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Posted by on in Service Announcements

Landmap features in the latest edition of the GeoConnexions Magazine: Geo UK Jan/Feb 2014 Volume 12 Issue 1.

The article highlights 2013 service achievements such as:

  • UKMap Edition 11 release
  • Launch of Introduction to OGC Standards course
  • Creation of UKMap Augmented Reality App
  • Elected 2nd place in the European Copernicus Masters 2013 Competition

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The article also touches upon the future challenges of the service; highlighting the withdrawal of funding and the requirement for new funding to continue the service or for an alternative hosting platform to continue access to e-learning resources & geospatial data. Please read more on the GeoConnexions website.

 

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Why did we create the course?

Over the past 10 years the Landmap team has acquired a great deal of knowledge regarding OGC services and how to implement them within an Academic- Spatial Data Infrastructure (A-SDI). Past projects which have touched upon open technologies and datasets includes:

  • 2005 - Jisc funded Interoperability Demonstrator Project using WMS, WCS and WFS and working in collaboration with Edina, Center for Computational Geography (CCG), UCL and NERC DataGrid
  • 2008 - present - Development of Landmap Kaia using OGC standards and providing an interoperable web mapping interface to other OGC services
  • 2010/2011 - Jisc funded Metadata Enhancements Project - create ISO standard metadata to embed in Landmap Kaia
  • 2011 - Mimas Linked Data Project - creating RDF of geospatial metadata
  • 2012 - Open Educational Resources (OER) Rapid Innovation Project- included the release of a new image processing course called Introduction to GRASS GIS

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                         Unit 7: Geoportal software architecture diagram                             Unit 1: SDI sectors diagram     

Furthermore Landmap has always been committed to providing online educational resources with a Learning Zone launched on the website in 2008. The Introduction to OGC Standards is a new course available from the Open Educational Resources area of the Learning Zone.

How did we create it?

The materials were authored by Dominic Taylor and Joseph McGenn who were interns at Landmap during the 2012/13 academic year as part of the Manchester Graduate Internship Programme. More experienced members of the Landmap team provided advice, editing and testing of the content to aid in the development of the course. In July 2013 a project plan was developed to transition the materials from Word documents into the Landmap Learning Zone using the Content Management System (CMS) Joomla. Further editing of images/ content was achieved during this period and now the materials are available to use by all!

What does the course cover?

The intended learning outcomes of the course are:

  • To provide an awareness of the OGC and the INSPIRE Directive
  • To understand the importance of OGC standards, who uses them and why
  • An understanding of common OGC standards and how they work using HTTP requests and responses in the context of geoportals
  • Knowledge of geospatial metadata standards and metadata catalogue architecture
  • To have an understanding of server-side mapping technology and some of the Open Source options for creating web mapping services
  • To possess the ability to create a basic geoportal using OGC services
  • To use OGC HTTP requests in a range of GIS and image processing packages
  • Knowledge of OGC KML standards with the ability to create basic KML and view in Google Earth

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               Unit 4: Linked data vocabularies            Unit 4: INSPIRE compliant metadata standards


The course refers to and uses an array of open source software such as QGIS; uDig; Gaia; OpenLayers; PostGIS; GeoServer; GeoNetwork; Degree and Google Earth.

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Unit 6: Open Layers - combining British Geological Survey data with Google Terrain base layer

Who can use it?

The course is aimed at students, lecturers (can form part of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in GIS), Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in both the public and private sector and also anyone else who has a keen interest in geospatial data and how to use open software, open standards and open datasets for developing their own web mapping applications or for performing geospatial analysis. The materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License - See more at: http://www.landmap.ac.uk/index.php/Learning-Materials/Introduction-to-OGC-Standards/introduction-to-ogc-standards#sthash.4mV15lHJ.dpuf

Going Live

The course is now available from the Open Educational Resources area of the Landmap Learning Zone within the menu item Geospatial Standards - Introduction to OGC Standards. There is also a wide range of other open access courses such as Image Processing for ENVI, Idrisi Kilimanjaro, ERDAS IMAGINE (v.9 & 2010), PCI Geomatica and GRASS GIS.

Due to the Jisc funding cut this new course and the rest of the courses in the Learning Zone will only be available online until 31 July 2014. The Landmap team is currently working with other groups in the geospatial community to ensure these materials are hosted by another organization before they are taken offline. 

