Apr 172014

Until now, Digimap has always used the 1:50 000 Scale Gazetteer to provide search results when using the interface.

Searching for a street name in Digimap Roam

We have now added street names to the search results in Roam, so you can get more detailed results for your search locations. The locations of the streets come from the OS Locator™ gazetteer which we have been working to include since Ordnance Survey made it an OS OpenData™ product. When using the search interface you can now put in a street name and search for it, though we would recommend adding the name of the place the street is located in too, particularly if it is a relatively common street name. The best results in urban areas are still achieved by using postcodes as these can often resolve to a particular part of the street.  However in rural areas where postcodes can be very large, street names can give you the best results.

The search takes all the terms you enter and adds weights to each one; if you enter a full postcode it will just use this to pinpoint your location. If you are not sure your postcode is completely accurate in can be better to leave it out if you have more reliable information. Any street numbers or house names are ignored by the search as these are not stored in the OS Locator or 1:50 000 Gazetteers. The remaining search terms are run against the two gazetteers to produce a list of potential matches.

Be careful when searching for road names that are also places; searching for London Road in Edinburgh will also find Edinburgh Road in London and other possibilities from each city.  The weighting usually puts the best match at the top, though you may need to look a little further down the results list sometimes.

We will continue to work on the search abilities in Digimap to improve the results we return, please let us know if you have any questions:

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
  • Phone: 0131 650 3302
Apr 092014

OS MasterMap Data in DWG formatUntil now anyone wanting to use OS MasterMap® Topography data in CAD software would have to convert their data, often a lengthy and complicated process.  Now you can simply download the OS MasterMap Topography Layer in DWG format directly from Data Download. The DWG data should open in most CAD software such as AutoCAD, Vectorworks and ArchiCAD.

We always knew it wasn’t that easy to convert OS MasterMap data for use in CAD, the conversion software has a lot of options and can confuse at the best of times. The conversion software also doesn’t work on Apple Mac computers which are a popular choice with CAD users. However, we redoubled our efforts to provide DWG format data when we heard that some of our users were making PDF maps of OS MasterMap data and then manually digitising them from the screen… something had to be done!

Incorporating a conversion process into Data Download has not been simple and can produce some very large file sizes, especially if you need data for a busy urban area. Please only take enough OS MasterMap as necessary, or your computer may run out of memory when you work with the data.

How to get DWG OS MasterMap

To get your data in DWG format simply follow the usual steps for making an order in Data Download:

How to Use Data Download

Once you have added your OS MasterMap Topography data to the Basket, click on the “Change” link to access all the options for the MasterMap data.

Change Link in Data Download

Use the format section, bottom left to select DWG format instead of the default GML.

Changing MasterMap download format

Your OS MasterMap data will not need any conversion to open in most CAD software, enjoy playing with the vectors!
Please let us know if you have any problems using this data or if you have suggestions as to how it could be improved.

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
  • Tel: 0131 650 3302
 April 9, 2014  Posted by at 10:54 am Digimap News, New Features, Of Interest Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Mar 282014
Money and Calculator

Image Courtesy of Images_Of_Money

In July 2013 we wrote about the value of the data downloaded and screen maps printed from Digimap:

Digimap 2012-13 Print Maps & Data worth nearly £40 Million

We calculated these values in May so could not include the figures from June and July; we have now added these last two months for 2012-13 to give the full picture.

The headline value has risen from £39.5 to £43.8 million, this significant rise is due to download activity as this period is dominated by postgraduate research rather than undergraduate map printing.

Below are the graphs and charts from the previous blog post updated with the latest figures:

Digimap Data & Print Map Values 2010-13Digimap Screen Maps Made 2010 to 2013

Digimap Collections Values 2012-2013Please remember that there were many caveats to how these figures were calculated detailed in the previous blog post; and that the figures do not include any cost for the millions of screen maps and help and support that comes from Digimap.

These values also do not include the significant amount of time saved by using Digimap over requesting maps and data direct from the various data suppliers. Digimap provides a single place to get the most popular UK map and spatial data resources.

If you are interested in the updated figures for your institution the please get in touch with us:

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
  • Tel: 0131 650 3302

2013-14 Values to be even Higher

Usage statistics for 2013-14 show that we are more than likely to exceed the figures above; with 5 months to go Digimap has already made 95% of the screen maps that it made in the previous academic year and around 75% of the downloads. We will be recalculating the values once the year ends and hope to publish them in the Autumn.

 March 28, 2014  Posted by at 11:50 am Digimap News No Responses »
Mar 062014

New Print InterfaceYou can now print a legend with your map in Digimap Roam, Geology Roam, Marine Roam and Environment Roam. The legend comes as a separate A4 PDF to your print map and is placed in a zip folder with the map for you to download.

