Sep 222017
 

We recently helped out the very talented Alasdair Rae from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield with some research on the buildings of Great Britain. Here is his blog post which is a great work of GIS sleuthery: Buildings of Great Britain

As mentioned in his post we assisted Alasdair by backing up the figures he created using Ordnance Survey’s OpenMap – Local dataset with information from the more authoritative OS MasterMap data.

So what did we find out?  First of all, we had to measure how big OS MasterMap says Great Britain is and instantly we hit an issue, tides.  It was quite tricky trying to unpick what is and isn’t covered when the tide comes in from the OS MasterMap classifications.  After a bit of data wrangling we came up with the fascinating factoid that Britain shrinks and grows by 3454 Km2 twice a day!

infographic-tides

With this settled, we could then move on to figuring out how much of each of the home nations was covered by buildings (at high tide!).  We found 42.5 million objects in OS MasterMap classified as buildings, which we then had to measure and divide up into England, Scotland and Wales. Note that we were just working out the area covered by buildings, not paved areas or roads etc. EDINA has the OS MasterMap data held in a PostgreSQL database with PostGIS installed for spatial analysis like this. Despite the database’s very large size the queries came back relatively quickly from our server, and showed that Alasdair’s figures were very close.  The figures based on OS MasterMap were slightly higher and we think that although generalisation tends to enlarge the building polygons, the inclusion of thousands of smaller buildings omitted from OpenMap – Local accounted for a larger amount.

  • England – 2635.87 Km2

  • Scotland – 316.15 Km2

  • Wales – 195.67 Km2

To give some sense of what these values look like we put them into another infographic for you:

infographic-builtarea

Thanks again to Alasdair Rae for letting us collaborate on his research and for raising such interesting questions we can ask of the data. Thanks also to Ordnance Survey for creating all this data in the first place so we can find these things out!

One last interesting fact that came out of the research was that Great Britain has 22.75 Km2 of glass houses, that’s the same as 3155 football pitches!

 September 22, 2017  Posted by at 4:44 pm Digimap News No Responses »
Aug 312017
 

As mentioned at Geoforum earlier this year, we’re currently working hard on a new version of Digimap Roam. The new-look application will bring Digimap Roam, the online mapping tool in the Digimap family, bang up to date with the latest web technologies available. Whilst the functionality will remain the same, the look and feel of the interface will be more modern. The majority of functions will be available from a new menu panel down the left hand side which is hidden by default maximising the area available for the main map element. By utilising the latest technologies we will be able to add new functionality and make further enhancements to the application in the future.

The new interface makes further improvements to the experience on mobile devices, an area where we’re seeing an increase in usage across the service. A mock up of how the new Geology Roam interface might look is included below to give you an idea of the proposed layout and styling:

Mockup of the new Geology Roam interface

Mockup of the new Geology Roam interface

Currently we are on target to launch the new interface early in the first semester of the 2017-2018 academic year, but we will post progress updates on this blog as the new interface approaches completion. There will be a phased release with the new Roam applications with the Ordnance Survey Collection being first in line.

We appreciate that you may have teaching or lecture materials that may require updating as a result of this change in interface, so we will run all the existing Roam applications alongside the new versions so you can get up to speed with the new interface whilst the existing versions are still available. At the moment we anticipate running both versions in each Collection side by side until at least the end of the year. During this period we would welcome any comments and feedback that you may have.

As ever, if you have any questions about the new Roam, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Aug 072017
 

GeoForum 2017 Welcome CropThis year’s GeoForum, held in the Geological Society of London on the 22nd of June, was a very successful event for all those who attended. Academics and support staff from subscribing institutions got to meet representatives from the Digimap team and experts from our data suppliers and the wider geospatial community.

In the morning session we heard from John Murray who explained some of the complexities involved in using Lidar data for extracting meaningful information to address real world scenarios. The Lidar data used by John is now available through the Digimap Lidar Collection, which is the latest collection to be added to the service. This collection makes data available from the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) easily downloadable through the easy to use Data Download application.

Following John was an informative and engaging presentation by Clare Rowland from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) who produce the Land-Cover Map datasets. Clare was heavily involved in the production of the latest version of the Land-Cover Map (LCM 2015) which is now available to view and print in Environment Roam and to download via Environment Download. Clare highlighted some interesting uses for the data including analysis of how land cover changes are affecting the numbers of bees.

