Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Digimap for Schools MapStream - WMS for Google Earth

At the start of the year I finished off a project with EDINA, who operate the Digimap for Schools MapStream service, in association with the Ordnance Survey.
This is a little like the Digimap for Schools tool, but without the tools...
Subscribers to MapStream will find that they have access to the Ordnance Survey's mapping at the same scale as Digimap, but the difference is that they stream them into their own GIS software using a WMS (web mapping service) - this works with open-source options such as Quantum GIS, but also ArcGIS and even Google Earth (I was amazed when I first saw this in action...)

One advantage of this option is that the maps are streamed to your GIS as an extra layer, so there is no data storage / installation issue. Having said that, you need a reliable and fairly fast internet connection if you want the maps of course. The cost is much cheaper than Digimap, but you need to use the tools in your GIS client, rather than the ones provided by Digimap. This may require extra time on training how to use your chosen GIS package.

If you head over to the site, you will now find that there are the first of what will be a series of educational materials for teachers, available for free download. These are particularly designed for subscribers to the MapStream service.
I wrote the materials, the cover of one is pictured to the right....
Check them out.
Subscription is just £35 a year for a primary school and £50 for a secondary school.

I will be referring to this, as well as other mapping options in my GA CPD days which will take place in Birmingham at the end of May and London at the start of June.

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