New UK Borders Learning Objects

OK, I’ll admitt it.  I am a physical geographer and have had little to do with human geography for many years.  However, when i arrived at EDINA i had to get to grips with a number of datasets that were completely new to me.  That is ok, it is a challenge but data can be interesting.  Part of my role, is to provide help to Digimap and UKBORDERS users.  Most of the data held in Digimap seemed familiar and i quickly got used to the rest.  UKBORDERS was a different story.

UKBORDERS is run from EDINA and is part of the Census.ac.uk service.  It holds digitised boundary data and associated datasets of the UK for use in geographic information systems (GIS).  Census data is confusing but fortunately the Easy Data Downloader tool gives users direct access to a number of popular datasets.  If you need anything else then you will have to extract it from the repository yourself.  At this point you need to understand both the census data terms and the subtleties of the UK’s administrative boundaries. Unitary athorities, Districts, Counties, Lower Super output areas, upper super output areas………then you discover that data is not consistent between Scotland and the rest of the UK .

Well, getting to grips with the data in UKBORDERS has just got easier.  A series of excellent learning objects have been created to get users started.

Module 1

The aim of this module is to help your understanding of the various geographies of the United Kingdom which are commonly encountered when using geo-referenced socioeconomic datasets and how these geographies are represented digitally within digital boundaries and geographic lookup tables.

UKBorders Learing Object

UKBorders Learing Object

Module 2

The aim of this module is to help you understand how digital boundaries and geographic lookup tables can be obtained through the UKBORDERS service as part of the ESRC Census Programme.

Module 3

The aim of this module is to help you understand how digital boundaries can be used with area based statistics for the purpose of data linkage, data visualisation and analysis in order to answer socioeconomic research questions.

The geography of the UK’s adminastrative borders is at best confusing.  Hopefully the UKBORDERS Learning Objects will prove useful.   Working through them reinforced some of what i thought i knew and cleared up a number of uncertanties.  They are certainly more engaging than reading through page upon page of help documentation.

If you use the learning objects and think they are worthwhile, drop us a line via the Edina helpdesk or leave a comment on this post.  You might even have an idea for a learning object that would be useful to create.

About Addy Pope

Addy is a member of the GeoData team at EDINA and work on services such as GoGeo, ShareGeo and the FieldtripGB app. Addy has over 10 years experience as a geospatial analyst. Addy tweets as @go_geo
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