If you have any comments or suggestions for improvement of the course please provide these to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 31 December 2013.

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The aim of this post is to inform you of all you need to know to get started with using UKMap data in your research for the new academic year 2013/14.

What is UKMap?

  • UKMap is a modern, highly detailed and feature rich mapping database that is free from Ordnance Survey copyright
  • Based on 1:1,000 scale topographic mapping, UKMap accurately locates buildings, garages, property boundaries, roads, trees and many more features
  • The dataset comprises of addresses, retail names including above ground usage, building heights, points of interest as well as an aerial photography layer

Further details about UKMap can be found in the Datasets area of the website.

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What's new?

UKMap is updated every 6 months and this week the new Edition 11 data has been released through Landmap Kaia originally supplied by The GeoInformation Group. This will be the last update of UKMap data through Landmap due to the JISC funding cut.

How long is the data available for?

  • UKMap will be available to download from Landmap Kaia  until 31 July 2014
  • Downloaded UKMap data can be used in your research until 30 September 2014
  • All UKMap original data, copies and derived products must be deleted and removed from all computers and back-up devices before or on 1 October 2014

For more details on citation and to read the End User Licensing Agreement 2013 for UKMap please visit the Data Licensing and Citation Guidelines.

Where and How do I download the UKMap data?

Where can I get further help and information about UKMap?

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is available until 31 December 2013
  • Introduction to UKMap Course can be found within the Protected Educational Resources in the Learning Zone (your institutional login details are required)
    • Provides the latest UKMap Manual with detailed information about each mapping layer
    • Breaks down the folder directory which is downloaded from Landmap Kaia explaining what each data layer is and the format provided
    • Exercises to complete in either ArcGIS or QGIS including how to join tables and display the data
  • If you would like to explore the UKMap data to understand further what information is contained in the data layers and to preview the data then you can download Junaio on a mobile device and explore the UKMap app by scanning the QR code or the aerial photograph on this postcard.

I hope that you explore and take advantage of the free access to this excellent dataset over the forthcoming year through Landmap.

Inquiries about continuing access to UKMap after 1 October 2014 need to be directed to the data supplier The GeoInformation Group.

Please note that the team will be getting in touch with current UKMap users before the end of this year and details of current users will be provided to The GeoInformation Group.


 

 

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The 'European Space Solutions' is a major 3-day conference which was held 5 - 7 November 2013 in Munich, Germany at the Alte Kongresshalle. The aim of the event is to bring together business and the public-sector with users and developers of space-based solutions. The event was hosted by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology.

Tuesday, 5 November - Opening Plenary

Three key areas of work were introduced to the audience through the opening presentations:

1) Copernicus - previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) this is the European Programme for the establishment of a European capacity for Earth Observation

2) Galileo - Europe's own global navigation satellite system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control

3) EGNOS - The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service is the first pan-European satellite navigation system.

Photographs below show a welcomed refreshments break which provided a great opportunity to network with other delegates and view the winning entry for  the Geo Illustration Challenge in the Copernicus Masters Competition named "Traces of Humankind" by Alexander Popp (The illustration shows a satellite image of Venice in the form of a human footprint).

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I especially liked the second half of the plenary with the roundtable of business leaders which answered a range of questions regarding the challenges in the use of Earth Observation (EO). Some ideas that came out of the discussions were:

  • The need to be innovative and to provide free and open data as has been agreed with the new 'Free and Open Data Policy for Copernicus'
  • Tapping into the use of Smartphones to help achieve the vision of Copernicus whereby citizens could access services through mobile apps which address the six thematic areas: land, marine, atmosphere, climate change, emergency management and security; for applications such as environment protection, management of urban areas, regional and local planning, agriculture, forestry, tourism etc.
  • The use of crowdsourcing to fund and engage the general public in EO research and application developments
  • The merging and fusing of EO data with other datasets to create new propriety information
  • Leveraging good experiences between Small Medium Enterprises (SME's) and increasing awareness that data can be accessed through Copernicus to develop best practice in the industry

Awards Ceremony - Copernicus Masters 2013 & 10th edition of the European Satellite Navigation Competition

The awards ceremony was fantastically done, I heard one delegate say that 'it was like attending the EO version of the Oscars' with awards presented by Thorsten Rudolph - Managing Director of Copernicus Masters and Ulrike Daniels - Project Manager of the Copernicus Masters.The awards was well attended and featured projects from all over Europe and further afield. The augmented reality company Metaio provided an award for the first time this year for the idea 'Wintervision: AR for Winter Road Safety' by Steve Lee and his team.

