Getmapping and EDINA (University of Edinburgh) have worked together to put aerial photography onto the desks in UK schools via Digimap for Schools.
Digimap for Schools is an award winning online mapping service for use by teachers and pupils, providing current, historic and aerial mapping. Provided by the University of Edinburgh via EDINA, which acts as a national centre for digital expertise and online services, the service was launched in 2010 as a subscription service for primary and secondary schools.
Ordnance Survey provides the mapping data that lies at the heart of the service. Following requests from the teachers for historic mapping, coverage dating from the 1890s and then the 1950s was added through the generosity of the National Library of Scotland which had digitised OS paper maps.
Aerial imagery can now be viewed by thousands of pupils and students
However there was one key dataset in demand from teachers that was missing. In September 2016 Getmapping stepped forward to generously contribute our high-resolution aerial imagery data for free for inclusion in the service, meaning there is no extra cost to subscribers of Digimap for Schools.
High-resolution images of Britain can be viewed directly in Digimap for Schools and used by pupils, students and teachers across 2,500 primary and secondary schools. The images can also be overlaid with the current and historic Ordnance Survey mapping.
Getmapping’s aerial imagery is also available to further and higher education pupils via the Aerial Digimap Collections for UK academia. Aerial Digimap was launched at the end of 2016 and the response from the Digimap Community has been amazing. The service already has thousands of active users who have created hundreds of thousands of screen maps. Users have downloaded tens of thousands of square kilometres of this data, for use directly in reports or GIS and CAD software.
“Aerial Photography adds an exciting new dimension to online mapping in schools by allowing students to see what is physically on the ground alongside the premier Ordnance Survey maps. This is a key reference dataset in teaching Geography and Earth Sciences, as well as offering insight for a range of other subjects. Digimap for Schools can now allow students to see the different places they know, such as home and school buildings, as well as features included in maps, such as different road and rail links and types of land use, from woodland, arable farming and pasture and can even identify archaeological sites.” "Anne Robertson, Digimap
Digimap is very useful in teaching about different geographical topics
Digimap is enabling teachers to teach specific skills easily. It is incredibly useful in all areas of mapwork allowing pupils to develop their own personal geographies via map work and journey enquiries, and helping them to engage with and enjoy geography within school.
"Digimap is a great tool. We use it for students in year 7 looking at school environments to students in year 11 for controlled assessments /new field work specs. The aerial photography is useful for bringing a landscape to life from a map which many students find as a bewildering array of lines and colours. Seeing the relief from a map takes some skill having an immediate photo makes this easier. I use the annotation tools to highlight similar features on map and then on a photo at the same scale. I like the 1890s maps too and have used them to measure changing coastlines recently, they are also great for seeing land use change in a local area with year 7 pupils."Robert Perry, Geography Teacher, Chiltern Edge Community School, Reading, Berkshire
"Aerial photographs have been beneficial to compare OS maps with aerial images. For example, we have used it when looking at river features in Year 5. In the past, comparisons would have been made using Google maps but they haven't been able to be annotated like you can on Digimaps. We have also used it for Year 3 when looking at Stone Age features like Skara Brae Orkney Isles. The children also enjoyed looking at aerial photos of the Jurassic Coast."Helen Kennedy, Geography Coordinator, St. Katharine's Primary, Bournemouth, Dorset