Are you a teacher? Or a governor? Or have children at school? Then you need to know that the popular Digimap for Schools service has been updated to include over five million photos of Great Britain.
The fantastic online service already brings geography to life, with OS maps past and present, aerial photography and more. The new photos are supplied by Geograph and are set to enhance the classroom experience of discovering and exploring the country.
Geograph started in 2005 with the aim to capture a photograph for every 1km grid square in the country. Every week thousands of photos are added to the Geograph website, and over the last 10 years the number of photos contributed has grown to in excess of five million. Geograph is the most detailed crowd-sourced photographic record of the country. All of the photos are moderated by volunteers and geolocated as precisely as possible. Contributors provide photos under ‘Creative Commons’ terms that permit free use for education and add keywords about their photographs.
Dr Paula Owens, freelance consultant, author and trainer specialising in primary geography and sustainability has created some fabulous learning resources providing teachers ideas on how to make the most of this new addition, said: “Geograph brings maps to life by linking its amazing and diverse catalogue of photographs to specific locations. It’s a lot of fun, and very engaging for learners to be able to explore Great Britain in a new way.’’
Digimap for Schools
Over a third of all secondary schools currently use Digimap for Schools which is most commonly used in geography. Developed by EDINA at the University of Edinburgh, the key resource ensures that teachers and students can access the Ordnance Survey maps as defined in the National Curriculum. As well as the incredible detailed OS MasterMap data, there is our famous OS Explorer mapping at 1:25,000 scale, which is ideal for outdoor activities and there are historic map layers, extending its potential for use in schools across a wider spectrum of the national curriculum.
The historic maps, scanned to high resolution by the National Library of Scotland, are from the 1890s and 1950s and cover the whole of Great Britain. Teachers and pupils can overlay the historic maps over current mapping and compare changes in the landscape.
The Digimaps for Schools website also has a huge bank of resources across the key stages to help teachers bring geography to life. The team have recently added a new set of resources for the historic maps layer, with exercises for students ranging from spot the difference between the old and new maps to asking pupils to identify road bridges and by-passes and describe the economic and social benefits.