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Landmap featured as a runner up in the Best Service Challenge coming 2nd Place to Hab Forecast which is a service for monitoring of harmful algal blooms. All the winners were featured in the Copernicus Master Results 2013 brochure which was circulated during the State Reception after the awards ceremony (see Landmap's entry below).

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Wednesday, 6 November - Space Solutions for Emergency Response and Disaster Management

After using the MeetHub App to arrange some networking opportunities I attended the Space Solutions for Emergency Response and Disaster Management session.

I particularly enjoyed Delilah Al-Khudhairy presentation from the European Commission titled 'Achievements and challenges in using earth observation and navigation techniques for emergency response and disaster management'. Delilah emphasized in her presentation the requirement for timely relevant and reliable EO information to save lives and then disseminate to the media and to inform future policy. Issues regarding bottlenecks to data acquisition and access need to be addressed as it is essential that in a disaster situations EO data is provided ideally within 24 hours of the event. Having structured processes in place she felt was key in providing a sustainable channel of products for example the International Charter for Space Images and Disasters. Delilah also highlighted the issue of having too many overlapping datasets as was the case in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. This she felt has improved in recent years due to the Copernicus Emergency Management Service. The combination of aerial imagery has also been useful and is complementary to EO data. She felt there was scope to involve social media and provide observational data through crowdsourcing to provide additional information during disasters.

Delilah's presentation was followed by Philippe Bally from the European Space Agency (ESA) who provided further information about The International Charter for Space and Major Disasters.
The charter is an international collaboration to focus on the immediate response of a natural disaster e.g. Earthquakes, fires, floods, landslides. tsunamis, ocean storms and volcanic eruptions. Philippe Bally showed a pie chart which illustrated that floods are the most frequent disaster at over 50%. The charter since its formation in 1999 has been involved in 400 disasters in over 110 countries and now provides universal access (benefiting countries beyond the charter members) e.g. Australia joined in this way and used the charter recently for wildfire events.

This session was followed by the Official Conference Reception which took place inside the dome of the 'European Space Expo' in Bavariapark adjacent to the conference centre. The Expo presents information on the European space programmes Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus through engaging video clips and demonstrations. What is great is that the exhibition is free to attend by the general public with 300 000 European citizens which have already visited! I especially liked the OmniGlobe which is an interactive hologram of the earths atmosphere.

I would thoroughly recommend attending the European Space Solutions Conference if you want to experience cutting edge research, listen to and discuss EO issues with leaders in the field and most of all learn more about the European Programmes in EO and satellite navigation.

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  Inside the European Space Expo                                                        Kamie and I at the State Reception

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Over the past 11 years we have been delighted to be able to provide Landmap, a Jisc-funded service, to 139 institutions with a wide range of geospatial datasets and e-learning materials to support research and teaching.

During this period we have been fortunate to receive funding for this service solely from Jisc, the independent education charity. However the harsh economic climate is forcing Jisc to review the number of projects and services they are able to support on an ongoing basis.

Jisc will provide funding to maintain Landmap until the end of December 2013. This includes an operational This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , workshops, access to datasets and updates to e-learning content.

From 1 January 2014 - 31 July 2014 Landmap datasets and e-learning content will remain online but with no helpdesk support or updates of content.

It is advisable for undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations that datasets are obtained before the 31 July 2014 as data availability cannot be guaranteed thereafter.

Until the end of 2013 Jisc and Mimas will continue to seek alternative sources of funding and to identify different ways in which the current service can be sustained without Jisc funding. We will keep you updated on progress in securing alternative funding if and when this happens.

Whilst we are working hard to secure alternative funding we welcome suggestions, ideas or points of contact that we should approach via the Helpdesk This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Finally the team would like to thank our users, contributors and partners for making Landmap such a success over the years and we look forward to working with you during the remainder of this year and hopefully beyond.