The final presentation of the morning was a round up from EDINA’s Emma Diffley covering the achievements in the last 12 months and the plans for improvements to the service in the next 12 months. Of particular note were the introduction of two new collections: Aerial Digimap, launched in October 2016, and Lidar Digimap, launched in June 2017. The major work being undertaken by the team at the moment is a rewrite of all Roam clients to bring them up to date with the latest technology available, which will give them all a more modern look and feel whilst retaining all the existing functionality.

There was a great chance to network over lunch, when we also got to see William Smith’s pioneering Geological Map of Britain.

In the afternoon we held a feedback session where all the delegates had their chance to let us know how they feel Digimap is performing and what else they would like to see included in the service. This was then followed by a presentation and demonstration by EDINA’s Ian Holmes on how to use the Data from Digimap in various software packages to create 3D models. He showed us Ordnance Survey data GetMapping Aerial Imagery and some of the Environment Agency’s Lidar data in ArcGIS Pro, QGIS with the QGIS2Threejs plugin, and AutoDESK Infraworks.

 

The Presentations

John Murray: We have the Technology… We have the data… What next?

 

Clare Rowland: Land-Cover Map 2015

 

Emma Diffley: EDINA Report: GeoForum 2017

 

Ian Holmes: Creating 3D models in CAD and GIS using Digimap data

Feedback Session

GeoForum included a workshop involving all participants on how EDINA runs the Digimap Service. We asked  participants what they would like us to add or improve in terms of the data, service and support we provide.

Data

The main theme that came out of this discussion was that there is a great demand for overseas data, both global datasets and national data for other countries. Datasets such as OpenStreetMap and some of the global satellite data are now part of our long-term investment plans for Digimap.

There were also calls for Ordnance Survey’s AddressBase data. We have enquired about this particular dataset with Ordnance Survey before and the sticking point is the joint intellectual property rights with third party organisations.  We will keep up the pressure and do our best to make this data available.

Service

The common theme running through most of the service enhancement requests was to be more joined up. Improvements would come by making maps, tools and data more interoperable between collections, improving the ability to analyse all the data that individual users are licensed to use. Other features highlighted come more under the banner of personalisation, allowing users to customise their experience more, or to share maps they have created with other Digimap users.

Support

There was broad consensus that the support we provide for Digimap is excellent, with the content and the broad range of support channels proving very useful. There was most appetite for more webinars and video tutorials which we are committed to expanding in the coming academic year. We also had requests for more marketing materials and detailed usage figures for Site Reps so that they could better support and promote Digimap.

Closing Remarks

Finally EDINA’s new director Janet Roberts closed the day with a strong message about improving the Digimap service for the academic community and the importance of feedback sessions to help guide this process. Janet also reiterated the University of Edinburgh’s commitment to the Digimap service and making further developments beyond the core offering to better meet the sector’s needs.

We feel that the day was a complete success and we learned a lot from the delegates, particularly in the feedback session. With the great presentations we know that the delegates got something from the day too. We see the feedback session as good start in a process whereby we can engage as many users of Digimap to help us continually improve the service specifically for Higher Education.

 August 7, 2017  Posted by at 11:07 am Consultations, Digimap News, Training & Events Tagged with:  1 Response »
Aug 012017
 
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 2016

We have now reached the end of the Lidar Digimap Preview. We hope that everyone who has used the service has found it a great way to access the Lidar data available. From now on the service will continue to be available to Digimap Users whose institution subscribes to the Aerial Digimap service.

Find out here if your institution subscribes

Lidar Point Cloud Forth Rail Bridge

Lidar Point Cloud Forth Rail Bridge. Crown copyright Scottish Government, SEPA and Scottish Water (2012).

Despite the addition of Lidar Digimap, Aerial Digimap subscription prices will not be increased for the 17/18 academic year. We will also be looking to add further datasets to Lidar Digimap over the next 12 months, these include:

  • Additional Point Cloud datasets ideal for use in CAD software for creating 3D models like this one of the Forth Rail Bridge
  • Photography; aerial images captured at the same time as the Lidar data

We’d also like to thank the hundreds of people who took the time to fill in our user feedback survey on Lidar Digimap, we have seen a huge range of uses for the data across a very broad range of disciplines. This feedback exercise has been very successful and we will be making the draw to see who has won the Amazon vouchers very soon. Keep watching the blog for the announcement in the coming weeks.