When printing maps that have been customised by removing certain layers, those layers will not appear in the legend ensuring it is as concise and easy to use as possible. Geology Roam goes a step further as its legend filters out any entries for features that are not actually on the map you print.

New Print Add LegendLegends are particularly important for both the Geology and Environment Roams where abstract colours are used to denote the underlying rocks or land cover. When using the maps online you can use the map content tab or the map information tool to find out what features you are looking at. Now, with the addition of the printable legends, you can reference what these colours represent on the maps printed from the service too.

To add a legend to your print map simply check the box in the interface, as shown above.

In addition to the legend we have also added a Layout Preview tab to the print interface in all the Roams, including Ancient Roam. This tab allows you to see the full extent of the area you are about to print, very important if you change the scale or paper size.  Any changes that will affect the area printed will trigger the tab to flash yellow, indicating that you will now get a different map. Even adding the grid to the map will slightly change the area printed as it requires a wider margin.

print-layoutOnce you have clicked on the tab you will see the precise area of map to be printed highlighted in orange. You can click and drag the map in this window around, refining the exact location to be printed. As you make changes to the paper size and scale you will see how these also change the area that will be printed.

The addition of this tab will make it much easier to get the right area printed the first time when used in conjunction with the content preview. Remember that the layout preview only shows the area you are printing over a backdrop map for guidance; to see the actual map information that will be printed you need to look at the content preview.

Once you are happy that you have the right map content for the right area click on the Generate Print File button, you will then be able to download the zip folder with your map and legend.

If you have any questions about these changes then please let us know:

  • Tel: 0131 650 3302
  • email: edina@ed.ac.uk
 March 6, 2014  Posted by at 4:02 pm Digimap News, New Features No Responses »
Mar 052014

NI LandCover 2007 1km RasterEDINA have added data for Northern Ireland to Environment Digimap after an agreement between Jisc and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) to extend the service beyond Great Britain.

The data comprises of 25m and 1km resolution raster datasets for  2000 and 2007 as well as vector data for both these years. The data shown on the right is the 1KM resolution raster data from 2007.

The datasets essentially classify the land into categories including: sea and inland waters, bare, suburban and urban areas, arable farmland, pastures and meadows, rough grass, grass heaths and moors, bracken, dwarf shrub heaths and moorland, scrub, deciduous and evergreen woodland and upland and lowland bogs. These maps can be used to plan, manage or monitor agriculture, ecology, conservation, forestry, environmental assessment, water supplies, urban spread, transport, telecommunications, recreation and mineral extraction.

The Northern Ireland data is currently available from Environment Download only but will be available in Environment Roam once we have created backdrop mapping and search infrastructure for Northern Ireland.

For details about Environment Digimap and how you can subscribe please see this earlier blog post:

 Environment Digimap Launched: Free till July 2014


Mar 052014

Geological Indicators of Flooding EDINA has added two new datasets to Geology Digimap ahead of the planned release date because of their usefulness when researching floods.

The new datasets have been provided by the British Geological Survey along with several other major products. The Geological Indicators of Flooding and  Permeability Indices have been made available from the Geology Download facility early due to the recent flooding events across the UK.

PermeabilityThese datasets along with LandCover data from Environment Digimap and digital terrain models, such as OS Terrain 50, from Digimap Ordnance Survey Collection, are all important pieces of information when researching flood risk, causes and potential methods of mitigating against them.

More information about these datasets can be found in the Geology Digimap help pages:

In addition to the two datasets already mentioned there are more new BGS products on the way. You can already download the Superficial Deposits Depth Model and we have the Soil Parent Material data coming soon.

Finally we hope to be integrating the most detailed geological mapping data at 1:10,000 and 1:25,000 scales to both Geology Roam and Geology Download.

If you require any assistance with these datasets or combining them with existing data from Digimap then please let us know:

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
  • Tel: 0131 650 3302
Feb 282014

Informatics ForumWe are now taking bookings for EDINA’s Geoforum 2014 and with such a fantastic programme this year places could fill up fast. This year’s event will be at the University of Edinburgh in the award winning Informatics Forum, on the 19th June.

Reserve you place now: Geoforum 2014 Booking

Geoforum is a free all day event aimed at lecturers, researchers and support staff who promote and support the use of geospatial data and services at their institution. Throughout the day we there will be talks and demonstrations to inform you of current geospatial developments at EDINA and the wider community. It is also an opportunity to give EDINA feedback on the services we provide and discuss geospatial issues with the team.

For all the details and a full programme please visit the website: EDINA Geoforum 2014


Peter GibbsThis year’s theme is the Environment and so we have lined up BBC broadcast meteorologist Peter Gibbs to deliver the keynote. Peter will be talking about the response being taken by the Met Office and Environment Agency to improve flood forecasting.

