Tom Armitage

Jun 062017
 

LidarToday we have launched our new Lidar Digimap Collection. The new Collection is available to preview for all Digmap users until the 31st of July 2017. Lidar data can be downloaded through the Lidar Download for use in GIS and CAD applications; there is no Lidar Roam application for viewing the data.

Lidar Point Cloud Forth Rail Bridge

Lidar Point Cloud Forth Rail Bridge. Crown copyright Scottish Government, SEPA and Scottish Water (2014).

The service allows you to download current and past Lidar data from the Environment Agency (EA), Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

There is already a large amount of data available in the service but we are still processing some of the datasets. Once it has all been processed the service aims to have complete coverage of all the data available from these agencies, including the raw LAS point cloud data and Orthophotography captured during the flights (where available).

Lidar data is very useful when creating 3D terrains and models as can be seen from the images to the left and below. For creating 3D scenes such as the one below, it is very useful to use a Digital Surface Model (DSM) to create a surface and hillshading from which you can drape other data over, such as the imagery from Aerial Digimap in this example:

3D scene with Aerial imagery and Lidar

3D scene showing imagery with hillshading derived from the 50cm Lidar DSM. © Getmapping Plc, © Environment Agency copyright and/or database right 2015. All rights reserved.

The following datasets are available through Lidar Digimap at present:

Dataset Availability and publication date
Digital Terrain Model and Digital Surface Model (DTM and DSM) England

  • 25cm: 2009-2015
  • 50cm: 2009-2015
  • 1m: 2010-2016
  • 2m: 2010-2015

Scotland

  • Phase 1 (1m): 2011-2012
  • Phase 2 (1m): 2013-2014

Wales

  • 25cm: 2015
  • 50cm: 2009-2016
  • 1m: 2010-2016
  • 2m: 2010-2016
Point Cloud Scotland

  • Phase 1: 2011-2012
  • Phase 2: 2013-2014

 

We are currently processing the following datasets and hope to have them available in the service shortly:

Dataset Availability and publication date
Digital Terrain Model and Digital Surface Model (DTM and DSM) England

  • Historical data: 1998-2015

Scotland

  • 50cm
  • 2m
Point Cloud England

  • 2005-2016
Orthophotographs England

  • 2006-2015

 

The data was collected for flood risk analysis and modelling and primarily follows water courses and coastal habitats. The data covers approximately 72% of England, 20% of Scotland and 70% of Wales. The image below shows the 1m resolution DTM coverage in England:

1m DTM Lidar coverage in England

1m DTM Lidar coverage in England [click to expand]

We are also very keen to know what you have been doing with Lidar data in the past or what you plan to do with the Lidar data you are going to get from the new service. To find out this information from you we have put a survey in the interface and you have the chance to win a £20 Amazon just for filling it in!

Digimap Lidar Survey

Lidar Options

We hope you like using the new Collection, if you have any questions about the data please contact us:

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
Sep 282016
 

kim traynor [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh by kim traynor [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

EDINA’s annual Geoforum conference for all its geospatial services and projects was held at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Geography this year. It was attended by nearly 50 delegates who came to find out what we have been up to over the past year and to see what we new things they can expect in the coming months.

The morning session started with talks from Tim Urwin, EDINA’s geo-data manager, and Guy McGarva, from the Geosupport team. Tim’s talk informed us all about the design decisions made when updating the OS MasterMap cartographic style. The new styling, originally developed for the Digimap for Schools service, has some great advantages over the old cartography and was put into service just after the conference:

More Details about the new Cartography

Guy’s talk highlighted the main changes to EDINA’s geospatial offering in the last 12 months. We have mainly been working on things that you can’t “see” in Digimap with huge improvements to the way the service is delivered. We now can make sure that interruptions to the service are rare as it can be delivered from one of two physical locations at the University of Edinburgh.

One obvious change we delivered was the improved Digimap home page. This came about through work to make the service usable on a touch screen or tablet device. To ensure that the service could work on these devices we needed to use new web technologies meaning a redesign had to be carried out. We like the cleaner design but best of all you can now just click on the application you want to use, log in when prompted, and be taken straight to the thing you want to do. No more remembering to log in to the service before clicking the link in your Data Download email!

