What better way to kick off the Go-Geo! blog than by taking a look at the new web mapping service from the Digimap team here at EDINA. Geology Roam takes over from the existing geology mapper which was starting to look a bit tired and old. Geology Roam provides access to geological datasets from the British Geological Survey. Geology Roam uses the same basic platform as the Digimap Roam service for Ordnance Survey collection maps which has been very popular since it was launched in late 2009.
So, what is special about this new service? It includes the Roam interface that will be familiar and intuitive to anyone who has used Google Maps or Google Earth. Slippy maps, where you click and drag the map around in the browser, double click to zoom and using the scroll wheel to zoom. These features make such a difference to the user experience and make navigating around the maps so much easier than it was before.
With Geology Roam we have added some new features such as a query tool. This is operated with a single mouse click and will launch a query box that describes what the rock type is at that particular point. This can be a quick way to determine the rock type as Geological keys tend to be long and complicated.
Another nice, useful feature is the transparency slider. This allows you to overlay an OS background map to help navigate or orientate yourself in the map space. I wont bother putting in any screen shots of this in use, just have a quick play with it yourself.
Just like with the OS service, you can customise your maps in Geology Roam. You can turn off certain layers which allows you to highlight features such as faults, or to display just the surface drift geology.
This brings us on to printing. You can print maps in the same way as you do in other Roam services, but in Geology Roam you can now add National Grid lines. The rest of the print functions include:
- Print in PDF (other formats are currently being investigated)
If you are not convinced, why not spend 5 minutes playing with Geology Roam then 5 minutes using the old interface. This will highlight just how much internet mapping has evolved over the last 5 years. Geology Roam is currently a beta service and we would welcome your feedback on how we could improve it. We have our own ideas but it would be great to hear what you think.