What is MapStream for Schools?

MapStream for Schools is a service that allows GIS and other suitable software to connect to data servers and stream Ordnance Survey mapping data directly. This removes the need to download, store and manage vast amounts of data on a local disk or network. The map data seamlessly loads into your GIS as you pan and zoom around Great Britain

OS mapping products

MapStream for Schools provides access to a stack of Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping products at a range of scales from small scale regional and road mapping style maps, right down to the most detailed mapping OS create showing building outlines. The mapping data available from MapStream for Schools is:

  • OS MasterMap® Topography layer
  • OS VectorMap® Local Full Colour Raster
  • 1:25 000 scale colour raster
  • 1:50 000 scale colour raster
  • 1:250 000 scale raster
  • Miniscale
The 1:25 000 and 1:50 000 are the digital equivalents of the popular OS Explorer and OS Landranger paper maps.

Benefits of using MapStream for Schools

MapStream for Schools provides seamless backdrop mapping in your GIS application. Use it as a background image for overlaying your own data such as sample sites collected by GPS in the field, or to digitise your own data from. Using backdrop maps gives context to your own data or data from other sources (e.g. census data, environmental data)

The benefit of MapStream for Schools is that it provides a stack of Ordnance Survey mapping products at a range of scales that is simple to load into most GIS programs. The advantage of a single stack of data is that as you zoom in and out through different scales, MapStream for Schools updates and displays the most appropriate mapping product for the scale to give the best context for your additional data. All the while, your students will be learning a new technology, developing new skills and vocabulary as they learn about GIS.

What’s the difference between Digimap for Schools and MapStream?

Digimap for Schools is accessed online via a web browser, using a username and password to login with. You can log in, use the search tools to find a place of interest and zoom in or out to see more or less detail. There are measuring and annotation tools to query and add your own information to the map. Maps can be saved and printed for later use. Support is available via help pages, You Tube videos and an experienced helpdesk. In addition to the modern mapping, Digimap for Schools aslo provides 1890s historical mapping.

MapStream provides the same modern OS mapping data (no historical maps), but is a streaming service which you have to use GIS software to access. You need to have a connection to the internet to stream the map data. Using a GIS can offer many more functions than Digimap for Schools, but GIS software is more advanced and in schools, is probably more suitable for later secondary years.

Need help deciding?

Do you use (or are you looking to use) a desktop GIS (e.g. QGIS, ArcGIS)?
Are you looking for Ordnance Survey backdrop mapping to use in GIS?
Do you want complete GB map coverage at a range of scales?

If yes, then MapStream for Schools is for you.

Are you looking for an easy to use online mapping service with searching and annotation tools?
Are you looking for digital Ordnance Survey mapping and historical maps?
Do you need a service that is suitable for a wide range of ages and is cross curricular?
Do you need a service with no software installations?

If yes, then we recommend you give Digimap for Schools online mapping service a try.