The next two talks were all about Aerial Imagery as EDINA will soon be launching the Aerial Digimap service. The new service will contain 25cm resolution aerial photographs for the whole of Great Britain from Getmapping.

Firstly we head from Richard Evans from Getmapping who spoke about the history of aerial imagery and also the modern technology and techniques that go in to it’s creation.

Then we heard from Ian Holmes from EDINA, who showed us what the new Digimap Aerial collection would look like. As with the other Digimap collections there will be Roam and Download interfaces to either view the data or to take it away to analyse in the user’s own software.

Ian also highlighted some of the interesting and quirky things captured in the images, such as the shadows of giraffes at Chester Zoo.

Please keep watching the blog and other Digimap information channels for an announcement on when the service will be launching.

After a good lunch spent networking we started on the afternoon session where we heard from two students and two members of teaching staff about their uses of Digimap and data from the services.

Firstly we heard from Trevor Draeseke who told us about his Masters Thesis, Visualising Geographical Information in Augmented Reality.

Trevor’s proof of concept mobile app the “Arthur’s Seat Augment Reality Visualiser” allowed the user to view geological data and other layered geographic information on the live video feed coming from the phones camera. He said his work was made possible by the “easy and flexible access to the underlying geographical information layers through EDINA’s Digimap Service.”

Next we heard from Kathy O’Donnell who is now in the first year of a PhD that is building on her MSc thesis on the Quarries of Hadrian’s Wall.

Kathy has been mixing layers from the various data collections in Digimap: Ordnance Survey, Historic and Geology, to identify where the Romans were quarrying the stone to build Hadrian’s Wall. Kathy’s work is one of the best examples of making use of the various collections we have seen and she is looking forward to hopefully being able to use Aerial Digimap as another important source of data.

After a short break we heard the perspective of teaching staff from the University of Stirling and Lancaster University. Firstly Phil Bartie, University of Stirling, talked about how Digimap Roam was useful for introducing students to digital mapping and and also that it was “very important that students and academics have access to high quality spatial data for teaching and research.”

The final talk of the day came from Duncan Whyatt and Gemma Davies from Lancaster University. Duncan first reminisced on life before Digimap, and how difficult it was to get hold of maps and spatial data. After subscribing they have concentrated more heavily on the data downloaded from Digimap in the Geography Department. Duncan and Gemma took us through the various exercises the students were given using data downloaded from Digimap at each stage of their degree. Duncan stated that “Digimap has underpinned Undergraduate teaching in GIS at Lancaster for 15 years…”

Despite showing how important Digimap is and has been in studying and teaching all four of the presentations contained mentions of what they’d like to see in the future and a final challenge from Duncan to stay relevant in a world with an increasing amount of alternatives. We have heard this challenge and are working with those who fund the service to make sure our offering stays up-to-date and continues to deliver what academia wants. However we would like to remind all users of Digimap to keep letting us know what you want from the service so we have enough evidence to shape future developments in the right way.

A final thank you to all those who gave a presentation, the Institute of Geography for providing a venue, and to all the attendees; we felt it was a very successful event and look forward to the next one in 2017.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback on this post then let us know:

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
Aug 032016
 

We are now taking bookings for EDINA’s GeoForum 2016 with this year’s event being held a the University of Edinburgh on the 7th of September.

kim traynor [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

kim traynor [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Reserve your place now:

GeoForum 2016 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.

Full details of this years event will and the programme will appear on the website when available:

GeoForum 2016

This year we will be introducing some changes to the geospatial data services offered by EDINA to the academic community. These include new Ordnance Survey data products and updated licence agreements for most of the Digimap Collections.  We also hope to present some case studies from staff and students who have been using data from Digimap and the other geospatial services from EDINA.

The conference will be located in the University of Edinburgh’s geography department on Drummond Street.  We will also be highlighting what we have done over the summer to improve Digimap.

The conference is free to attend and runs from 10:00 till 16:15, for all the details and to book your place please visit the conference website: GeoForum 2016

Please contact us if you have any questions:

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk

Find out what happened at last year’s event: GeoForum 2015

 August 3, 2016  Posted by at 1:49 pm Training & Events Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Aug 022016
 

We are now at the start of a new academic year and Digimap has new licence agreements in place for the Ordnance Survey, Geology and Historic Map and Data Collections. You may have noticed already that you have been asked to agree to the licence again when you logged in.  This is because some of the terms are different and you are required to agree to these new terms prior to accessing the data within the service.