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The Result

Landmap has been elected by the online audience as 2nd Place for the Best Service Challenge of Copernicus Masters 2013. Copernicus Masters is the European earth monitoring competition which awards prizes to innovative solutions for business and society based on Earth observation data. This is a great result for our service which is currently seeking co-funding to move our work forward for 2014.

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The Best Service Winner 2013 is HAB Forecast which provides weekly algae bloom alerts and uses ocean colour and SST products retrieved from the MyOcean catalogue. Congratulations to Julie Maguire and her team at Daithi O'Murchu Marine Research Station.

The awards ceremony will take place on 5 November 2013 in Munich, Germany as part of the European Space Solutions Conference.

Service Achievements

Landmap originally began in 2001 as a joint project between Mimas and University College London (UCL). The project produced orthorectified satellite image mosaics of Landsat, SPOT and ERS data and the first 25m Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the British Isles using SAR interferometric techniques. 

In 2004/2005 Landmap participated in a Jisc funded Interoperability Demonstrator Project which created for the first time Web Map Services (WMS) and Web Coverage Services (WCS) for datasets provided through the Landmap website. This project also provided evidence that Mimas and EDINA could interoperate using Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards. In 2005 the Image Processing Course for ENVI, Idrisi Kilimanjaro, PCI Geomatica and ERDAS Imagine was launched for registered users of Landmap authored by IS Limited.

In 2006 the European Space Agency (ESA) Category 1 Project 'Monitoring the British Isles with ASAR and MERIS' commenced and has been ongoing ever since. This project has promoted the use of radar data to the UK academic community and has provided biannual coverages of ASAR and more recently ALOS PALSAR data to be used for research and teaching. The outputs of this work was presented in the 2007 ESA FRINGE Workshop in Frascati, Italy.The multidifference colour composites generated for Morecambe Bay attracted much media interest in 2008 which highlighted the rapid changes of the intertidal channels.

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During 2007 and 2008 work focused on grid enabling Landmap data initially using Athens as part of the Jisc funded GEMS II Project which was presented at FOSS4G in 2007. Then followed by the Jisc funded SARoNGS Project which used Shibboleth for authentication and explored the use of Web Processing Services (WPS).

In 2007 Landmap became a Jisc funded service securing 5 years of continuous funding with capital to invest in new datasets and e-learning content. The GeoKnowledge Project in 2008 marked the creation of the Learning Zone an area of the Landmap website which was authored by leading academics in the field of Earth Observation and GIS along with companies who also contributed to courses such as IS Limited and The GeoInformation Group.

A consultation with the UK academic community showed that more high resolution datasets were required such as aerial photography, LiDAR and colour infrared. Landmap began negotiations with data providers which achieved data provision agreements with The GeoInformation Group, Bluesky and Getmapping. With large increases in the size and quantity of data needing to be provided through the service Landmap began the creation of a much more advanced Spatial Data Infrastructue (SDI) by adopting the ERDAS APOLLO enterprise data delivery technology. ERDAS APOLLO allowed users to view data interactively using WMS and to customise data download requests via WCS for parameters such as spectral bands, spatial resolution, resampling method and output format. The geoportal was named 'Landmap Kaia'.

In October 2009 the first release of Landmap Kaia based on APOLLO 9.3 launched. This was followed by the launch of the new Landmap website and Learning Zone in February 2010. A major upgrade to APOLLO 2010 provided the second release of Landmap Kaia and highlighted a gap in the provision of fully formed ISO 19115 standard metadata. A metadata service enhancements bid was submitted to Jisc which was successful and provided a one year project to focus on improving metadata of all Landmap datasets. A further extension of this work was the Mimas Linked Data Project in 2011 which provided an example of how RDF could be created for geospatial metadata for a subset of Landmap data. New datasets released included Building Heights; Building Classes and UKMap with workshops provided to the academic community thereafter.

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In 2011 Landmap was a partner of the ELOGeo Project with The University of Nottingham which produced an online repository for E-Learning of Open Data, Open Standards and Open Software. During 2011 and 2012 a Landmap Usability Project was conducted to assess the Learning Zone, Datasets and Kaia geoportal with students and researchers, obtaining feedback on how the service could be improved. Some of the suggestions such as a better basemap for Kaia and a Gazetteer function were addressed in the third release of Landmap Kaia in April 2012 which integrated Bing Maps for the basemap. This launched also included embedding the Edina OS OpenStream service into the Web Map Context so that Landmap users could compare and contrast our data with OS Open Data.

