All the information on using zoom can be found on the Introduction to Computing in GeoSciences for New Postgraduate Students Introduction Page.
While any remote lectures and practicals are being carried out using Zoom, Teams will also be used for some meetings.
Like Zoom, you may already be using teams, but you need to access it using your University account to ensure that you have access to all the functionality and features.
Important: To make sure that you can use all the features of Teams we need you to sign in to meetings using your University of Edinburgh account.
To be able to map you network drives and access some University Services you will need to use a VPN. This means that your computer will be treated as if it were on the University Network even when working from home or other remote location.
The University VPN needs registering for and recommends specific software called FortiClient. The process is detailed on the University Webpages and follows these steps:
The easiest way to access all the files you will need for your studies or research is to map network drives to your computer, allowing you to open them as if they were on your machine. To be able to do this you will first need to set up the VPN as detailed in the section above and of course you will need to be on the internet. A good connection will help if you are reading or writing large files.
There are three drives to map/folders to connect to in order to cover all the data and areas you will need.
On a Windows PC these should be mapped to the G:, M: and U: drives in order to mirror the University computer lab setup as far as possible. If a particular drive letter is unavailable (e.g. mapping netdata to G: will cause issues with e.g. USB peripherals) then feel free to map the drive to an alternative drive letter as required. Alternatively the script at U:\SCE\GEOS\drive_mapping\Access Netdata can be run as and when netdata is required. If desired a shortcut to this can be placed on the desktop and then pinned to the taskbar.
These drives will be referred to however in course materials as G: (netdata), M: (personal GeoScicences home drive/directory), and U: (University drive):
The following procedure should be followed to map the drives on a windows PC:
You will now have the three drives available to use on your computer as long as you remain connected to the VPN.
* Should you have problems accessing \\ed.ac.uk\dst\shared over a VPN connection then you can try the full address of: \\csce.datastore.ed.ac.uk\csce\geos\groups\geos
The shorter mapping is preferable as it means that your U: filepath will exactly match that of any data file or program located on U: in on-campus computer labs. It is not a critical issue however (and drive letters mean nothing to Mac users!)
To map network shares (drives mean nothing on a Mac!) use the following instructions:
* Should you have problems accessing smb://ed.ac.uk/dst/shared over a VPN connection then you can try the full address of: smb://csce.datastore.ed.ac.uk/csce/geos/groups/geos
If you need to use specialist Windows software available within UoE on your home computer but you can’t install it or access the licence then you can use the new Apps.Ed service to run the software remotely.
The apps run reasonably well without so much of the latency experienced when using software remotely on another computer.
You will need to download and install the Citrix Workspace App to be able to use this service. All the instructions for installing the Citrix software are on the following website:
Once installed it will prompt you for your email or server address:
A window will open with all the apps that are available to use. Running the apps this way is the same as running them on a University machine with all the drives mapped.
SSH (Secure Shell) allows you to run programs etc. on remote UNIX servers.
SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) allows you to move files around, between your PC and Servers.
MobaXTerm (for Windows PC; Macs can use built-in SSH) offers all of alternative graphical RDP client, local UNIX-like shell on your own PC, and also a basic SSH client for command line access which may be all you need. As it also includes what is called an X-Server, graphical programs will also run as required.
Putty is a simple yet robust SSH client that is very well used. It can be downloaded from here: https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/latest.html
Working with textual data is often best done in a full-blown text editor program. While the likes of Notepad and Wordpad can be used for quick Windows-only uses they are really not up to much rigorous use nor are they any good for working across different computing systems. Instead, programs such as PSPad, and Notepad++ allow you to handle huge file sizes beyond the capacity of Excel and do so without corrupting the data through inclusion of spurious formatting information.
QGIS can be accessed via Apps.Ed as detailed above, however you can also download and install the software on your own computer and run it from there. QGIS is free OpenSource software so there is no cost to download or use it in any way.
Once you have the software installed there are several resources to get you started:
ArcMap is available via Apps.Ed as detailed above. If it is really essential it is possible to obtain a copy for use on your personal computer. ArcMap only works on Windows PCs. In most cases it is better to use ArcGIS Pro, so try using this first.
ArcGIS Pro is available via Apps.Ed as detailed above. If necessary it is possible to obtain a copy for use on your personal computer. ArcGIS Pro only works on Windows PCs.
To download and use ArcGIS Pro on your home computer you first need an ArcGIS User account which can be set up by Geosciences IT:
If you already have an ArcGIS Online account but can't access the download link then contact email@example.com and request that your account have the ArcGIS Pro download enabled.
ERDAS Imagine is available via Apps.Ed as detailed above. If necessary it is possible to obtain a copy for use on your personal computer.
ER Mapper is available via Apps.Ed as detailed above. If necessary it is possible to obtain a copy for use on your personal computer.
Oracle is a leading relational database management system and Oracle Spatial is a component of the software that allows you to manage geographical and location data. Oracle is available to use on some of the University servers but not to download and install on your home computer.
More details on accessing Oracle will come in the Spatial Modelling and Analysis course. If you need to know more and are not taking the SMA course please request help from firstname.lastname@example.org
PostgreSQL is an open source object-relational database system and PostGIS is a spatial extension for it. It is avaiable on the University servers and you can download and install it on your home computer.
The software can be downloaded here: https://www.postgresql.org/
If you are on windows, the easiest way to then add PostGIS is to:
For Mac PCs the easiest way is to download the software from Postgres.app, where PostGIS is bundled into the download. Go here for the download file and instructions: https://postgresapp.com/
The Service provided by EDINA allows you access to data (for academic purposes only) from the following organisations:
There are tools for viewing, annotating and downloading maps and spatial data. There are also tools for creating some statistical maps too.
You need to register to use the service and agree to all the different licences start here: https://digimap.edina.ac.uk/
If you need census data and the boundaries relevant to that data (they change over time so you need to make sure you have the right ones!) then you can source it from the UK Data Service Census Support Website: https://census.ukdataservice.ac.uk/
You need to register for this service, put the University of Edinburgh as your organisation and use your Ease Username and Password when prompted.
Once you have logged in all the boundary data can be found here: https://census.ukdataservice.ac.uk/get-data/boundary-data.aspx
This site contains a lot of spatial data and is worth searching if you need something for a project or your dissertation. Not all the data is available to download directly from the site but may be available elsewhere, or if you contact the relevant government body directly. Contact your tutor who will be able to guide you in obtaining data that isn't available to donwload directly from the internet.
Use the serach facility and filters to find what you need, this requires some patience and skill to hone in on what you need so don't give up after one search if nothing comes up.