Sep 042008

Question: How do I find out what ‘Publish Year Start’ and ‘Publish Year End’ dates means for the maps in Historic Digimap?

Answer: The publishing date range of a map in the Map Details tab from the Main Map View in Historic Digimap. This is achieved by using the View Map Details tool (an i symbol) and clicking on the historic map at the point of interest.

The maps shown on the screen are created from the National Grid “cookie cut” files – images which have been rectified and clipped to create a national grid based “tiled” dataset akin to those available for the contemporary Ordnance Survey data. However, the National Grid does not match up with the County Series maps, because the County Series were created on a per County, rather than a national, basis. It is therefore likely that one “cookie cut” National Grid tile comprises parts of more than one County Series map sheet, each of which could have a different publishing date.

The metadata for the National Grid “cookie cuts” often does not contain one publishing date but the range (from, to) of publishing dates of the Orginal mapsheets which make up that national grid cookie cut tile. It is this range which is reported under the Map Details tab.

Unfortunately, EDINA does not have any survey dates for the maps in the Historic Digimap. Landmark Information Group who provided the maps did not capture the survey dates when the maps were digitised (scanned). This is because the maps were originally digitsed for a specific purpose which did not require the information held in the marginalia of each map sheet. During the digitisation process the marginalia was trimmed from the resultant files, meaning that it was never captured in digital form.

A solution to this is to visit a library which holds historic maps; many university libraries have historic map collections with specialised cartographers and support staff. The map details taken from Historic Digimap can be used to search for and locate the map(s) corresponding to your area of interest. Once found, it is in a map’s marginalia where you can find the recorded survey dates.

More detailed information about historic maps and Historic Digimap can be found in the Help pages.

 4 September, 2008  Posted by at 10:23 am Help Tagged with:  2 Responses »
Aug 292008

You may have seen a recent episode of Andrew Marr’s BBC programme Britain from Above which featured the Land Utilisation maps created by Dudley Stamp in the 1930s. You can watch the relevant section again on the BBC website here.

Land Use Viewer

Land Use Viewer interface

These maps are available through Historic Digimap under the Land Use Viewer. You need to have a subscription to Historic Digimap in order to gain access, but there is no individual user registration.

Dudley Stamp's land use map

Sample of Dudley Stamp's land use maps

 29 August, 2008  Posted by at 5:12 pm Digimap News Tagged with: ,  Comments Off on Britain from Above – Land Use Maps
Jun 262008

Reminder of new licence agreement
A new, three-year sub-licence is now available for Historic Digimap, the service offering historic Ordnance Survey maps and data from the Landmark Information Group. Current subscribing institutions will be contacted directly to ensure continued access from 1 August 2008 onwards. The new licence will run from 1 August 2008 until 31 July 2011. Full details, including subscription forms and costs, can be found on the JISC Collections website at:

In addition, 30-day trials are offered to those from institutions wishing to assess the service prior to subscription. Please contact the EDINA Helpdesk on to request such a trial. You can read more about Historic Digimap on the EDINA website at:

Consultation on additional datasets
JISC Collections are currently running a consultation for the purchase of additional datasets for Historic Digimap. Among the suggested purchases are the GOAD Fire Insurance plans and historical town plans.

Representatives from existing institutions and others interested in the Collection are invited to complete the short survey at their earliest convenience. This can be done online, and should take only a few minutes to complete:

Click the link to the “online response form” in the Introduction.

 26 June, 2008  Posted by at 10:00 am Access, Consultations, Digimap News Tagged with: ,  Comments Off on Historic Digimap: licence and consultation
May 222008

If your institution subscribes to Historic Digimap, you should note that the current licence ends on 31 July 2008 and the new licence begins on 1 August 2008. Subscription costs for the next licence period are now available from JISC Collections website.

All subscription forms should be completed and sent to the JISC Collections Helpdesk. Details of the subscription process can be found on the JISC Collections “how to subscribe” page.

Please do not send subscription forms to EDINA.

Note also that from 1 August 2008 access to Historic Digimap will be via the UK Federation and OpenAthens.

 22 May, 2008  Posted by at 11:15 am Access, Digimap News Tagged with: ,  Comments Off on Historic Digimap: Licence Renewal