received;

“Digimap is really useful and will improve the quality of geography teaching in primary schools”

“Plenty of useful info and hints”

“Really useful info and websites, Thank you”

“Fantastic Information, clearly presented and easy to follow”

Unfortunately the Lincoln events pencilled in this week have been a victim of the snow.  They will be re-arranged for the end of March.

The next two events will be in London on the 29th January and Leigh on the 5th February, so if you are in the area and would like to come along, contact

Twilight training programme defies floods

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on Twilight training programme defies floods
Nov 272012

Darren Bailey and Ken Lacey from Ordnance Survey have hit the road with a series of free geography teacher training events for schools around the country. Terrible weather did not prevent almost everyone reaching the first two venues in Worcester and Ross on Wye where teachers enjoyed the chance of hands-on time with Digimaps for Schools.

“Digimap looks amazing“

“Great for Key Stage 2”

“Lovely to have resources and instructions to take home”

Each two hour sessions is run by Darren or Ken and most start at 4pm. Training is hosted by a lead school who invite primary and secondary geography teachers from around the area to come along. Some courses are completely full, but if you are a geography teacher in the following areas it may be worth asking Darren if there are any spare places. Dates are as follows:

05/12/2012      Frome                          BA11 4JF

12/12/2012      Bury                            BL9 0TS

07/01/2013      Chipping Norton        OX7 5DY

08/01/2013      St Ives                         PE27 6RR

09/01/2013      Leicester                      LE4 0FJ

15/01/2013      Bromley                      BR2 8HZ

16/01/2013      Sevenoaks                   TN15 7RD

17/01/2013      Watford                       WD18 0AE

22/01/2013      Alfreton                      DE55 1AE

23/01/2013      Lincoln                        LN1 3SP

Would your school be interested in hosting a training session in the future?  If you think you can get 20 or more geography teachers together, and can provide a suitable IT room, contact Darren Bailey at the Ordnance Survey to find out more.