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Digimap and GIS teaching at Lancaster University - Geoforum 2016 - Duncan Whyatt & Gemma Davies


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This talk describes how Digimap and the data it provides has been important to the teaching of GIS at Lancaster University.

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Digimap and GIS teaching at Lancaster University - Geoforum 2016 - Duncan Whyatt & Gemma Davies

  1. 1. Digimap and GIS teaching at Lancaster September 2016 Duncan Whyatt & Gemma Davies
  2. 2. Life Before Digimap (1998-2001) • Beg, steal, borrow – UK Census tables (MIDAS) and boundary data (UK Borders) – Property database and road network via NWRRL – Other sources, e.g. pub guides – Download rarely an option • Or buy… – Bartholomew 1:200K digital map data (1991), Ordnance Survey 1:50K and 1:10K scanned maps – Annual licenses with vendors • Restrictive – Lancaster only – stifles engagement and creativity
  3. 3. Digimap at Lancaster (2001 -) • Our experience restricted to Download • Not really engaged with Roam, preferring to teach cartography in house • Our students current use OS collections (contemporary & historic) plus Geology and Environment • Supports UG and PG teaching across the syllabus (Years 1-4)
  4. 4. Year 1 • LEC.115 Geographical Skills in a Changing World – Overview of Cartography, GIS, Remote Sensing, Quantitative and Qualitative Methods – Taught to ~200 students (major and minor) • First engagement with ArcGIS – ‘Effective Cartography’ • Detailed step-by-step instructions on how to complete tasks with remote support via moodle • No formal labs – works surprisingly well…
  5. 5. Year 2 • LEC.211 Spatial Analysis and GIS – Core module for ~120 Geography students • Emphasis on integrating spatial data from diverse sources and generating new information (preparation for dissertation) – Each student assigned a local authority area – Data sourced from Digimap and other websites/services – Supported by 2 hour lab sessions • Interactive class test – One hour test under exam conditions. Spatial & attribute query using local, national and global data
  6. 6. Digimap OS Collection • Basemaps (1:250k and 1:50k) • Strategi • Meridian • District View Digimap Other • Postcode Boundaries • Landcover Map Other Sources • Crime ( • 2011 Census data (Infuse) • Indicative flood plains (Environment Agency)
  7. 7. Year 3 • LEC.314: GIS Principles and Practice – Option module for 70-80 Geography students • Demonstrating advanced forms of spatial analysis leading to development of own choice project (topic, location, techniques) Techniques • Vector GeoProcessing • Network Analysis • Simple and Weighted Map Overlay • 3D Visualisation Additional OS Products via Digimap • MasterMap Topography & ITN • DTMs • POI
  8. 8. Example 3rd year projects Optimal routing for ice cream van based on ITN data Least cost path for HS2 route based on roads, rivers, lakes, urban areas and elevation Birmingham Leeds
  9. 9. Simulated coastal inundation of Penzance by tsunami (Profile DTM, ArcGIS Toolbox) and impacts on critical infrastructure (MasterMap) Mapping the digital divide of broadband access in Lancaster (Vector Map District and Unit Postcodes)
  10. 10. Summary • Digimap service has underpinned UG teaching in GIS at Lancaster for 15 years now – Have embraced changes to the ‘look and feel’ of the service over time and adopted products as they have become available (e.g. Historic, Geology) • Students develop skills in accessing data sources relevant to them and performing often novel analysis – Excellent employability statistics linked to LEC.314 • BUT – there is now more data available from more sources than ever before… – OpenStreetMap, OS OpenData
  11. 11. Summary • Challenge is to keep Digimap relevant to user’s needs in this rapidly changing field
  12. 12. Questions? Duncan Whyatt & Gemma Davies;