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In 2012 Jisc awarded Landmap with a 6 months Rapid Innovation Project which provided funding to open up over 50% of the Learning Zone educational materials so that these could be used across Europe and beyond. This work was promoted at the INSPIRE 2012 Conference, Istanbul, Turkey. In addition work with the University of Bonn, Germany allowed Landmap to share school e-learning materials with the UK education community with the launch of Spatial Science for Schools in August 2012.

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In 2013 Landmap trialed its first Augmented Reality UKMap App available through Juniao which used UKMap data originally collected by The GeoInformation Group to teach schools children about reading and interpreting different mapping layers using the key, this was rolled out during the UK Science and Engineering Week. Furthermore screencasts for how to complete different tasks in Landmap Kaia were released onto the Landmap website responding to users requests which had come out of the usability studies. AVNIR-2 and ALOS PALSAR was provided in Landmap Kaia in July 2013.

Future Outlook

A new Open Educational Course called Introduction to OGC Services will be released in November 2013.

Landmap funding is due to be cut on 31 December 2013 and currently co-funding of the service is being sought by Jisc. If  co-funding is not secured the service will remain online unsupported from 1 January 2014 - 31 July 2014.

Any comments or enquiries please submit to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

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Copernicus: Best Service Challenge 2013

Support Landmap

What is Copernicus Masters 2013?

Copernicus Masters is a European earth monitoring competition that awards prizes to innovative solutions and services that use earth observation data for business and society. The competition is split into various different challenges one of which is the Best Service Challenge.

Why the Best Service Challenge?

This challenge is based on finding the best services within the main thematic areas of Copernicus, which is already operational in the Earth Observation community. The Best Service Challenge aims to increase the awareness of existing Earth monitoring services and their benefits to European citizens. There are 5 thematic areas that services may challenge to be the best in which include:

  • Land Monitoring
  • Marine Monitoring
  • Atmosphere Monitoring
  • Emergency Management
  • Climate Change

Each challenge has an associated prize, which generally is based on aiding the winner to implement and manage the ideas and/or service. Landmap has applied for the Best Service within the Copernicus thematic field of Land Monitoring. Landmap currently has the technical infrastructure to be able to deliver satellite data for land monitoring in a standards compliant, interactive way and to provide support in its use.

Why Land Monitoring?

Landmap applied for the Land Monitoring category due to the many similarities in the applications of Landmap and the Copernicus Land Monitoring service vision.

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Figure 1 - British Geological Society  (BGS) Web Map Service (WMS) overlaying Landsat 7 data within the Landmap Kaia geoportal.

The Copernicus land monitoring service provides geographical information on land cover and on other related variables (e.g. vegetation state and the water cycle). The applications of the geographical information include:

  • Spatial planning
  • Forest management
  • Water management
  • Agriculture
  • Food security etc.

Landmap as a service fits increasingly well with these applications within the Land Monitoring thematic area. The applications of Landmap have been demonstrated via research, journals, dissertations, presentations and books generated by our users within the academic community. For example Landmap data was used in the following research and publications:

  • Colour Infra-red imagery was used to research farm management influence on hedgerow habitat and biodiversity by Graham, L. (2013).
  • Building Height data was used to model aerodynamics of an UK city by Millward-Hopkins, J.T. et al (2012).
  • 25m DSM elevation data was used to map glacial landforms by Smith, J. et al (2006)
  • DSM data was also used within a Masters Dissertation based on the ‘Evaluation of the accuracy of different elevation models for different land cover and terrain types’ by Amoateng, J. (2005)

For a more detailed list of research and publications that use Landmap data visit the following page: http://www.landmap.ac.uk/index.php/About/Research-Outputs-Users

These examples show how important and useful the Landmap service has been to the academic community via offering a wide range of spatial data through a geoportal and e-learning materials teaching users how to use related software and the spatial data provided by Landmap.

Give Landmap your support

It will be greatly appreciated if your support is provided in our challenge to become the Best Land Monitoring Service in the Copernicus Master Competition 2013. Please note, the result of this challenge will not change the funding situation at Landmap, which is set to cease after 31st December 2013.

