Feb 112016

We released a new version of Digimap last week (2nd February) which included a number of improvements to the service. Whilst we try to minimise downtime during releases some users may have noticed some of the new features; in this post we’ll highlight the changes that affect Digimap users.

Chart Roam

By far the biggest change happened in the Marine Collection where the old, somewhat dated, Marine Maps application was replaced with the new Chart Roam application. Chart Roam uses the familiar Roam interface to display hydrographic charts, enabling users to quickly and easily navigate around using the tools they are familiar with from other Roam clients.

New Chart Roam Interface

Updated Roam Measurement ToolsChart Roam displays marine Hydrographic Charts from SeaZone Solutions using the WGS84 Web Mercator projection. As part of the work done to support the display of map data in different projections we added Nautical Miles to the distance measurement tool in Chart Roam. Users can now measure distances in metric (metres and kilometres), imperial (yards and miles) and nautical units; areas measurements can only be made in metric units at present.

Annotations [all Roam clients]

We have made significant improvements behind the scenes to the way annotations are handled in all Roam applications. This work was done to ensure that users uploading annotations with a large number features can style, save and print the data once loaded in to one of the Roam applications. Other notable improvements are detailed below:

  • We have added the ability to load multiple Shapefiles as annotations from a single Zip archive. Previously it was only possible to import a single Shapefile from a Zip archive, and all other Shapefiles were ignored by the import process. Now all Shapefiles in your Zip archive will be added to the map, and they can be of different geometry types e.g. points, lines and polygons.
  • We have improved the printing process so that it is possible to create prints that contain many more annotations.
  • Improvements have been made to remove some of the internal file size and feature number limits when loading, saving and exporting larger annotations. Note there is a 10MB file size limit when importing annotations.
  • Annotations in CSV (comma separate value) format can now be imported using Latitude and Longitude values; previously it was only possible to import CSV annotations in the British National Grid projection.

Ordnance Survey Roam

A number of changes have been made to the Ordnance Survey Roam application, predominantly to rationalise the data available at the different zoom levels:

  • The vector version of VectorMap District (VMD) has been added to OS Roam and is available at the Local View zoom level (approx. 1:19,000) as an alternative map accessed through the Basemaps option:
    VectorMap District Basemap
  • The Local Plus View has been removed and the datasets available in the District and Local Views have been rationalised. Full details of the datasets available in each View can be found on this help page.

Accessing Product Help [all Roam clients]

As well as updating the help pages to cover the changes listed above, we have also changed the Map Information panel in all Roam clients making it easier for users to get help on the particular map product(s) they are currently viewing in the map window.

  • Hyperlinks to help pages for each product have been added to product names in all Roam clients. The screen grab below was taken from Geology Roam where the hyperlink takes the user through to a help page dedicated to the map product currently displayed in the map window (DiGMapGB-50 Rock Unit):

Map Information Product Hyperlinks


We hope you enjoy using these new features, and if you have any suggestions for improvements to the service please get in touch:

  • Phone: 0131 650 3302
  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
 February 11, 2016  Posted by at 11:59 am Digimap News, New Features, Of Interest Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Feb 032016

A number of datasets have been updated in January in both the Ordnance Survey and Marine collections.

We reported back in December that the new ‘No Marginallia’ version of SeaZone HydroView Charts were available to download through Marine Download. Since releasing this new version we have seen nearly 15% of downloads now requesting the new ‘No Marginalia’ version, which is great to see. Hot on the heels of this we have now made this new version available in the new Chart Roam application, which replaced Marine Maps. The ‘No Marginalia’ version was ideal for use in Chart Roam as the removed map marginalia means the charts are ideal for use in the slippy map interface in Chart Roam.


The tables below lists all the datasets that have been updated in each collection together with the publishing date for each one.

