Geology Roam

This help page explains how to use Geology Roam to view and create maps of historical Ordnance Survey data. Also see the FAQs section for frequently asked questions about using Geology Roam and the historical map data.

 

How to use Geology Roam

 

Click on the image below for a short video introduction to Roam.

 

Enable audio for maximum benefit.

Note: Geology Roam requires JavaScript to be enabled in your internet browser. If JavaScript is disabled, Roam will not load and you will receive a message telling you to enable JavaScript. If you are unsure how to enable JavaScript, please check your browser's help pages or contact your Institution's Computing Support.


 

Overview

Geology Roam enables you to view and print maps using British Geological Survey (BGS) and Ordnance Survey data at one of 12 predefined scales. Prints can be created from A4 to A0 in size; and landscape or portrait orientation.

  1. Map window - Where the maps are displayed.

  2. View Name - Each zoom level of the map has a name and can be made up of different map products.

  3. Overview Map - This shows the current map location in a wider geographical area.

  4. Map Content - This allows you to view the map legend and customise the map content.

  5. Active Legend - This allows you to reorder the legend by age and to locate items on the map or in the legend.

  6. Map Information - To view details about the current map view.

  7. Open - Open saved maps and annotations

  8. Save - Store maps and annotations to retrieve at a later date.

  9. Print - Click to go to print options.  Click to produce printable PDF, PNG, JPEG files of your map.

  10. Map Tools - Annotations Tools and Measurement Tools.

  11. Overlays - Click to access a menu giving options for overlays.

  12. Information Tool - Click on the map to find out information about the rocks at that point.

  13. Window Navigation

  14. Search - Click to search for places, postcodes, grid references and coordinates.

  15. Opacity Slider - Change the opacity of the geological data to make the backdrop maps more or less visible.

  16. Basemaps - Change the geology data to a different map product.

  17. Navigation controls - Click to navigate the map.

  18. Help - Click to view the Help Pages.

 

Note: To expand/collapse the left hand panel click the Expand arrow or Collapse arrow icons.


 

Navigating in Geology Roam

You can navigate in Geology Roam by panning (moving the map in any direction) and by zooming in and out of the map.

To pan you can either:

Navigation control

Click the relevant arrow to pan the map in that direction.


To zoom in/out of the map, you can:

Zoom slider bar


 

Searching for a location

You can search for a location in Geology Roam  using a place name, postcode, grid reference, easting/northing or latitude/longitude. Click on the main menu bar to expand the search box.

 

Advanced Search

To search using the Advanced options:

 


 

Understanding map views

Geology Roam has 12 different predefined map scales, called views. The views consist of different BGS geology data and background Ordnance Survey map products which are appropriate for each view's scale (e.g. the Local view uses the BGS DiGMapGB-50 data and the OS 1:50 000 scale raster).

Once you have found your location of interest, you can zoom in and out to find the appropriate view for your map. The following table lists the scale and map products used for each view, to help you decide which view is appropriate for your purpose.

Basemaps offer a different view of the geology data or some alternative mapping products at one or more of the views. You can switch to any of the basemaps available for the current view by clicking on the button at top right hand side of the map.

View Standard Geology
Map Product(s)

Basemaps

Background
Map Product
Scale
British Isles DiGMapGB-625 Rock Units
DigRock250 Offshore Geology
DigSBS Sea Bed Sediments
Rock Type (DiGMapGB-625) Digital Chart of the World
(Country Outlines)
1:5 600 000
Mainland DiGMapGB-625 Rock Units
DigRock250 Offshore Geology
DigSBS Sea Bed Sediments
Rock Type (DiGMapGB-625)
Hydrogeology
OS Miniscale® 1:1 250 000
National DiGMapGB-625 Rock Units
DigRock250 Offshore Geology
DigSBS Sea Bed Sediments
Rock Type (DiGMapGB-625)
Hydrogeology
OS Miniscale® 1:625 000
Range DiGMapGB-250 Rock Units
DigRock250 Offshore Geology
DigSBS Sea Bed Sediments
Rock Type (DiGMapGB-250)
Soil Calcium Carbonate
Soil Strength
Soil Texture
Geological Indicators of Flooding
Maximum Permeability
Minimum Permeability
OS Miniscale® 1:375 000
County DiGMapGB-250 Rock Units
DigRock250 Offshore Geology
DigSBS Sea Bed Sediments
Rock Type (DiGMapGB-250)
Soil Calcium Carbonate
Soil Strength
Soil Texture
Geological Indicators of Flooding
Maximum Permeability
Minimum Permeability
OS Miniscale® 1:250 000
District DiGMapGB-250 Rock Units
DigRock250 Offshore Geology
DigSBS Sea Bed Sediments
Rock Type (DiGMapGB-250)
Soil Calcium Carbonate
Soil Strength
Soil Texture
Geological Indicators of Flooding
Maximum Permeability
Minimum Permeability
OS 1:250 000 Raster 1:150 000
Sector DiGMapGB-50 Rock Units Rock Type (DiGMapGB-50)
Soil Calcium Carbonate
Soil Strength
Soil Texture
Geological Indicators of Flooding
Maximum Permeability
Minimum Permeability
OS 1:250 000 Raster 1:100 000
Division DiGMapGB-50 Rock Units Rock Type (DiGMapGB-50)
Soil Calcium Carbonate
Soil Strength
Soil Texture
Geological Indicators of Flooding
Maximum Permeability
Minimum Permeability
OS 1:250 000 Raster 1:75 000
Local DiGMapGB-50 Rock Units Rock Type (DiGMapGB-50)
Soil Calcium Carbonate
Soil Strength
Soil Texture
Geological Indicators of Flooding
Maximum Permeability
Minimum Permeability
OS 1:50 000 Raster 1:50 000
Plot DiGMapGB-10 or 25 Rock Units Rock Type (DiGMapGB-10 or 25)
Rock Type (DiGMapGB-50)
Rock Units (DiGMapGB-50)
Soil Calcium Carbonate
Soil Strength
Soil Texture
Geological Indicators of Flooding
Maximum Permeability
Minimum Permeability
OS 1:50 000 Raster 1:25 000
Detailed DiGMapGB-10 or 25 Rock Units Rock Type (DiGMapGB-10 or 25)
Rock Type (DiGMapGB-50)
Rock Units (DiGMapGB-50)
Soil Calcium Carbonate
Soil Strength
Soil Texture
Geological Indicators of Flooding
Maximum Permeability
Minimum Permeability
OS 1:25 000 Raster 1:10 000
Plan DiGMapGB-10 or 25 Rock Units Rock Type (DiGMapGB-10 or 25) OS 1:25 000 Raster 1:5 000