To support Landmap to win the Best Service Award in the Copernicus Masters 2013, please follow this link: http://www.copernicus-masters.com/index.php?kat=challenges.html&anzeige=bsc2013.html and select ‘Vote for the best service’ and navigate to the Landmap entry. Please note voting ends on the 15 September 2013.

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What is GeoVation?

The GeoVation Challenge is run by the Ordnance Survey and aims to fund innovative ideas that use Ordnance Survey Products and Services to solve real problems in the UK. Each year there are new topic areas for the ideas to address and this year the topic area was:

 ‘How can we help British businesses improve environmental performance?’

Landmap’s ideas

Brainstorming ideas for this topic area brought out many options in terms of potential ideas to submit. The successful ideas that were submitted by the Landmap team and accepted by GeoVation Challenge were:

  • Britain’s Got Energy – Idea based on finding appropriate renewable energy schemes for businesses and to make them aware of how the schemes can benefit them.
  • The Green Contest – Idea based on visualizing Environmental Performance indicators to make businesses aware of their effect on the Environment and aims to motivate the reduction of these indicators through competition between businesses. 

The process

So with these two ideas two teams from Landmap took part in the GeoVation Camp which was organised to develop the ideas and then pitch the ideas to Judges (i.e. like Dragons Den). The camp took place in Southampton on the 21 – 23 June 2013, in the Ordnance Survey Headquarters which is a new modern building that was very impressive (see below, 'Courtesy of Ordnance Survey').

 

The first night

The Friday night consisted of meeting, greeting and getting to know other teams members, the helpers and the OS GeoVation Staff involved in the event over drinks and nibbles.

Day 1 – The hard work begins

Then on the Saturday the serious work started where the teams had to go through the Innovation Toolkit process. This innovation toolkit process basically develops ideas using the equation:

Innovation = Problem X Solution X Execution.

So following this equation by identifying the problem that the idea is solving, by providing the solution to this problem via the creation of prototypes and by creating a plan to execute the solution led to the development of the idea.

Day 2 – The pitch

At the end of the weekend a 2 minute pitch, with 20 seconds for each slide, was produced and then presented to the judges with a 3 minute timed Q&A session. This was a very intense process and the pitch was a very nerve wrecking experience, but was achieved in a confident way, the pitch videos are shown at the end of this news item. After each team presented their pitches and answered the judge’s questions, the judges went away to decide the teams fate. On the positive side though we were too preoccupied to think about the decision being made as during the decision process everyone apart from the judges took part in a paper airplane making contest which I believe I came 3rd.  After this a group photo was taken of all teams, helpers, OS staff and judges (see below, 'Courtesy of Ordnance Survey').

 

The result

So the results are in and without the dramatic long wait and music normally given on TV shows like X Factor or on award shows, the teams who would go on with funding were announced. Unfortunately this time neither of our ideas got funding but it was a very close contest and the teams who got the funding deserved it, so well done to them. The winning teams were:

An amazing experience

Overall, the whole process was an exciting, intense and amazing experience where new contacts, friends and knowledge were gained. Everyone involved in the GeoVation Challenge were friendly and helpful which aided in making the camp successful. At this point I would like to give a big thank you to all those helpers who helped us out with our ideas especially Kaushik Sudra who helped the Britain’s Got Energy team with prototype and presentation design along with good advice on the whole idea development. There are quite a lot of other helpers who also assisted us and deserve a big thank you. I would recommend to anyone to join in with this process, either by entering your own idea or by becoming a helper for the GeoVation Camp.

Britain's Got Energy Pitch

The Green Contest Pitch

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The Venue

From the 19 March to 22 March, 2013 Landmap had the fortunate task of participating in the National Science and Engineering Week which aimed to demonstrate how the sciences, technology and mathematics relate to our everyday lives. Held in the opulent Main Hall of the Sackville Building - The University of Manchester, whose walls have indeed housed and nurtured many a budding scientist, a total of 857 eager school pupils attended the event.

Interactive Activities - Spatial Science & Remote Sensing

Over the course of four days we invited pupils to take part in a number of interactive activities aimed at introducing them to spatial science and remote sensing - subjects which are becoming increasingly relevant and integral to contemporary living.