Ordnance Survey Roam

Product Name OS Publication Date
1:25,000 Scale Colour Raster December 2015
1:50,000 Scale Colour Raster December 2015
OS VectorMap® District September 2015

Ordnance Survey Data Download

Product Name OS Publication Date
1:25,000 Scale Colour Raster December 2015
1:50,000 Scale Colour Raster December 2015
Points of Interest December 2015
OS Open Names January 2015

Chart Roam

Product Name SeaZone Publication Date
HydroView Charts August 2015


If you have any questions about the dataset updates or Digimap please contact us:

  • Phone: 0131 650 3302
  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
Jan 122016
Money and Calculator

Image Courtesy of Images_Of_Money

EDINA has again calculated the commercial cost of all the data downloaded and maps created for printing in all Digimap Collections for the period August 2014 to July 2015.  This was done per subscribing institution  and then totalled; the grand total is approximately £77.25 million.  This estimate is a conservative one because we reduce the quantity of data downloaded by 60% to account for duplication of usage. When all the maps printed and data downloaded were included in the calculation (i.e assuming users would continue to take their own data and maps, and not share them) this total rises to almost £128.5 million.

Click to enlarge image

We know that some data is downloaded multiple times within an institution, for example by students during a class exercise or by individual researchers working on the same study site. We found that on average only 40% of the data taken from Digimap over a period of time was unique within an institution. We believe that if institutions were paying commercial rates for their data they would be more likely to download it once and circulate it to those who need it; this is why we reduce the amount of data included in our calculation. However, there is considerable variation between institutions as to how much is unique; those that do more research or are smaller in size tend to have a greater proportion of unique downloads (i.e. fewer people downloading the same areas, for example, for the same study site), so we have included the 100% figure as a ceiling value.

Click to enlarge image

Click to enlarge image

In total, over the past five academic years over £435 million (£248 million at 40%) worth of print maps and data has been served up from Digimap to subscribing institutions. The steep increase in 2013-14 was caused by more Ordnance Survey products being downloaded and printed than ever before and also by the high commercial costs of several products added to the Geology Digimap service. The upward trend in the total commercial costs has continued in 2014-15, though at a steadier rate, however we are seeing the same year on year growth in the number of logins to the service.

How the Costs are Calculated

Click to enlarge image

The costs used in our calculations for the data are sampled from the list prices published by a range of data suppliers, and include any relevant multipliers or discounts declared publicly on their websites.

Each data product is assessed individually because many are priced differently.  The obvious example is OS MasterMap, which is charged on the basis of the TOID density per square kilometre.  TOID density changes according to the area mapped. Each product is price-checked annually against a range of suppliers.

We calculate the values on a per product / per institution basis, with the data preparation and licensing charges assigned only once per product, per institution (rather than per data request). Many of the data collections are commercially licensed based on the number of users who have access to the data; with increasing numbers of users a multiplier is applied to a base cost.  We applied the relevant multipliers according to the number of active registered users for each Collection at an institution.

We capped data costs at the price of national coverage for each product, making it impossible to assign greater cost for any one product than it would be to supply the entire dataset for use by a whole institution.

The values for the print maps (including saved maps in all Roam applications) are calculated by finding the cheapest commercially available map prints from websites such as eMapsite, NLS and FiND.

What We Didn’t Include

Digimap Screen Maps Made 2010 to 2015

Click to enlarge image

No monetary values were assigned to the millions of screen maps that are produced from Digimap.   The value calculated also doesn’t take into account any of the help materials, training courses and support facilities that are all part of the Digimap service.  Many commercial service providers may charge an additional fee for this part of the service.

All OpenData products (both prints and data downloads) are excluded from the calculation, despite the advantages of producing them from Digimap over other websites.

However, the biggest saving that isn’t included in these value calculations is your time. We only charged the data supplier’s preparation and licensing costs once per product or order, in line with each company’s policy where it applied. In reality there would be many orders occurring throughout an academic year as new research questions are raised. This all costs time, time spent submitting data requests and waiting for them to return; time to create and manage a repository for spatial data; time to acquire the knowledge on how to use the data you receive. Commercial providers mitigate these delays but may charge fees for the convenience.  By providing 24 hour access to high quality data, customisable maps and detailed support materials through purpose built interfaces, Digimap saves this time and expense for its users.

Digimap avoids students, academics and support staff having to wait longer than necessary for the information they need and the instruction on how to use it.