If you would like any more information about the Lidar or Aerial Digimap collections or details on how to subscribe then please do not hesitate to contact us:

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk

 

Jul 262017
 

Today we have made a huge amount of archived Land-Line data available to download from Digimap. You access the data through the Data Download application in the Digimap: Ordnance Survey Collection.  Land-Line was the pre-cursor to the OS MasterMap Topography Layer, and was the most detailed topographic mapping available from Ordnance Survey at the time. The archive released consists of annual snapshots of the whole of Great Britain from 1999 to 2006. This data will be vital for researchers who are undertaking longitudinal studies,  examining how areas have changed over time.

Land-Line.Plus showing Edinburgh's Quartermile area from 1999

Land-Line.Plus showing Edinburgh’s Quartermile area from 1999

OS MasterMap showing Edinburgh's Quartermile area from 2017

OS MasterMap showing Edinburgh’s Quartermile area from 2017

The data can be found in the Withdrawn Datasets category in the Data Download interface and is currently available in its original tiles and format.

Land-Line download location

Land-Line comes on 500m, 1km and 5km tiles depending on whether the area is Urban, Rural or Moorland.  It is supplied in National Transfer Format (NTF) which was the standard format of the time. We have put together a short help page that explains how to import this data in to common GIS and CAD applications which may be of use for anyone unfamiliar with this format of data.

IMPORTANT:  Between 2001 and 2006 Ordnance Survey carried it’s Positional Accuracy Improvement (PAI) programme. This means that there will be discrepancies in the positions of features on these maps and the OS MasterMap data: Read more on PAI

The Land-Line data that we have made available significantly bolsters the amount of detailed topographic data that is available for download from Digimap. The most detailed topographic mapping currently available from Digimap, OS MasterMap Topography Layer, is available for download going back to 2007. The addition of Land-Line data to Digimap means that users now have access to download the most detailed topographic mapping data for Great Britain going back a further eight years to 1999.

We hope you find this new addition of recent historic data useful, if you have any questions about the data please contact us:

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
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
Jun 062017
 

May was one of the busiest in terms of dataset updates in the history of Digimap. Around 20 separate datasets have been updated bringing them bang up to date with the most recent data available from the data suppliers. All the updates are listed in the tables below, broken down by the Collection and service that they can be found in.

Withdrawn Datasets (OS Collection):

OS Download Withdrawn Datasets

OS Download Withdrawn Datasets [click to expand]

Along with the updated data, Ordnance Survey have recently withdrawn three datasets:

  • Land-Form PANORAMA
  • OS Street View
  • Meridian 2 (this was covered in an earlier blog post)

These withdrawn datasets are still available to download through the Ordnance Survey Data Download application in Digimap, but users should be aware that they are no longer updated by Ordnance Survey. Withdrawn datasets have their own separate category in the Select Data panel in OS Data Download, as shown by the image on the left hand side.

 

 

OS Roam:

Product Name OS Publication Date
1:50,000 Colour Raster March 2017
OS Open Map – Local (vector) April 2017
VectorMap Local (vector) April 2017
VectorMap District (vector) March 2017
VectorMap Local Raster April 2017
VectorMap District Raster March 2017

 

OS Download:

Product Name OS Publication Date
VectorMap Local Raster April 2017
VectorMap District Raster March 2017
VectorMap District (vector) March 2017
OS Open Roads October 2016 and April 2017
OS Open Map – Local (raster) April 2017
OS Open Map – Local (vector) April 2017
OS Terrain 5 DTM April 2017
OS Terrain 5 Contours April 2017
OS Open Names April 2017
VectorMap Local (vector) April 2017
Code-Point with Polygons April 2017
OS Open Rivers April 2017

 

Geology Download:

Product Name BGS Publication Date
Borehole index April 2017

 

The datset update pages are kept up to date with all dataset updates in the collections:

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

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
Jun 012017
 

We are now taking bookings for EDINA’s GeoForum 2017 with this year’s event being held at the Geological Society, London on Thursday 22nd June.

Reserve your place now:

GeoForum 2017 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 offer feedback on the services EDINA provides and discuss geospatial issues with the team.

This year we will be introducing some new features to the Digimap Collections and looking at future developments. Come along to have your say and find out more!

Full details of this years event will and the programme will appear on the GeoForum website when available; you can also find out what happened at last year’s event: GeoForum 2016.

