Geograph the British Isles – combining mapping, photography and gaming in the classroom

Geograph British Isles combines mapping with photography and gaming challenges  to encourage practical interaction with maps and of the British Isles. 

Photographs for every square kilometre of the British Isles

Users of Ordnance Survey maps will know that Ordnance Survey maps divide up the geographical area into squares for ease of reference by users sharing locations – called the grid reference. So Geograph has the aim of providing photographs (current or historical) for every square on the map. With over 2 million user-uploaded photographs already on Geograph this makes this a useful tool for schools, particularly for social studies, local area projects, history, geography and more. And one of the challenges for users of Geograph is to add their own geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland.

Games and Classroom Application

Geograph has games on the site which make use of the images and maps, involving users trying to correctly match images with locations, or learn about mapping symbols. There are different ways of playing the games, making them able to be adapted for different ages and stages, and classroom purposes.

Already over 2 million images

All images submitted to geograph are moderated by Geograph before appearing on the site. There are regularly updating statistics on the Geograph site which include showing the number of images in total, the number in any square kilometre, and the locations where there are few images (so that users can set out to add images to these in particular). Geograph also provides users with a variety of ways of adding images, whether straight through the site or using photo-tool sites such as Picnik or Picasa.

Themes, Topics and Local Study

In addition to being matched to specific locations, photographs are also grouped by users in topics, such as canals, blue plaques, family history, cemeteries, postboxes, location-specific themes, and much more. These can be used as topic referenece material as they are or used as a stimulus for a similar grouping for a school’s own locality, area of study or interest.

NS8580 : Falkirk Wheel by Ian Capper

Falkirk Wheel

  © Copyright Ian Capper and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Re-using images elsewhere made easy

Geograph has also made it very easy to re-use the images elsewhere by providing several methods of crediting the source, whether by providing the text to display as reference with any image, or by providing a variety of embed codes for use in different blog hosts, websites, documents, etc, so that the chosen photograph automatically displays the image along with the appropriate credit.

Support materials to use in learning and teaching

Geograph has already inspired many to use the site in educational contexts, and has a clear range of well illustrated purposes with helpful support material showing how Geograph can be applied in learning and teaching.

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