We also have a recent MSc Graduate talking about his use of LandCover data (available from Environment Digimap) with data from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) in assessing natural flood management.

Colleges and Further Education

Along with the environmental talks we will also be introducing the upcoming Digimap for Colleges, a new service that sits between Digimap for Schools and the full Digimap service. There will also be an update on all the latest features and enhancements to EDINA’s geoservices.

More Details…

To find out what else we have planned for you, including this year’s excursion, and to book your place please visit the website: EDINA Geoforum 2014

 February 28, 2014  Posted by at 1:14 pm Digimap News, Of Interest, Training & Events No Responses »
Feb 202014

Environment Digimap has been in service for around 4 months now and already has 63 subscribing institutions, over 6000 active users and has made over 35,000 screen maps.

Environment Roam

SurveyWe’d really like to know what you think of the newest Digimap Collection and what you want to see added or improved. Once you have used the service then please go to the following web page and fill in the short survey, it will take less than 10 minutes and will help the future development of Environment Digimap:


If your institution doesn’t subscribe to Environment Digimap yet you still have 4 months where the service is completely free. The following blog post has information on how to subscribe:

Environment Digimap Launched: Free till July 2014

For information on how previous Digimap surveys have affected the survey please have a look at the Quality Improvement reports on EDINA’s Benefits of Services page:

Benefits of Services

If you have any general feedback about any of the services then please email us: edina@ed.ac.uk

 February 20, 2014  Posted by at 11:38 am Consultations, Digimap News, Of Interest No Responses »
Feb 052014

We are often asked whether maps from Digimap may be used in submissions for planning applications.  The answer is no.  This applies to ALL planning applications, regardless of who submits them, to which authority and under what guise.  This includes:

  • students submitting planning applications to a planning authority as part of coursework or work placement schemes
  • all private planning applications (commercial or residential)
  • institutions submitting planning applications for their own premises
  • members of staff who take on consultancy work involving the submission of planning applications

Maps and plans for planning applications can be purchased from many different suppliers. Promap is one such example.  There is also a UK government website called the Planning Portal which can assist with plans and maps.


Digimap maps must not be used in planning applications


 February 5, 2014  Posted by at 9:55 am Of Interest Tagged with:  No Responses »
Jan 212014

Ordnance Survey are running a one day event for people to show off their cartography skills; anyone who is able to take up a summer internship can apply.

Jenny Brooker, Prototyping Manager at Ordnance Survey writes:

We’ve come a long way since the days of drawing maps by hand but Cartography is still an integral part of our business, and is so much more than just making pretty maps.

We are inviting anyone with an interest in cartographic design or data visualisation to come to Carto Hack Camp and showcase their skills by spending the day with us visualising geographic data. The winner will be offered a paid summer internship in our cartographic design team.

What Will Happen at Carto Hack Camp?

Our camp will be a day-long opportunity for anyone to visit our headquarters in Southampton, meet our Product Development team and spend the day working with them to come up with an exciting new solution for one of our customer scenarios.

There will be a choice of three different customer scenarios, designed to suit a wide range of backgrounds and abilities. The work will be similar in nature to that carried out by our cartographic design consultants. Find out more about what they do here.

You will then demo your ‘map’ to our panel of Ordnance Survey judges who will rate them and decide on the day’s winner.

Why Should I Get Involved?

It’s an opportunity for anyone with skills and an interest in cartographic design to innovate, create and collaborate with other like-minded people.

Our aim is for an enjoyable, relaxed and pressure-free day. Such an atmosphere will hopefully promote good design and if you want to take it a step further, we will be offering the hack day winner a paid summer internship in the Ordnance Survey Cartographic Design team.


As a part of the British Cartographic Society’s 50th anniversary celebrations last summer, Ordnance Survey announced that we would offer a paid summer internship for a six to nine week period during 2014 in our cartographic design team. The winner of the hack camp will be offered the opportunity to take up this internship.

Where is it?

We will be setting up camp in the business centre at our own headquarters, Explorer House on the edge of Southampton.

When is it?

Thursday 20th February 2014.

  • 9:30 am – Breakfast
  • 10 am – Introduction
  • 1pm – Lunch.
  • 5pm – Round up of the day and judging.
  • 6pm – Finish

What do I Need?

You need a keen interest in cartographic design or data visualisation and preferably some relevant skills but we welcome applicants from any background. You can bring along your own equipment and software, internet access will be provided. If you don’t have your own equipment laptops can be provided on request (please email cartodesign@ordnancesurvey.co.uk with your requirements prior to the event).

How Much Does it Cost?

The event is free and we will provide complimentary food and drink. All we ask is for your time and for you to arrange your own way of getting here.

Sign Me Up…

Visit our registration page on Eventbrite:


Good luck to all Digimap users who take part.

 January 21, 2014  Posted by at 3:12 pm Of Interest No Responses »