digimap for schools


Digimap for Schools competition winner announced

Thank you to all of the schools who entered our exciting competition with EDINA featuring Digimap for Schools and our #GetOutside champion Steve Backshall. Combining geography, wildlife and photography, it saw primary school children across Britain taking wildlife photos and plotting them on a map of their school’s area.

Some of the fantastic entries during judging

Some of the fantastic entries during judging

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School #wildlifemap competition with Steve Backshall

Some of you will know that we’ve teamed up with EDINA for an exciting competition featuring Digimap for Schools and our #GetOutside champion Steve Backshall. Combining geography, wildlife and photography, it’s a fantastic opportunity for primary school children. Steve tells us more about the competition and about some great British wildlife you could be spotting.


Here is a great chance for you and your school to get involved with Ordnance Survey.  We want to encourage children all over Britain to get outside looking for wildlife. You can enter the competition to win a visit from me to your school. All you need to do is start investigating your local wildlife and photograph what you find. Upload what you spot onto a map and send it to us. I’m really excited to see the entries and to meet the winning school. I’ll be able to talk to you all about the wildlife you’ve found and answer any questions you have.  Read More


Digimap for Schools launch 1950s maps of Britain

Fantastic news for Digimap for Schools users – a second historic map layer has been added in. Teachers and students using the popular online map service can now directly compare maps of the 1890s, the 1950s and the present day.

The new historic 1950s map layer covers the whole of Great Britain and can be viewed on its own, or overlaid onto the 1890s or current mapping. You can make the most recent map on view translucent to easily see how the landscape has changed.

We took a look at a few areas around Britain to see how development, changes in industry, and changes in land use have affected them.

Basingstoke has seen huge growth as we track it from the 1950s to present day. Basingstoke market was mentioned in the Domesday Book and remained a small market town until the 1950s, when rapid development began to deal with the London ‘overspill’.

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Digimap for Schools reaches 2000 subscribers

The Digimap for Schools service has hit a milestone with 2,000 primary and secondary schools now signed up. This gives hundreds of thousands of pupils access to the latest Ordnance Survey digital data, including our most detailed maps, OS MasterMap.


The fantastic service, developed by EDINA at the University of Edinburgh, is available to all schools in Great Britain. The key resource ensures that teachers and students can access the Ordnance Survey maps as defined in the National Curriculum. As well as our famous OS Explorer mapping at 1:25,000 scale, which is ideal for outdoor activities, there is a new historic map layer, extending its potential for use in schools across a wider spectrum of the national curriculum.  Read More


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. Read More


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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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


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

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