  

Controlling map content

In Geology Roam it is possible to customise which features are displayed on the map (e.g. display only Bedrock or Superficial Deposits)

For a short video showing how to create a simple bedrock only geology map in Geology Roam, click on the image below:

 

To customise the map view:

  1. Click the Map Content tab in the side menu. (The Map Content control contains a list of the feature types that are included in the map you are currently viewing)

  2. Switch groups of features on and off by checking or un-checking the tick box next to the group name.

  3. All features can be switched off by un-checking the clear/select all layers tick box. Note: Clearing all layers will result in a blank map, so remember to switch at least one layer back on!

It is also possible to customize the strength of the colour of the geology information on the map.

Use the slider at the top right hand side of the map to increase or decrease the opacity of the geology data, making either the background mapping or the geology more clear.

You can also change the data that you are viewing at your scale level by changing the Basemap. Click on the button at top right hand side of the map, and select the alternative geological data to display on the map.

 

Get Rock Information

To find out more information about the rocks on the map select the information tool , you will notice a question mark appears next to the mouse pointer.
 

Now clicking on any point on a map will open up an information box describing the geological information for that point. The description will be for the features shown on the map so turn off the superficial deposits layer if you want to know about the geology underneath.

Details of the rock name, type and age are given where they are available, along with the layer that the information is from; Bedrock, Superficial Deposits etc.



 

 


 

Printing

Roam allows you to create printable maps in A4 to A0 size and in portrait or landscape layout in a variety of formats and at user defined scales.

To create a printable map:

  1. Click the print button on the main menu bar.
  2. Enter a map Title.
  3. Enter the Print Scale that you want to print the map at.
  4. Select the Print Format.
  5. Select the Page Size using the drop down menu.
  6. Select orientation (landscape or portrait).
  7. Check the box if you want to add National Grid Lines.
  8. Check the box if you want to include any Annotations you have drawn on the map.
  9. Check the box if you want to include Hill Shading.
  10. Check the box if you want to include Map Labels, see note below.
  11. Check the box if you want to Add Legend. Note the legend will be created as a separate PDF file and placed in a zip file with your map.
  12. Click Generate Print File, this will produce a file which you can save or print.

 

Map Labels: Selecting the Map Labels option will print labels for the polygon data on your map (i.e. bedrock and superficial geology layers). Polygons are labelled with their Rock Unit code. Labels are placed in the centre of each polygon, unless the centre of the polygon is beyond the extent of the map, in which case the label is repositioned so it is within the map extent. Small polygons under a certain size (dependant on map scale) are not labelled as the label would obscure the polygon. Finally, overlapping labels are not printed. If overlapping labels are present, one of them will not be printed; this results in a clearer, more useful map.

Use the tab (shown above) to view a small area of the map content that you will get; use the tab (shown below) to show the extents of the area your map will cover based on the paper size and scale of the map.  Drag the map in either preview window to change the location of your map.


 

Map Information

The Map Information tab displays spatial reference information about the current map view. The information will update as you pan and zoom the map.



  1. Click Map Information on the Side Menu tab to open.

  2. Displays the top right and bottom left coordinates of the current map view. NB: The bottom left coordinates relate to the corner hidden by the left task panel when it is expanded.

  3. The scale the current map will be printed at.

  4. Hover over any point on the map to view the coordinates.



 

My Maps

My Maps enables you to open and save maps and annotations you have previously saved.

Save My Map...

You can save your existing map, and any annotations on it, using --> My Map...

