OS Maps plus BING plus Silverlight

Meets Powerful Tools

I’ve just been looking at a blog by Jim Lynn. I can genuinely say I understand less than 1%, but has he made a stunning facility?

If you click any of the links below, you may need to download and install Silverlight – it’s a free application from Microsoft.

I’ve uploaded a number of Photosynths to the web (here’s one of the
Rockies) – and I thought I’d been doing quite well until I found Jim’s work.

Here’s what happens when Silverlight Deep Zoom technology meets the Ordnance Survey features in Bing maps.

How could you use this in school?

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Free Maps?

Geography and ICT – just made for each other

In addition to BING having the OS links, the OS themselves have a direct website to their maps.

On Line Maps has a lower overall resolution than the best level in BING, but the cleaner interface may make teaching and learning easier. The page has ‘Crown Copyright’ stamped quite nicely in the bottom corner, so maybe I shouldn’t copy an example 😦

If you have a map on disply, scroll down the page to see –

Ordnance Survey map tools for pupilsFollow the link for education takes you to Mapzone

Mapzone - now you're talking

Mapzone may well be a post all on it’s own – it looks such fun (and it’s educational).

Easy Peasy Map Reading – follow that link and scroll down the page for class sets of this brilliant leaflet – here’s a snippet from it.

Ordnance Survey map tools for pupils

OS Maps Don’t Work with BING!

Yes – they do, it just takes a little tweak!
When you load BING maps you may see this ..

Where in the world ..

Click on – no change it – then select United Kingdom and Ordnance Survey becomes an option on the road map for UK locations

BING Maps meets the 3 Peaks

I’ve been playing with BING maps to see how to use the fact that the Ordnance Survey maps are directly available from the BING display. 

I find the combination of these features to be totally engrossing – but there are a few interesting asides. 

A famous – and favourite – landmark is the Ribblehead Viaduct. If you’ve ever walked the Yorkshire 3 peaks, then this is that huge bridge near the mobile cafe/ ice cream van – and comes between Pen y Ghent and Whernside on the walk. There is a rumour that the viaduct has been around longer than the ice cream van, but I don’t have any hard evidence on that. 

What does BING make of it then? 

The straightforward road map doesn’t think much of it .. 

Ribblehead Viaduct on a road map

Ribblehead Viaduct on a road map

So – on the ‘road’ menu – select  Ordnance Survey Maps. Note if Ordnance Survey doesn’t show, then change the zoom setting until Ordnance Survey becomes an option – once you have OS on display you can zoom in and out, but the link appears to only be available at certain zoom settings. 

Ribblehead Viaduct on OS Map - from BING

That’s more like it. 

Now on the Aerial tab, select satellite photo view .. and, here we can see a wonderful picture taken of the viaduct – looking at the lengths of shadow and the lay of the shadow it’s probably on a late summer afternoon. 

Stunning Sharp Shadows from the Viaduct

Now – select the 3D option, and a new set of tools appear .. 

BING 3D Tools

The various tools are explained when you leave your mouse hovering over them .. 

By holding the control key when you move your mouse you can ‘spin on the spot’ – so with a bit of trial and error you can locate yourself in the shadows of the viaduct, and you’ll see this .. according to BING! 

Ribblehead Viaduct has been bing'ed

Ribblehead Viaduct - also available the right way up

But wait – does that picture suggests that the Viaduct goes UNDER the River Ribble? Let’s take another look .. 

It's official - the viaduct is really .. A TUNNEL

Joking aside – BING 3D and OS do make a stunning free resource – it takes a bit of getting used to – but here’s Pen y Ghent 

BING 3D Re-creates Pen y Ghent

Geography Maths and ICT

I was looking at some of Tom Barrett’s work recently and came across the amazing add ons available with Google Maps – once you’ve signed in to a free googlemail account. I enjoy tough walking – the panorama at the top of this screen is from Merrick in Galloway. Here’s the profile using a Google Gadget

Merrick Metric

Here’s a slightly tougher walk .. the Yorkshire 3 Peaks .. 

Yorkshire 3 Peaks Imperial

Note that the Merrick walk looks much gentler because of the change of units.. 

I have made a video showing how to do this, but I need to edit it and audio it which may take me a short while. If you’d like a link to the silent video (and decipher it yourself!) please let me know.

Now – let’s try something really effective and add a BING OS map of the area ..

I can only seem to make BING 3D generate a pleasant walk in the hills!