A fantastic way to inspire a love of cartography at an early age, have you heard of the Barbara Petchenik Children’s Map Competition 2017? Barbara was a leading cartographer whose work related to children. In her memory, the International Cartographic Association holds a biennial competition.
2015 overall winner: The world in our hands by Pan Sin Yi (aged 15)
Keeping everyone entertained over the summer holiday period can be a challenge, particularly if the British weather hits a damp spell. We’ve got five great activities, both indoor and outdoor, that will appeal to budding geographers and explorers.
1. Download the Minecraft map of Great Britain
Minecraft, the Swedish computer game in which you make things out of virtual blocks, remains hugely popular with users of all ages. With over 100 million copies sold, and more than 40 million unique Minecraft players each month, it’s grown into the Education sector and beyond. If you or your family are Minecraft devotees, why not try our geographically-accurate Minecraft map of Britain?
First released in 2013, following work by OS intern Joseph Braybrook, the map had 22 billion blocks representing the 224,000 square kilometres of our country. It even won us a Guinness World Record as the largest real-world place represented in Minecraft! We released an update in 2014 taking Britain’s Minecraft map to a staggering 83 billion blocks, perfect for a spot of gaming with geography combined. Download the GB Minecraft world and let us know how you get on.
2. Download our mappy colouring in sheets
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.
Since 2001, we’ve sponsored over 100 students from more than 25 universities in our MSc dissertation programme. We look out for those doing research that fits in with our research strategy and where we will have an in-house ‘expert’ that can supervise alongside the student’s university supervisor. We provide advice, data where required and if available, and then sponsorship of up to £1000 on completion of their dissertation.
At least five students who completed a sponsored MSc with us then went on to be supported by us in their PhD too. Some of our research is outsourced and often achieved through our doctoral and postdoctoral research collaborations. Our support can range from providing industrial partner letters of support to contracting short-term pieces of work, and most things in between so there are opportunities at all levels. You can find out more about our PhD support on our website.
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.
We often talk about the Digimap for Schools service, but did you know there is also Digimap for higher and further education? Since its launch in 2000, Digimap has seen almost 290,000 registrations and there are currently 156 higher and further education institutions subscribed to the service.