When you login you will notice the Licence Agreements button at the top right of the home page.

Licence Agreement Button

Clicking on this will allow to you to view the licences you have agreed to and to agree to those you have not yet agreed to.

New Licence Agreements 2016

If a Collection has a new licence, the applications (e.g. Roam and Data Download) in that Collection will also appear grey. By trying to access an application which has a new licence, you will automatically be taken through the process of agreeing to it if you have not yet done so.

All you need to do is accept the licence and restate your purpose for using the service (which may or may not have changed since you agreed to the previous licence) and you will have access to the service once more.

If you have any questions or need any help or guidance have a look at the Agreeing to Licences for Digimap Collections section half way down the following help page:

Or send us an email:

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk

 

Aug 022016
 

The new look home page we told you about in the last blog post, has now been launched.

Home Page August 2016

Along with the fresh new look for the start of the new academic year we have also updated the registration and licence agreement pages. The structure of the pages and access to the applications has not been changed, so you should have no problem navigating around the page.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need any more information:

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
 August 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:43 pm Digimap News, New Features, Of Interest Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Jul 212016
 

We have been hard at work developing a fresh new look for Digimap which we will be launching for the new academic year. Here is a sneak preview, though please note that nothing has been finalised just yet:

Digimap Home Page July 2016

The operation of the page remains the same and the layout is almost identical, we have just given it a modern fresh look. We hope you like it!

If you have any questions or require any more information then please feel free to contact us:

  • Phone: 0131 650 3302
  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
 July 21, 2016  Posted by at 4:40 pm Digimap News, New Features, Of Interest Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
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 012015
 
oldhistdld

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.

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 »
Jul 272015
 

EDINA has updated Geology Roam with a whole range of new data, allowing users access to nearly all the data available from Geology Download without needing to put it into GIS software. We have also updated the Active legend, so you can now order it by the Age of the Rocks on the map.

New Data

geology_roam_2015_2

As you can see in the image above the most zoomed out levels now have the Offshore Geology data (DigRock250 and DigSBS250) allowing you to see the rocks and sea bed sediments around the coast of the United kingdom. We have also added in the most detailed onshore geological mapping from the British Geological Survey, the 1:10,000 and 1:25,000 scale maps (DiGMapGB-10 and DiGMapGB25).  Please note that these datasets do not have national coverage, where they are not present there is a water mark on the map to inform you. As there is almost no overlap between these two large scale datasets EDINA has combined them into a single detailed geology layer.

Basemaps

geology_basemapsTo allow different datasets to be viewed at the same scale we have introduced the basemaps tab so that the geology data can be switched with the scale remaining the same. Adding the basemaps tab has also allowed us to introduce new ways of viewing the same data, with all the geology layers now viewable as both the Rock Unit e.g. Kimmeridge Clay Formation and Rock Type e.g. Mudstone.

geology_roam_2015_basemaps

The basemaps tab has allowed many datasets to be view at the same scale so in addition to the new geological data we have also added several extra types of data which provide information about the soil and hydrogeology of Great Britain. The Geological Indicators of Flooding; Permeability (Max and Min); 1:625,000 Scale Hydrogeology; along with  Soil Strength, Texture and Calcium Carbonate content from the Soil Parent Material Data are now all available as basemaps.

Active Legend

geology_roam_2015_active_legend

Click image to enlarge…

The final change made to the Geology Roam interface has been to the Active Legends which now allow you to order the entries by their age. The ordering is based on the MAX_INDEX attribute in the geology data that allows you to order the Rock Units based on its oldest age.

The active legend still lets you rocks on the map by clicking on the legend and vice versa.

 

A full list of the products available in each view / scale can be found in the Geology Roam “How To Guide” here:

If you have any questions abot the changes to Geology Roam or any other part of the serve then please get in touch:

  • Phone: 0131 650 3302
  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
 July 27, 2015  Posted by at 3:04 pm Data Changes & Additions, Digimap News, New Features Tagged with: ,  No Responses »