We will be sending out each institution’s data cost calculations to Digimap site representatives. If you are interested in the commercial costs of the maps and data your institution has been using please contact your site representative.  If you are unsure who your site representative is, please contact us:

  • email: edina@ed.ac.uk
  • phone: 0131 650 3302
 January 12, 2016  Posted by at 4:01 pm Digimap News, Of Interest Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Dec 182015

A number of key datatsets have been updated in Digimap this December in several of the collections.

Of particular note are the updates to the Marine collection. The HydroView Charts raster product from SeaZone is now available in two versions: ‘Full Marginalia’ and ‘No Marginalia’. Users can select the version after adding the product to the basket in Marine Download.

Choose Marginalia in the Basket

The ‘No Marginalia’ version has all extra information round the map (e.g. north arrows, scale bars, inset maps etc.) removed and replaced with transparent areas. This makes it ideal for use in GIS software allowing you to pan across adjacent charts without this information obscuring the map data.

Marine chart with marginalia  Marine chart with marginalia removed

Furthermore the Charted Raster .tif files are now supplied with .tab files for accurate positioning in MapInfo.

The tables below lists all the datasets that have been updated in each collection together with the publishing date for each one.

Ordnance Survey Data Download

Product Name OS Published Date
Boundary-Line October 2015

Geology Download

Product Name BGS Published Date
  • January 2015,
  • April 2015,
  • July 2015,
  • October 2015

Marine Download

Product Name SeaZone Published Date
HydroSpatial One August 2015
HydroView Charts (all scales) August 2015


If you have any questions about the dataset updates or Digimap please contact us:

  • Phone: 0131 650 3302
  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
Dec 022015

November has been a bumper month for updates in the Digimap Ordnance Survey Collection with updates to 15 of the datasets in the collection. Of particular note are the updates to two of the new Open Data products: OS Open Roads and OS Open Names. Both these products are still available as Beta versions as the products are still undergoing development by OS.

OS Open Roads on top of VectorMap Local Raster (displayed in greyscale using QGIS)

OS Open Roads on top of VectorMap Local Raster (displayed in greyscale using QGIS)

The tables below lists all the datasets that have been updated in the Digimap Ordnance Survey Roam and Data Download applications and include OS release dates for each one.

Ordnance Survey Roam

Product Name OS Release Date
OS VectorMap® Local October 2015
OS VectorMap® Local Raster October 2015

Ordnance Survey Data Download

Product Name OS Release Date
Code-Point August 2015 and November 2015 (two versions)
Code-Point with Polygons October 2015
Code-Point Open August 2015 and November 2015 (two versions)
OS Locator November 2015
OS VectorMap® Local October 2015
OS VectorMap® Local Raster October 2015
OS Street View November 2015
OS Terrain™ 50 Contours and DTM July 2015
OS Terrain™ 5 Contours and DTM July 2015 and October 2015 (two versions)
OS MasterMap® Sites Layer October 2015
OS MasterMap® ITN Layer Urban Paths Theme October 2015
OS Open Names (Beta release) October 2015
OS Open Roads (Beta release) October 2015


The data product updates help page is kept up to date with all dataset updates in the Ordnance Survey collection.

If you have any questions about the dataset updates or Digimap please contact us:

  • Phone: 0131 650 3302
  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
Dec 012015

In January 2016, the Marine Maps application available through Marine Digimap will be replaced by a new application called Chart Roam.ChartRoam-overview

As it’s name suggests, the new application will offer the same Chart data currently available through Marine Maps.  SeaZone (the data supplier) now call this dataset HydroView Charts.  They were previously referred to as the Charted Raster data.

Chart Roam will operate in the same way as all other Roam clients available, offering slippy maps, 12 fixed scale map views, annotation and measurement tools, as well printing in multiple file formats and sizes up to A0.

A date for release will be advertised in the new year.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact EDINA on edina@ed.ac.uk.


 December 1, 2015  Posted by at 2:48 pm Digimap News, New Features Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Dec 012015

Old Historic Download

EDINA will be withdrawing the old Historic Download on Friday the 11th of December.  With most people now using the new Historic Download we have taken the decision to switch off the old version to free up resources. The new interface contains all the same data but allows you to take multiple products and revisions in a single order. Existing users’ Download History from the old interface will NOT be available to reorder from the new interface so please make sure you have made all the necessary orders in the old interface before the 11th.

