Historic maps layer now available in Digimap for Schools

School children using DigimapIf you hadn’t heard about it before, Digimap for Schools is a fantastic service available to all schools in Great Britain, giving teachers and pupils access to a wide range of our maps, from our most detailed dataset, OS MasterMap, to the famous OS Explorer mapping at 1:25,000 scale which is ideal for outdoor activity. Now Digimap for Schools has added a new historic map layer, extending its potential for use in schools across a wider spectrum of the national curriculum.

The new historic map layer features our maps from the 1890s and covers the whole of Great Britain. Teachers and pupils can overlay the historic maps over current mapping and compare changes in the landscape in their areas and beyond, including changes like those in Sandbanks, shown below. Continue reading “Historic maps layer now available in Digimap for Schools”

Using Ordnance Survey maps in the classroom – sign up for our free sessions

Ordnance Survey maps remain an important part of the National Curriculum for geography across the key stages. As many of us, and particularly our children, are now used to accessing maps online, it’s important to reflect this in classrooms across Great Britain.

Our maps are available online for all primary and secondary educationalists to access through Digimap for Schools,  an online mapping and data delivery service developed by EDINA, the national data centre for UK academia. We’re keen to help teachers make the most of the service and regularly run free CPD training sessions around the country that you can sign up for via the blog.Geography lesson with Digimap

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Teaching geography in schools with Digimap for Schools

Our Education team have been running a series of twilight workshops for teachers aimed at showing them how to make the best use of Ordnance Survey’s mapping in the classroom. The most recent sessions have been for teachers in Southampton and Hampshire, but there are plans to take them out across the country if there is enough demand.

With the fourth workshop recently completed, we thought you might like to find out about how geography is taught in schools these days as it’s changed quite a bit from my schooldays when we all pored over (and fought over) a large paper map. A very precious and much revered Ordnance Survey map at 1:25 000 scale showing contours and footpaths was shared amongst a gaggle of teenagers trying hard to identify the map symbols and work out why things were where they were.

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BETT …you love Digimap for Schools!

Last week (and over the weekend) our Education team have been manning an exhibition stand at Olympia in London, taking the opportunity to talk to teachers about geography, mapping, GI and our Digimap for Schools application which provides access to a wide range of mapping and tools to pupils in schools across Great Britain.

BETT is the leading event for education technology, giving up to 30,000 visitors the opportunity to try out the technology and bringing together some of the teaching community for four days of discussions and testing!

This year, the show was opened by Michael Gove making an important announcement about ‘radically revamping’ the ICT curriculum which received widespread media coverage so there was a buzz around the exhibition stands as technology development was clearly an important government focus.

Continue reading “BETT …you love Digimap for Schools!”

Happy birthday Digimap for Schools

We do like a good party here at Ordnance Survey and this week it’s the first birthday of Digimap for Schools. Sadly, there was no birthday cake this time, but there’s plenty to celebrate!

Digimap for Schools is an online mapping tool providing access to Ordnance Survey mapping for the whole of Great Britain at a range of scales. It’s simple to use with a login and password and pupils and teachers pick it up in minutes. Almost 3 000 schools have already subscribed and are making use of Ordnance Survey mapping across the curriculum.

To celebrate it’s first year, we’ve made a short film showing Year 5 pupils at St Marks Primary School in Southampton using Digimap for Schools and Geography teacher Mr Beare talking about why it’s so useful in their school.

We are also going to be creating ‘mystery maps’ showing a mystery location of particular geographical information. Continue reading “Happy birthday Digimap for Schools”

Digimap for Schools wins national Gold award

digimapgoldawardWe were really pleased when Digimap for Schools won Gold in the annual Geographical Association Awards recently. The award was made in recognition of the fact that it represents a major step forward in the way schools can access and use Ordnance Survey maps.  The pupil-friendly web service gives access to all the mapping scales that a school needs to teach geography, including providing full access our most detailed mapping of the whole of Great Britain to schools for the first time.

Maps can be used on personal computers and interactive whiteboards and can be printed or saved at A4 or A3 size. All output carries a watermark, the name of the school and copyright information, providing complete assurance to teachers that they are complying with the license terms and conditions.

Digimap for Schools has been developed by EDINA, University of Edinburgh, who are also responsible for mapping services to higher education. EDINA are working closely with the geography teaching community to enhance Digimap for Schools in line with their needs, with the first enhancements due in a few weeks time.

Any teachers wanting to find out more about Digimap for Schools should visit: www.digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk

At the BETT Show

The Education and OS OpenSpace teams were in London last week for this year’s BETT Show. In excess of 20,000 visitors descended on Olympia to discover the latest uses of technology for teaching and education.

digimap

At the BETT Show

We were there to demonstrate a number of educational mapping tools. Centre stage was Digimap for Schools, the web service that provides access to Ordnance Survey mapping for every classroom in the country. There was also a lot of interest in OS OpenSpace, with its Web-Map Builder, and all the freely available mapping data that is now downloadable from OS OpenData.

Continue reading “At the BETT Show”

Introducing Digimap for Schools

It’s always interesting to see our maps in action and last week I was lucky enough to visit Year 7 pupils at Graveney School in Wandsworth, London.

I was there for the launch of ‘Digimap for Schools’ the new online mapping service which will change the way our maps are used in the classroom. Now pupils of all ages will have access to a wide range of mapping scales – from our most detailed mapping showing every individual building, to an outline of the entire country.

Pupils getting to grips with Digimap for Schools

Pupils getting to grips with Digimap for Schools

Inspirational geography teacher, Sarah Jones, showed children how to use the online mapping and gave them the challenge of identifying a route for a fun run near Clapham Common. The kids were amazing!

At age 11, they understood scale and were able to easily measure distances. They all knew the different map symbols and were able to identify footpaths and cycle paths, railway stations and places of worship (with a tower, not a spire!).

Baroness Hanham, our  Minister, and our Director General, Vanessa Lawrence CB, launched the service and were really pleased to see the enthusiasm with which the kids talked about maps.

Baroness Hanham and Vanessa Lawrence CB launch Digimap for Schools

Baroness Hanham and Vanessa Lawrence CB launch Digimap for Schools

Digimap for Schools is supplied through JISC Collections for Schools and has been developed by EDINA – who provide mapping services to universities and colleges – meaning that pupils will be able to use the same mapping all the way through their education.

For the last nine years, we have given all 11 year-olds a free OS Explorer Map of their area, issuing over 6 million paper maps, but seeing how well the kids engaged with technology and got to grips with the online service, it certainly looks like this new online service will prove to be popular.

We’d love to hear from any teachers out there – what do you think?

Maps are child’s play with Digimap for Schools

At the start of this autumn term hundreds of schools across Great Britain began the new academic year by signing up to use a new online mapping service designed specifically for the classroom.


With its pupil-friendly interface, and national coverage of digital maps, Digimap for Schools is set to greatly increase the use of Ordnance Survey maps for teaching and learning geography at all levels, as well as supporting other subjects such as history.


Until now, schools have mainly relied upon paper maps for Ordnance Survey map skills work – a mandatory topic in the curriculum. Since 2002 this has been supported by the issue of a free 1:25 000 scale OS Explorer Map to all pupils in Year 7 under the Ordnance Survey Free maps for 11-year-olds scheme. These free maps are being issued for the last time this year because Digimap for Schools will offer schools so much more.

How Digimap for Schools looks

How Digimap for Schools looks

Continue reading “Maps are child’s play with Digimap for Schools”