May 052013
 

Digimap for Schools is a subscription service for OS maps. The service represents exceptional value for money and works seamlessly in all current browsers as well as iPad. With a range of very user friendly annotation and measuring tools and simple printing options, Digimap is far more than just a map viewer. It also comes with some excellent free teaching ideas by Alan Parkinson.

Here’s a short guide for students on how to make the most of Digimap in coursework projects.

OpenStreetMap

 GPS, ICT  Comments Off
Oct 062007
 

I was reminded earlier this week about Open StreetMap.

osm logoThis is a wiki-style project that aims to create free geographic data for everyone to use. I took a look at the area around my school and was delighted to discover that the coverage is very patchy, raising the prospects of a nice school project based on my favourite maxim, Chris Durbin’s ‘Real Geography, Real Outcomes’

To get going requires a little more than a GPS and a web browser. The Open StreetMap wiki provides a very good Beginners Guide. Start by creating an account and locating your home area. You then go out and collect data with a GPS. This as straightforward as walking, cycling or driving around an area while recording a tracklog. The next stage is to extract data from your GPS, save it as a GPX file, (I use Easy GPS for this) and upload it to the OSM server. Don’t forget that GPS Visualizer offers a range of options for viewing your GPX data in the classroom.
The next stage is to edit the GPX file to create OSM data. There are a few options for this, the simplest by far is to use the online Flash editor provided, that allows you to edit map data in your web browser. Finally the map is rendered and changes can be seen in OSM, (although this doesn’t happen immediately.)

I started contributing data for my local area this morning.
osm
When I’ve done a little more experimenting, I think that this could be a really excellent way of teaching mapping to quite young students.

May 062007
 

Another demonstration of the usefulness of the Google Map Embedder tool.
The original Earth As Art Google Map was created by Jonathan Perkins. I’ve taken his KML overlay of images from the NASA/USGS website Our Earth As Art and displayed them on the map below, using the satellite view instead.

Our Earth As Art

Here’s a great classroom example from a UK geography teacher who has created a map of a local fieldwork enquiry:

Apr 142007
 

Surely the long awaited moment when video can be embedded in Google Earth placemarks is almost upon us? Click this link and then the placemark balloon to see video of a lightning strike on the Empire State Building.

mapsvideo

Digital Urban demonstrated this new feature of Google My Maps; more information can be found at Google Maps. I’m looking forward to seeing students creating their personal geographies via multimedia Google Maps.

Ed Parsons likes the “2.5D” rendering of buildings in Google Maps, sadly not happening for the UK any time soon!

Apr 052007
 

New developments to the leading online mapping applications are widely reported today. Geography teachers should be aware that some of these features are going to be really useful for writing up fieldwork notes and coursework projects, especially as some form of GIS experience is required by the new Key Stage Three proposals.

Mapperz highlights the new version of Live Local, which is an essential resource for teachers who work in an area deprived of acceptable Google Earth imagery. One of the best new features is the opportunity to subscribe to collections via RSS. At some stage I’m going to repost my own Live Local Collections with the feed link in case anyone would be interested.

Ogle Earth has compared the relative merits of the drawing tools in Live Local and Google Maps in a useful article. I’ve pleased that a number of my students seem to have enhanced their GCSE projects this year with quite good annotation of map and photo data.

Finally, Google Earth Blog is one of several blogs to comment on the new My Maps feature of Google Maps. What’s really exciting is that you can create a My Map and then see the results in Google Earth.

Feb 032007
 

The Map Room recently posted an article on the intriguing series of maps and data published by the G-Econ research project, based at Yale University. Gross cell product (equivalent to GNP) is measured at a 1-degree longitude by 1-degree latitude resolution at a global scale. Centres of economic activity are topographically represented, and the maps are great for discussing theories of regional development.

ireland 3d
Economic activity Ireland Core and periphery thriving!

Val Vannet has produced an excellent PowerPoint (13mb) to introduce the maps in the classroom.

Happy Places

 Asides  Comments Off
Jan 142007
 

The theme of happiness was investigated by a group of UK teachers last year, see Geography Pages for more. The Map Room now reports the publication of a map of well being.

happy map

The map was published in an article by Adrian G White of the University of Leicester. The accompanying text is well worth reading for such gems as:

A recent survey (Easton, 2006) found that 81% of the UK population agreed that the Government’s primary objective should be the creation of happiness not wealth. Earlier this year David Cameron, HM Leader of the Opposition, put happiness firmly on the political agenda by arguing that “It’s time we admitted that there’s more to life than money, and it’s time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB – general well-being” (BBC, 2006).

I never thought I’d hear that from a Tory!