  • Location: the Geological Society, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD
  • Time: 10:00 till 16:00
  • Booking: GeoForum 2017 Booking

Please contact us if you have any questions:

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
 June 1, 2017  Posted by at 10:31 am Digimap News, Of Interest Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
May 302017
 

As part of our continuous work to improve Digimap and make it more user friendly, we recently added a new Contact Us system. The new system is available in all Digimap Collections and guides you to useful help resources based on what it is you want to know:

Contact Us - stage 1

Contact Us – stage 1

If you are not able to find the answer to your question using the resources then you are asked to complete a short form outlining the problem you are experiencing:

Contact Us - stage 2

Contact Us – stage 2

If you are logged in to Digimap you have the option to submit the completed form to either the local Digimap support team at your institution or to the Digimap Helpdesk at EDINA. All queries submitted by users who are not logged in to the service are automatically routed to the EDINA Digimap Helpdesk. The details are sent by email, and copied to you so that you have a full record of what was asked. The new system has been available since the beginning of May and is available from the all Contact Us links in the Roam and Data Download clients, as well as the Contact Us link on the footer of the Digimap home page:

Contact Us Link in Data Download

Contact Us Link in Data Download

Contact Us Link in Roam

Contact Us Link in Roam

We hope you like using this improved feature, but if you have any questions or comments regarding this or anything else to do with Digimap, please get in touch using the email address below, or try out the new Contact Us form in Digimap!

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
 May 30, 2017  Posted by at 10:19 am Digimap News, New Features, Of Interest Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
May 032017
 
Canworthy solar farm

Canworthy Solar Farm, which became operational in 2014 and covers approximately 55 hectares (~67 football fields)

Aerial Digimap updates

March/April 2017 has been a busy couple of months for the Data Team who have been working hard to process a huge area of updated aerial imagery data from the data supplier, Getmapping. The update consists of around 80,000 individual 1km tiles, all captured in 2015, which is approximately 30% of the country.

Prior to the update just over 50% of the data was from 2013 or later; after the update 77% of the data is from 2013 or later.

This means that more up to date imagery is now available for viewing and download through Aerial Digimap for a significant proportion of the country.

The map below shows the approximate distribution of the updated data.

2015 update to Aerial Digimap data

Click on map to view larger version

This is the first update we have received from Getmapping, but we are expecting another update later this year containing imagery captured in 2016.

Cruise liner in Firth of Forth

Cruise liner in the Firth of Forth

We will add this to the service as quickly as we can to ensure that the most up to date data is always available to Aerial Digimap users. In order to make it clear where the data has been updated, we will add an Availability/Reference Grid to Aerial Download so that users can easily identify if the imagery has been updated in their study area(s). This grid will be added to the system in the next couple of weeks.

We are still investigating the best way to make previous versions of the data available, but in the mean time only the most recent data is available through Aerial Roam and Aerial Download.

 

 

Webinar resources

We recently ran a webinar highlighting the data and showcasing a number of potential uses for the imagery. The webinar was recorded in full and is available on our YouTube channel. The slides used during the webinar and a transcript of all questions and answers are available on our help page.

3D model using Aerial Imagery, OS Terrain 5 DTM and MasterMap Building Height Attribute

3D model using Aerial Imagery, OS Terrain 5 DTM and MasterMap Building Height Attribute

Data information

The aerial imagery data in the service is 25cm resolution vertical aerial orthophotography supplied by Getmapping PLC, and is the most detailed aerial imagery available for the whole of Great Britain. As well as being a really interesting dataset the imagery also has a number of practical uses across a wide range of disciplines from urban planning and 3D modelling to land use and archaeological studies.

Subscribing

To see if your institution already subscribes to Aerial Digimap, please see our subscribing institutions help page. Information on how to subscribe to the new service is available on the Aerial Digimap Subscription page.

If you have any questions about the service please consult the dedicated Aerial Digimap help pages or contact the Digimap support team using the details below.

 

Dataset updates in Ordnance Survey Digimap

OS Data Download:

Product Name OS Publication Date
Code-Point February 2017
1:25,000 Colour Raster March 2017
1:50,000 Colour Raster March 2017
Points of Interest March 2017

 

OS Roam:

Product Name OS Publication Date
1:25,000 Colour Raster March 2017

 

The OS data update page is kept up to date with all dataset updates in the collections.

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

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