It is available through the online service, Digimap, provided by EDINA - a datacentre based at the University of Edinburgh and funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).
Digimap allows users to view, print and download maps of any location in Great Britain at a series of pre-defined scales.
"Universities are already using Digimap - and the service could provide enormous benefits to the further education community," says Ordnance Survey's External Research Manager, Nick Groome.
"Thanks to an agreement with JISC, we are able to offer the mapping to end users in further education free-of-charge for the academic year 2005-2006. Our aim is to encourage more students to take advantage of using such highly detailed mapping information and experience the benefits that come with it."
As well as being able to view, print and download mapping information for use with appropriate application software, spreadsheets and databases, users can query and display postcodes or place names. And more advanced mapping facilities allow staff and students to overlay different map products and print maps up to A0 size.
Lorraine Estelle, JISC Collections Manager, says: "This is a unique opportunity for the further education community to have 24/7 access to highly detailed Ordnance Survey mapping.
"Institutions can experiment with Digimap to enrich the teaching and learning experience in a wide range of courses - such as business; computing; construction and the built environment; geography; history; key skills; and leisure and tourism. Maps can be incorporated in teaching and learning materials like course packs, lecture notes, presentations, student reports and projects as well as Virtual Learning Environments."
Marianne Addy, GIS Course Tutor at Colchester Sixth Form College, has been using Digimap for her teaching on the ASET Level 3 Certificate in Geographical Information Systems course. "Digimap is proving invaluable in providing us with a wide variety of digital data that has been easy to access," she says. "Our students have been able to use both vector and raster data sets as an integral part of their project researching environmental quality and deprivation issues in Colchester. It would have been difficult to run the project without Digimap - due to the scarcity of other suitable alternative digital mapping data resources."
The service is funded by JISC with contributions from subscribing institutions who must hold a current Ordnance Survey Education Copyright Licence.
Ordnance Survey products offered are: Land-Line Plus, Meridian 2, 1:10,000 scale Colour Raster, 1:25,000 scale Colour Raster, 1:50,000 scale Colour Raster, Land-Form PROFILE, Strategi, 1:50,000 scale gazetteer, Code-Point with Polygons.
JISC is planning an online delivery service for OS MasterMap - Ordnance Survey's latest generation of intelligent geographic information..