Augmented Reality UKMap App

Of all the activities presented at the event, perhaps the most interesting and innovative was the Augmented Reality UKMap (AR) App which combines two technologies – augmented reality and GIS – allowing pupils to visualise spatial data in 3-D. Through the collaboration of the SCARLET Project and Landmap, pupils were able to test the app for the first time and it was certainly well received. There seemed to be a natural affiliation between the pupils and this technology as it provides a more dynamic and engaging element to the learning process and pupils, of varying ages and attainment, completed the related exercise with ease and enthusiasm. From firsthand experience of seeing pupils with this technology, I envisage that augmented reality’s role in education, and generally the perception of data, is likely to be significant as it provides new alleyways to teaching and learning.

Tracing the Invisible & Spot the Difference

Other activities included “Tracing the Invisible” and “Spot the Difference.” The former touched on the basic fundamentals of electromagnetic radiation and aimed to explain why objects are of different colours and the principals of how a satellite captures an image. The latter used past and present satellite imagery of Manchester to demonstrate urban change over time, highlighting to the pupils some of the basic applications for satellite imagery.

Event Overview

The event as a whole was a great success and holds countless importance in enthusing young people to pursue science in all its shapes and forms. One of the teachers after attending the event spoke highly of the fair saying:

“I just want to say a massive Thank you to all involved in the event today… I just want to let you know that all of the pupils loved it. What was really nice to hear was some of them talking about courses that they might possibly want to pursue in the future.”

My mind is at ease knowing that the future of science is potentially in the hands of those pupils that walked through those doors during that week. Their level of intelligence and enthusiasm displayed by all the pupils was truly impressive and the all Landmap team want to thank all the schools for making the week a great success.

By scanning this image using a smart phone or tablet, the Junaio App will overlay a 3-D version of various data sets related to the area

Building Heights Data provided by UKMap is visualised in 3-D. Other layers included landcover, and occupation of buildings.

Radiation Pathway Exercise

Supplementary materials for the Radiation Pathway Exercise explaining the basic principals of electromagnetic radiation

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The University of Manchester, Tuesday 19 March – Friday 22 March 2013

The University of Manchester has organised a week of activities to enthuse school children about studying science and engineering. The programme is designed to showcase how science, engineering, technology and maths impact on everyday life,and shape daily decisions. Pupils have the opportunity to get up close with some of the cutting-edge research going on at The University of Manchester and take part in a range of activities designed to inspire them to become the scientists of the future.

UKMap Augmented Reality (AR) App

One of the cutting-edge technologies being showcased is the new UKMap AR App which allows pupils to interact with different mapping layers from the UKMap database originally collected by The GeoInformation Group and hosted at Landmap, Mimas. Matt Ramirez at SCARLET provides further details of how the app was developed in his blog post "Visualising rich spatial data with 3D and AR".

It is personally rewarding to see school children excited about discovering geospatial data in this unique way with comments such as "cool" as they flick between layers of geospatial information such as building heights, land use and retail classifications. Anyone can try out the application with an iPad or Android device by scanning the postcard or QR code with the free to download application Junaio. For the National Science and Engineering event a quick quiz sheet was devised where pupils answer 5 questions based on the geospatial layers.

pupils explore UKMap AR App

Download UKMap AR Postcard PDF (1.5 MB)

Download UKMap Exercise Sheet PDF (305 KB)

Pupils preferred working as a small group when doing this exercise, with a couple of pupils operating the app, whilst another pupil took the lead in writing down the answers. Many pupils were so enthusiastic about the app that they took the postcard home so that they could scan it and show the UKMap data to their parents.

Having this experience, watching pupils in action with the UKMap AR App has highlighted how much potential there is in using AR in education, especially in the geospatial field. The experience also highlighted parts of the app that could be improved such as more distinct colours for the classification of building heights and changing the icon for the freeze/transparency function, as pupils tried to swipe the icon rather than just touch it. Such observations will help to improve the usability of the app in the future.

pupils from Cheadle Hulme School explore UKMap AR App

Further details about the event can be found below:

10:00 – 12:30
Interactive workshops led by current PhD students in a range of science subjects
Hands-on Science Fair where pupils can interact with academic staff and students from across the University about their research

13:30 – 14:30
Expert Lecture delivered by a leading academic staff member from the University

This is a free event for pupils in Year 7, 8 and 9. Schools can bring a group of up to 25 young people.