Note: any annotations you have on the map will be saved with the map.

Open My Maps...

  1. Click --> My Maps menu in the main menu bar.

  2. Click to select any saved map to view in the map window.

  3. Sort the list of saved maps by clicking the column headings.

  4. Click Delete Selected to remove the map from your saved maps.

If there is a in the Annotations column this indicates that there are annotations present in the saved map.

If you already have annotations present on your map and you try and open another map that also has annotations on it, you will be asked to either delete your existing annotations or to merge existing annotations with ones on the selected map.

Note: You should save your existing annotations you want to keep before opening another map using Save button --> My Map...


 

Annotation Tools

The annotation tools in Geology Roam allow you to draw symbols, lines, polygons and text on your maps. You can add labels to these features and have the ability to select colours and styles for them too.

There is a short video showing you how to use the annotation tools:

 

 

Below is a summary of the main Annotation Tools and how to use them.  Detailed help on all the tools and functions available can be found in the How to use the Annotation Tools help page.

Click on the Annotation Tools option under the  menu above the map to open the Annotations toolbar.

Add features using the Draw & Create set of tools on the toolbar.  Select from the point, text, line or area tools, and click on the map to start drawing.

Text colour and font size can be set using the Text Settings options.

Area style settings can be set using the Fill and Stroke settings, to select the colour and opacity of the fill and the colour, style and width of the outline.

Line style settings can be set using the Stroke settings.

Use the modify tools to add labels, reposition, resize and reshape features drawn.

 

To edit the colour and styling of text, line or areas drawn, click on the Select tool (or the drag to select tool) and then click on the feature you want to edit to select it, it will be highlighted.  Next, change the colour and style settings you want to change.  Then deselect the feature(s) by clicking away from the feature in an area where you have no annotations.

 

Saving and Opening Annotations

To save a set of annotations you have drawn, use the Save My Map.... tool on the main menu bar Give your map set a name and click save and the map along with any annotations wil be saved.  

To open a saved set of annotations, click on the Open My Maps... tool on the main menu bar and select the map together with annotations you want to view.

You can import a dataset you have and want to add as features to the map using the Open --> Annotations from file... function on the main menu bar.  Select the Open annotations from file tool, choose a file to import and click upload.  

Supported formats are:

 

To export a set of annotations you have created to a file suitable for use in a GIS, click the Save --> Annotations to file.. tool on the main manu bar, choose a file format, give your file a name and click export.

 

For more detail help on the Annotation Tools, please see the How to use the Annotation Tools help page.


 

Measurement Tools

Roam's Measurement Tools enable you to measure distances and areas on your map.

  1. Click the --> Measurement Tools button on the main tool bar to open.


  1. Click once on the map to start measuring.  

  2. Move the mouse pointer along to the next point.  Clicking once on the map will add a point.

  3. Double click to finish measuring.  The total distance or area measurement is displayed in the measurement tools window.


  4. Closing the measurement tools window will clear the line or area from the map.

NB:  Measurements less than 1km in length or 1km2 in area are given in metres and metres squared.

    


 

Geological Photos

In certain areas of the British Isles members of the BGS have taken photos of rocks, landforms and other geological features in the landscape.

For a short video showing how to view photos in Geology Roam, click on the image below:

 

 

There are over 3000 different images to view, concentrated mainly in upland areas such as Cumbria, the Peak District, North Wales and the Dorset Coast.

To access the photos you will need to be on one of the 5 most zoomed in map views, you can see this on the zoom slider bar. The Geological Photos text on the side menu will be grey on other zoom levels but will become coloured on the zoom levels where it is available.

To show the Geological Photos you will need to enable the Geological Photos overlay on the Overlays menu:

Once you have clicked on the tool, camera icons will appear on the map where there are photos available. A double camera icon appears where there are more than two photos for a location. A list of all the photos available on the map will appear in the Geological Photos tab, if there are no photos for the map you are currently looking at then a message will appear in this tab.

Clicking on a camera icon will open up a thumbnail of the image(s) for that location. If you then click on the thumbnail a full size image will open in a pop-up along with all the information about the location as shown below:



 

Active Legend

The Active Legend provides a means of visualising what the features on a map are and interrogating them to find more information. You can click on items in the Legend menu to highlight them on the map or click on features on the map to identify them in the legend.

The active legend also shows the age of the rocks and can be used to order the legend by aged

The Active Legend task menu must be open for the following functionality (Feature Information) to work.

 

Features

With the Active Legend task menu open:

1) A user can click on an item in the Active Legend and all the features of the same feature type in the map window will be highlighted.

2) A user can click at a location on the map and all features at that location will be highlighted (with an outline and area fill). The corresponding featuretype(s) that are selected on the map will be highlighted in the Active Legend.

4) A user can sort the entries in the Active Legend by age, ascending or descending.

 

5) A user can control whether the Active Legend updates automatically on pan and zoom.

If the options to automatically update in pan and zoom are enabled then the Active Legend will dynamically update to show only those features that are on the map.

The legends can take some time to generate so you may want to leave these options unchecked and click to update the legend once you are happy with the location of you map.