New Historic Download

New Historic Download

Please note that if you want a definitive list of published dates for the maps you download from the new interface, it is available in the contents.txt file delivered in your zip folder with your data. This text file has the details for every tile / sheet of map data you have taken.

The old Historic Download was the last remaining download interface that was different to the other collections, so now every collection uses the same interface to retrieve data for use in CAD or GIS software.

Oct 212015

In April 2015 we made OS MasterMap Topography Layer data available to CAD users in DWG format. If you missed the announcement you can read all about it in this blog post. Since adding this option to Digimap we have processed over 13,000 orders for MasterMap in DWG format. Building on this we have now produced an outline ‘Plan’ style of MasterMap in DWG format which is a stripped down representation that mimics the alternative ‘Line Drawing’ style of MasterMap available in the Digimap Roam application.

OS MasterMap Topography Layer in standard and plan style

OS MasterMap Topography Layer in standard and plan style

The alternative ‘Plan’ style is a cut down version of the full dataset and does not include polygons, users requiring the full dataset should download the original ‘Standard’ style which includes both lines and polygons.

The style is specified in the basket window of the Data Download application using the drop-down in the ‘Theme’ column:

Selecting DWG plan style in the basket

Selecting DWG plan style in the basket

We hope you find this new style useful, if you have any questions or suggestions for further improvements please contact us:

  • Phone: 0131 650 3302
  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
Oct 092015

A number of datasets have been updated in the Digimap Ordnance Survey Collection in early October, bringing them up to date with the most recent versions available from Ordnance Survey.

Tweedbank OS 1:25,000 Colour Raster

September 2015 OS 1:25,000 Colour Raster showing the new Tweedbank station at the southern end of the new Scottish Borders Railway

Ordnance Survey Roam

The table below lists all the datasets that have been updated in the Digimap Ordnance Survey Roam application and includes the OS release date:

Product Name OS Release Date
1:25,000 Colour Raster September 2015
1:50,000 Colour Raster September 2015
OS VectorMap® District Raster September 2015

Ordnance Survey Data Download

The table below lists the datasets that have been updated in the Digimap Ordnance Survey Data Download application and includes the OS release date:

Product Name OS Release Date
1:25,000 Colour Raster September 2015
1:50,000 Colour Raster September 2015
OS VectorMap® District September 2015
OS VectorMap® District Raster September 2015
Points of Interest September 2015


OS VectorMap® District has undergone a few significant changes with this update:

  • A new ‘Functional Sites’ layer is now included which includes features from the old ‘Airport’ and ‘Public Amenity’ layers plus additional information on education facilities – school and higher, medical care, road transport and police stations.
  • Land polygon(s) are no longer provided so if you wish to colour your land you can download a Shapefile from the OS website that covers the dataset extents and colour this. Full detailed instructions can be found in chapter 6 of the VectorMap District Product Guide published by OS.
  • As well as these significant changes, OS have made a number of smaller changes including increased detail of buildings and improved data accuracy. You can read about all the changes in this OS blog post and also in the September 2015 Release Notes published by OS to accompany this latest version of the data.
  • OS have updated the stylesheets to accommodate all these changes, the most recent versions of the stylesheets can be downloaded from the OS GitHub repository and are available for ArcGIS (for data in Shapefile format) and QGIS (for data in Shapefile and GML formats).

The data product updates help page is kept up to date with all dataset updates in the Ordnance Survey collection.

If you have any questions about the dataset updates or Digimap please contact us:

  • Phone: 0131 650 3302
  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
Sep 172015

Historic Download has been updated to use the same interface as all the other collections, making it possible to take maps from different series and scales in a single order.

Historic Download Interface

The new interface is much quicker and easier to use to get all the data you need and will be familiar to users who have taken data from the other Digimap Collections. Unlike the old Historic Downloader you select whether you want the Original Map Sheets or the data cut into squares based on the modern National Grid Tiles at the end of the process once your selections are in the basket.

New_Historic_BasketYou can add products from multiple series, scales or revisions to a single order and you can see where the data is present by using the Availability Overlays.

New_Historic_AvailabilityThe old interface will be retained until the 8th of October to allow time for any course materials to be updated.

 September 17, 2015  Posted by at 9:46 am Digimap News No Responses »