Nov 062014
 

Update 12/02/2015: The contents of this blog post have been moved to the Digimap Help system and can be found at the following location (link opens in a new window):

http://digimap.edina.ac.uk/webhelp/digimapgis/index.htm#qgis/building_height_attribute/bha_in_qgis.htm

For an overview of Building Height Attribute please see the following page (link opens in a new window):

http://digimap.edina.ac.uk/webhelp/digimapgis/index.htm#bha/bha.htm

QGIS 3D visualisation with trees

OS VectorMap® Local Raster draped on top of OS Terrain™ 50, with buildings from OS MasterMap® Topography Layer Building Height Attribute and Positioned Non Coniferous Trees extruded on top

 

Jun 282013
 

Geoforum 2013EDINA’s Geoforum 2013 was a great success with over 50 academic and support staff attending four very well received presentations:

Geoforum aims to bring together staff who support the use of Digimap and other geoservices from subscribing institutions around the country and showcase what’s new and upcoming from EDINA. It also gives people an opportunity to ask the Digimap team questions and to chat with others about how support and promote geoservices.

There was a live blog running throughout the day which is still available for you to read and find out what happened.

Keynote Address

The keynote was delivered by Shelley Mosco of The University of Greenwich and was titled: Digimap Data and a non-traditionalist approach.  Shelley is a member of the The School of Architecture, Design and Construction and  described the ways in which spatial data could be used to inform design. Shelley was keen to stress the importance of spatial data and GIS in the implementation of Building Information Models (BIMs).  BIMs have been used in large engineering projects for some time, however the government is making them mandatory for all publicly funded building projects in England and Wales. This means that commercial organisations will be looking for students to have been trained in the concept of BIMs and the software that drives them.  You can find out more about BIMs through the following links:

Geofurum 2013 keynote

Two of Shelley’s current MSc students also gave brief overviews of their experiences of learning about GIS and using spatial data in their projects.  Both David Parfitt and Robert Park were self-confessed GIS newbies, but they managed to get data from Digimap and use it in their conservation projects. The data allowed them to visualise and analyse the environment and provide evidence to support their proposed designs.  Their demo’s were excellent a they really showed the power of simple GIS analysis.

You can view the slides from this presentation here:

Slideshare Shelley Mosco Presentation at Geoforum 2013Digimap Data and a non-traditionalist approach – Shelley Mosco

Open and “Free” Geo Software & Data

After the Keynote was a presentation that focused on Open or “Free” resources for geospatial teaching and research. The presentation looked at  software, web-mapping and data. The main resources are listed below:

Data

  • OS Open data is available through the Digimap Data Download service.
  • ShareGeo Open is a repository for open geospatial data. It has lots of useful and interesting datasets on a variety of subjects such as wind farms, crime, boundaries and DTMs
  • Data.gov.uk – the UK government’s open data store

Software

  • QGIS – one of the best open source GIS out there. Lots of functionality and plugins that allow you to perform complex spatial analysis. It is also well supported by forums.
  • gvSIG – anther fully functioning GIS.
  • GRASS – a remote sensing package aimed at serious remote sensor’s. If you are a newbie to remote sensing, you can access GRASS tool through the GRASS plugin for QGIS which makes things really simple.

Web-mapping

Digimap is a great web mapping tool, but how can you create your own interactive web map for your website?

  • MapBox – simple intuitive web site that helps users build interactive web maps. Basic functionality is free, more advanced functions are available for a small fee.
  • Leaflet – the engine behind MapBox, it is free but requires user to do a “bit” of programing
  • Openlayers – an alternative to Leaflet which is more flexible. Openlayers powers Digimap. Requires a fair amount of programming knowledge.
  • MapServer – implements Openlayers for enterprise scale operations. MapServer is also used for Digimap services.

You can view the slides from this presentation on slideshare here:

OpenSourceOpen & “Free” Geo Software & Data – Tom Armitage

EDINA Geoservices Review

After lunch the lead of EDINA’s geoservices Support team, Emma Diffley, shared what we have been busy working on.

Interfaces

Digimap is being streamlined, each collection will eventually have just a Roam and a Download. These interfaces will all look and work in a very similar way. The aim is to make the service more consistent and easier to use, but also much easier to maintain.

EDINA will be withdrawing Digimap Carto on 31st July 2013. Carto, launched in 1996, is harder and harder to maintain, so we have taken the best bits and put them into Roam.

On top of the Carto functionality already added to Roam the following improvements are coming soon:

  • an improved way of saving and opening maps and annotations
  • a Basemaps button to change the style or even mapping product you are viewing at each scale
  • PDF format prints in Ancient Roam
  • all Roams having the ability to print up to A0
  • a cleaner interface, consistent across all Roams
  • additional overlay options coming soon (boundaries, contours…)

The Download interfaces will also going through a similar process.

Data

  • A single consistent style for all the vector products through all the scale levels accessible through using the basemaps button in the new Roam.
  • VectorMap Local (VML) in shapefile and DWG formats
  • ArcGIS layer files for symbolising VML shapefiles coming soon
  • OS MasterMap Topo available as DWG is being planned

Support

  • There is a new Resource Centre, which does not require login, with answers to questions, videos, case studies etc.

Beyond Digimap

  • GoGeo has added more resources and now highlights the “Editor’s Picks”
  • ShareGeoOpen now has over 210 resources all of which are open and free to use
  • FieldTrip GB is a mobile app for capturing data, see below
  • GeoTagger – a tool to allow you to edit the metadata for your photos
  • Cartogrammar – upload your data and visualise it in different ways
  • UKBORDERS is now the UK Data Service Census Support Unit

On the horizon

We are still awaiting news on funding, but are lots of things we would like to do. Currently our focus is to “mobilise” more services and we will be continuing to add new support materials once the latest round of Roam and Download changes have been made.

If there are things you would like us to do we really want to hear about them. Recommendations from the user community carry real weight for us, and we are keen to hear ideas on new data or services we should be providing.

You can view the slides from this presentation here:

Slideshare Emma Diffley Presentation at Geoforum

EDINA Geoservices Review – Emma Diffley

Fieldtrip GB – data capture, simplified

The final part of the day was about EDINA’s new mobile app for carrying out field work Fieldtrip GB. It simplifies the process of capturing data in the field against quality cartographic mapping. It is equally at home in urban environments as it is in rural ones. Custom forms allow users to design their own data capture projects and collect exactly what they need for their research.  The session gave a brief overview before running a “live” group data collection exercise.  A custom form was created and deployed to participants mobile phones. They then headed outside and captured data on things like building fabric and design.  After 15 mins everyone reconvened and the collected data was “synced” and exported to Google Earth.

You can view the slides from this presentation on slideshare here:

FtGB Slideshare

FieldtripGB – data capture simplified – Addy Pope

As mentioned earlier, there is a transcript of the whole day in the form of a live blog  so if you didn’t manage to attend and want to find out what happened please have a look.