Digimap for Schools – Primary Schools Competition – Win a visit from Steve Backshall

As of today, any primary school in GB is able to access the wonderful contemporary and historic Ordnance Survey mapping in University of Edinburgh’s award winning Digimap for Schools www.digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk service to take part in a wildlife mapping competition.

Any school in Great Britain with primary aged children is eligible to enter the competition with the winning school receiving a visit from Steve Backshall (www.stevebackshall.com), one of Ordnance Survey’s #GetOutside Champions https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getoutside/os-champions/steve-backshall-life-outdoors/.

wildlifemap-adThe competition requires schools to use the annotation tools within Digimap for Schools to create a map annotated with photographs and text labels showing signs of wildlife around their school.  Each photograph will be accompanied on the map with a question the pupils would like to ask Steve relating to the wildlife they have photographed.  If a school wishes to enter the competition but is not a current subscriber to Digimap for Schools they can register for 30 days free access to the service.

The competition is being launched at this year’s Geographical Association conference and runs until 10th June.   Schools should visit www.digimapwildlife.ed.ac.uk  today to sign up.

This is an excellent opportunity for schools to realise maps are relevant to all areas of the curriculum (flora and fauna study, history and measurement to name a few) and to find out what their school and local environment looked like in the 1950s and 1890s.

 

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Using new technologies in Geography

Back in January I ran part of a training session for a local network of Geography teachers. The main session was taken by Jason Swale from ESRI UK looking at the fantastic ArcGIS and the ways in which it can be used to successfully integrate GIS into the curriculum, particularly in light of the new GCSE and A’level specifications. Prior to this I did a short 30 minute session exploring some of the ways in which new technologies can be utilised in the teaching and learning of Geography, drawing particularly on some of our experiences in the ways we use it in my department at St Ivo School. Here is the presentation summarising the key ideas discussed during the session.

In case it is useful you can download the handout of links I gave out on the evening here to help explore some of the ideas covered in more detail.

Explore the ecological tapestry of the world – A New Global Ecosystems Map of unprecedented detail

ecological tapestry of the world

This collaboration between ESRI and the USGS is the most detailed global ecological land units map in the world more details of which can found in this blog post. Very useful for looking at the application of GIS and enables further exploration through GIS with the availability of ready to use data layers which can be utilised in ArcGIS.

There are a number of ways to access the Global Ecological Land Units Map:

1. Explore the introductory story map which consists of two aspects:

  • 1. Ecosystem Browser – zoom in / pan out on the map and click anywhere to identify the name of the ecosystem found there.
  • 2. Ecosystem Tour – allows you to take a tour of areas with a high ecological landscape diversity

2. Explore the ecological tapestry of the world here in the online application

3. Use the content in ArcGIS to explore landscape analysis using ready prepared data layers from Esri.

4.  Detailed publication (.pdf format) detailing the approach taken to mapping global ecological land units