For more information please visit www.manchester.ac.uk/nsew or call 0161 306 6506 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Posted by on in Service Announcements

Over the past 11 years we have been delighted to be able to provide Landmap, a Jisc-funded service, to 139 institutions with a wide range of geospatial datasets and e-learning materials to support research and teaching.

 

During this period we have been fortunate to receive funding for this service solely from Jisc, the independent education charity.  However the harsh economic climate is forcing Jisc to review the number of projects and services they are able to support on an ongoing basis.

 

Jisc has now confirmed, because of changes to their business priorities, 2013 will be the last year that they will be able to support the provision of Landmap. The service will continue to be available until 31 December 2013. However, Jisc has initiated a working group to look at the optimisation of the geospatial data services it supports and Landmap is part of this review.

 

This means that Landmap will continue in its current form until the end of the year. Jisc and Mimas are now working hard to secure alternative funding and to identify different ways in which some or all of the current service might continue to be made available in 2014 and beyond.

 

No decisions have yet been made about Landmap¹s long-term future, and we will keep you updated on our progress as the year unfolds.  We look forward to working with you during this year and hopefully beyond.

Please do express your views by completing the Landmap: Funding Flux Survey 2013.

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Google Maps and Google Earth have triggered an explosion of interest in our planet's land, sea and atmosphere.

Thanks to a partnership with the University of Bonn, we've launched Spatial Science for Schools - new tutorials that aim to bring this enthusiasm into the classroom by improving pupils' understanding of remote sensing images of satellite and aerial photography.

Inspiring the new generation

Spatial Science for Schools is the latest addition to Landmap's popular Learning Zone. The tutorials help students apply their digital skills to a range of educational scenarios, from drawing conclusions about the Haiti earthquake crisis to understanding map coordinates. Gail Millin-Chalabi, GeoKnowledge Project Manager, explains:

"The tutorials in Spatial Science for Schools provide an integrated approach for embedding images of the Earth for topics such as tsunamis, earthquakes, species extinction, floods, atmospheric circulation and contrast enhancement of images. Part of the Landmap vision is to educate the new generation regarding the use of remote sensing so that they are better informed of the application opportunities available to them. "

 The tutorials are aimed at 9 – 18 year old pupils, and encourage them to develop skills in topics such as interpreting satellite and aerial photography.

Encouraging science in schools

We want to encourage the use of remote sensing by teachers in geography, biology, mathematics, geomatics and physics lessons, and many of the materials directly support the national curriculum.

The interactive tutorials include exercises and quizzes alongside a wide range of materials and data to bring subjects to life and make lessons more fun. For example, pupils can access:

  • Satellite images
  • Weather maps
  • Aerial photographs
  • Animations
  • Google Earth KMZ files

Kamie Kitmitto Landmap Manager says:

"Landmap is hosting this website to contribute to the UK government agenda to promote science and technology in schools. The tutorials offer a range of possibilities for teachers to encourage pupils' interest in natural sciences, mathematics or engineering through the use of fascinating satellite images."

A European partnership

The original tutorials were developed as part of the Fernerkundung in Schulen (FIS) Project at the University of Bonn, and are funded by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

We're pleased to bring these materials to the UK, and make them available via our Landmap Service. If you would like to know more about Spatial Science for Schools, please contact us.

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Posted by on in Job Vacancies

A Geo-Data and Geo-Services Assistant Graduate Internship vacancy is now available within Mimas please go to Manchester University Careerslink. Login with your University of Manchester student username/password and search for vacancy ID: 14595. Further details can be found below:

Number of Positions Available: 1

Hours: Full time

Duration: 12 months

Essential Skills:
• Have some experience with one or more, image processing software or GIS. On the job training will be provided as appropriate.
• Have keen understanding of geo-data processing issues.
• Have an awareness of OGC standards and their applications.
• Be a clear and concise communicator with excellent verbal and written communication skills.
• Be creative and able to channel their ideas appropriately and to best effect.
• Have excellent time management and organisational skills, with the ability to prioritise their own workload.
• Be an effective team player but also be able to operate independently and proactively, as appropriate.
• Be open to working in a flexible manner, where service necessitates.

Desirable Skill:
• Have an awareness of the Landmap service, its data and services.

Salary: £15,900 per annum, pro-rata

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