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 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 »
May 262016
 
VectorMap Local Raster

Latest version of OS VectorMap Local Raster

A number of datasets in the Ordnance Survey Collection have been updated in May this year. We’ve also made a number of improvements to some of the datasets that are popular for 3D modelling which will hopefully make it easier to use these datasets in CAD applications. The main changes are:

  • OS MasterMap Sites Layer now available in DWG and ESRI Shapefile format (previously it was only available in GML)
  • OS Terrain 5 DTM is now available in XYZ format for use in CAD applications
  • OS Terrain 5 Contours in DWG format are now provided as as 3D contours with the height of each feature set to the correct contour height

The data format help page has been updated to reflect these changes and is a good place to go if you are interested to see which datasets are available in a specific format.

The dataset updates are detailed in the tables below for OS Data Download and OS Roam:

OS Data Download:

Product Name OS Publication Date
Boundary Line May 2016
* OS Locator May 2016
OS Terrain 5 Contours April 2016
OS Terrain 5 DTM April 2016
OS VectorMap Local Raster April 2016
OS VectorMap Local April 2016
OS Open Roads May 2016
Code-Point Open May 2016

* Note: this is the last update to OS Locator that will be supplied by Ordnance Survey who have announced that they are retiring this product. Users are advised to use OS Open Names instead. Whilst the data will still be available to download through Digimap, these products will no longer be updated to reflect changes in the real world.

 

OS Roam:

Product Name OS Publication Date
OS VectorMap Local Raster April 2016
OS VectorMap Local April 2016

 

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
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.

ChartRoam-blog

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
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
Mar 042015
 

Digimap’s new registration system was released on the 28th of January, we hope you’ll agree that it is a huge improvement over the  previous version.

Users no longer have to wait up to 48 hours for registrations to be approved, they simply have to click a link in an email sent to them after filling in the registration form.

It already has its fans leading one site rep to say “I love the new registration system!” and another told us “Congratulations on instant registration for students. This is going to be very popular.”

The new instant access system is much more inline with user expectations from online services.  Removing the need to wait overnight (or longer over weekends) to gain access has been very popular and has resulted in a significant increase in registrations during February.  Over 6000 registrations were processed through the new system at all times of day and night!

We now need your help to make sure that the support material at your institution is up-to-date and that your students know that they can have access to the service the same day.

There is a full description of how to register using the new system in the help pages which guides you through the process:

http://digimap.edina.ac.uk/webhelp/digimapsupport/about.htm#access/registration.htm

If you are responsible for any local support pages, lecture notes, practical guides and any other course material please make sure these get updated. We actively encourage the incorporation of the images and text from the help page in any material produced. Please can you circulate this information as widely as possible to ensure that all users have up to date guidance.

One final plea is that you highlight the importance of entering the correct email address when registering.  This should be an email address that is used regularly and it should be spelt correctly!

 

 March 4, 2015  Posted by at 12:06 pm Digimap News Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Jan 222015
 

As blogged about last month, we have been working on a new Digimap registration system which will be released next Wednesday (28th January) The current registration system has been in place for over ten years. It has served us well, but it is now rather dated especially because users have to wait for their registration to be manually approved and processed overnight. The new registration system allows users to get instant access to Digimap. This will be a significant improvement and help those students that leave their Digimap coursework a bit late! At least now they will be able to get access quickly and easily (unfortunately we can’t guarantee they’ll get the work submitted on time though!) Detailed help pages will be available from Wednesday, once the release has been completed and Digimap is available to users. To help prepare site reps and support staff for the change, here is an overview of the registration process.   Registering with Digimap Registration will now be an automated two-step process. Users will supply their details to register and then they must activate access to collections by agreeing to the individual licences. After logging into Digimap to start, users will be presented with the registration form to enter their name, email address, department, status and where they heard about Digimap. Registration form After hitting the submit button, users will be sent an email with a link to verify their account.  Once they have successfully verified, they will be directed back to the Digimap homepage, where they then complete the next step of activating collection access. registration_verify_600 registration_verify_confirmation_600 Agreeing to licence for Digimap collections (activating access) After verifying their email address, users will need to agree to the licences for each of the specific Digimap collections that they wish to use, this is done through the licence agreements page. registration_licence_agreement2_600 Users will only be able to agree to licences for the collections that their institution subscribes to.  Once the user has agreed to the licence(s) and hit the confirm button, they will have access to those Digimap collections. If the process is completed in one go, it takes no more than a few minutes.  Much quicker than the current system! Existing users Existing users will not notice any change unless they have not been active in a collection for more than 12 months.  Access to a collection expires after 12 months of inactivity.  If that’s the case, they will be prompted to accept the licence when they try to access an application in that collection.  Generally though, if someone has not accessed a particular collection for more than 12 months, we don’t expect they will activate access and therefore will not notice any change with the new system.  Access to active collections will carry on as normal. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the EDINA Helpdesk at edina@ed.ac.uk

 January 22, 2015  Posted by at 4:52 pm New Features Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Dec 182014
 

We are introducing a new registration system in January (26th to the 28th) and would like to give advance warning of the service disruption this is will cause.

  • New users will not be able to register for Digimap from 4pm on 26th January
  • All Digimap services will be unavailable all day on 27th January
  • Normal service will resume on 28th January

New registrations for Digimap, using the current system, will be closed from 4pm Monday 26th January to ensure that no registrations are lost during the changeover. All Digimap services will then be unavailable all day on Tuesday 27th January, while we put the new system in place. Once all the work is complete the service will be available again hopefully by midday on Wednesday 28th January.

We apologise for the inconvenience caused but due to the significant changes required to release the new system we must close access to Digimap during this time. We urge you to create any maps or download data that you may need during the period of service unavailability in advance.

The new registration system will allow users to register and instantly access Digimap Collections via email verification speeding up access for new users significantly. We hope that this will help make up for the fact that new users will be prevented from registering during the maintenance. Existing registered and active users will not notice any change once normal service has been resumed.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us:

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

More details about how the new system looks and works will be posted on the Digimap blog in the New Year.

 December 18, 2014  Posted by at 3:28 pm Digimap News, Help, New Features, Service Availability Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Oct 152013
 

Email IconOctober is the busiest time for welcoming new users to Digimap and we have already approved over 7500 registrations. As you know it is important to enter a valid email address when registering; this is how we send you a link to your data downloads and how we inform you of any changes or disruptions to the service.

We ask you to give us your academic email address where possible, we know for some this isn’t most commonly used address so please check that you have entered it correctly.  Quite often the email address entered seems correct but is missing a particular element, for example:

  • We get: j.bloggs@university.ac.uk
  • We need: j.bloggs@student.university.ac.uk

Please make sure that you don’t miss out any parts of the address, you can try sending yourself an email to see if it is right… and it is always worth another check for typos.

Thank you.

 October 15, 2013  Posted by at 4:20 pm Digimap News Tagged with: ,  4 Responses »