Wednesday, July 15, 2015

CSV uploads in Digimap for Schools

I've worked on a range of resources for Digimap for Schools and Digimap for Colleges over the last few years, and am always excited when a new tool is added.
Three new tools were added this week.
You'll need to login and then look at the ADD MARKER dropdown options to see them.

Stickman marker could be used to mark human influence on an area, and colour coded for good or bad impact e.g. in a National Park, or along a stretch of coastline...

Grid Reference marker will be useful for adding them to printed maps which are used for fieldwork purposes, so that they can be used by students, perhaps in association with the OS Locate app.

You can now also add in CSV files of locations.
There is a help page for this function.

Read the blog post to find out more. The upload function won't work if you are using DfS on an iPad

Don't forget that printed maps also now have a north arrow included on them.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Field Notes Earth

Field Notes Earth is a new app from ESRI which extracts information from the Living Atlas.

Field Notes-Earth is a small sampling of the amazing questions that can be answered from the Esri Living Atlas of the World. To learn more about Esri content, visit 

This app shares the power of geographic information through a common language to describe the landscape of the Earth.

1. Choose a place, such as your hometown, to learn interesting facts about population, nature, and physical landscapes.
2. Choose a second location to compare and contrast the differences.

These types of comparisons help us to better understand the differences in our landscapes and allow meaningful conversations on how to manage and protect our resources.

I had a play, comparing different places. This could work for different locations which are provided by the teacher for students to compare e.g. different land-use zones, biomes or different locations within a specific country e.g. population densities, urban areas etc.

Here's some screenshots.

GE Grids

Thanks to Mark Brandon for the tipoff to this article on land use change...

My interest was piqued by the mention of GE Grids.
This is described as follows:

 GE Grids is the first free, customizable creator of raster datasets for use with Google Earth. GE Grids creates a user-defined, interactive grid (raster) overlaid on Google Earth image data. This tool circumvents expensive, specialized programs and knowledge, and enables easy use of Google Earth's high-resolution data to create localized datasets.

I need to explore this I think

Thursday, July 09, 2015

New version of ArcGIS Online

A new version of ArcGIS Online was released today.
There are some changes to UI and Workflow, many of which won't be noticeable to casual users, but some additional changes to the tools and mapping options, and also the Scenes, which are an exciting option.
You can read about the changes here.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Google MyMaps in Google Drive

You can now make your own MyMaps from within Google Drive...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy 10th Birthday Google Earth

It's 10 years ago since the launch of Google Earth.

I remember seeing it for the first time, and contacting the Google Education team which was then very small, and Dennis Reinhardt let me have a Pro license for a year so I could have a good play. I started preparing a presentation for the Scottish Association of Geography Teacher's Conference in 2005, which is where I first met Ollie Bray (he was finishing his presentation at the time) and also applied for an Innovative Geography Teaching Grant to develop a users' guide to Earth, which became this very blog !

Today, Google announced a few new features to celebrate the 10th anniversary of what many teachers would say is the most useful tool for geography teachers, but which has now been eclipsed a little by other tools, and perhaps some apps too. It's still something I use weekly at least, and used it the other day in fact to explore Ely...

There's also hundreds of new images for my favourite Chrome extension, and a web gallery too (sort of a super version of Noel Jenkins' Earth as Art activity)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Volcano Top Trumps map

Raphael Heath has produced a very useful new map for any of you who use the Volcano Top Trumps packs in your classroom. If you haven't seen the Top Trumps, they can be purchased via the website.

Here's the map, which shows the locations of the volcanoes in the pack.

Monday, June 22, 2015

ArcGIS Earth

Coming soon. 
Go here to read more and sign up to find out more when it launches...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ash Cloud apocalypse

Raphael Heath is planning his 2nd World GIS activity.

The technology of ArcGIS Online has moved on in the last year, and there is now the appearance of the GeoForm (of which more to come later)
This year, the focus is on an Ash Cloud apocalypse.

Between 16 to 20 November get your Geography students involved with a local disaster risk mapping activity. Are you ready for the Ash Cloud Apocalypse. Could you survive? Know your risks!

This is the launch video... more to come on this later in the year....

Using Google Earth to snoop on people

I was interested in an article that came through via Karl Donert
It describes how Google Earth is being used to check on people's general activity.

It can show cars parked in drives, home improvements, the appearance of outhouses etc. and then be used alongside other data from social networks e.g. postings from foreign holidays etc.
How much does this give away about your life?

Friday, May 22, 2015

OS maps as a basemap layer in ArcGIS Online

For those of you who are interested in developing your use of ArcGIS Online, a few new items of interest.
Some new base maps have now been added to ArcGIS Online
You'll need an institutional subscription to see them...

You can see that alongside Watercolour Stamen maps are also ORDNANCE SURVEY maps.

A further development that shows the power of this tool.

Also this week I have been exploring with GeoForms.
These are forms which can be created to connect with a particular feature service layer of the ArcGIS Online platform.... Fill in the form on your device of choice and the data is added to the map in the relevant place...

This is going to use a few apps.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Free GIS datasets

One issue with using GIS is finding the right data.

Robin Wilson has created a useful list of free datasets to browse through, along with a caveat about the quality of the data they contain.
This was an issue when we worked on training courses for ESRI about five years ago, and is still an issue, although organisations like English Nature and the ONS are now more open with their data.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Do you have your free Google Earth Pro version ?

I've had a free Google Earth pro license for a while now, but a few tweets and other messages today, and a post on Google Earth Blog reminded me that I hadn't necessarily mentioned it here, or recently, so here goes...

You'll need to get it from HERE, and also make sure that you have a license key, which you can request when installing'll also need to connect it to a specific e-mail address and choose a user name.

There are some extra features in the Pro version compared to the standard one... these used to cost hundreds of dollars to access, although I actually had a Pro version back in 2005-6 thanks to Dennis Reinhardt of Google... at the time I was working on the Earth: a Users Guide project, funded by the RGS-IBG, which became this blog.

If you have a previous version of Google Earth you'll need to delete or uninstall it first.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

50 000 views

Thanks for reading...