Archive for the ‘maps’ Category

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The new seats mapped

In boundary changes,maps on October 17, 2012 by dadge

Ollie O’Brien (who, apart from anything else, does lots of great web stuff for orienteers) and James Cheshire have overlaid the old and new English seat boundaries on the Open Street Map to give you an easier way of viewing and comparing than the Boundary Commission have made possible with their old-fashioned booklets and PDFs. Have a look and see whether you’re happy or not that Nick Clegg has sworn to veto the changes.

If you want the shapefiles to make your own maps, they’re here. (or .xml)

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Map news

In maps,News on October 12, 2011 by dadge

“Good afternoon,

“Thank you for your interest in the BCE’s Initial Proposals and for your coverage of the launch. We have been looking into the provision of shape files since the launch and understand these are of particular interest to you. Our aim is to ensure the accuracy of materials distributed, hence why we were only in a position to distribute pdf’s (amended in Illustrator)  on 13 September, as you know. However, in the spirit of the consultation, we have listened to people’s ideas and preferences and have carried out work over the past month to ensure the accuracy of a set of shapefiles in association with the Initial Proposals. The 27 shape files (36Mb) are now available on disk. Please let us know if you would like a copy of the disk to be posted to you. Alternatively, you may pick this up from our offices this afternoon, if you would like to do this please respond by email to this address.

“Many thanks, BCE Press”

Thanks 🙂

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:-(

In maps on October 5, 2011 by dadge

Here’s an email I received today from the Boundary Commission. As you read, see if you can work out what it was that I’d asked them.

Dear Adrian,

Thank you for your continued interest. Your latest emails have been collected and pasted below purely to keep track of and respond to your latest questions to best effect.

We would encourage you now to make your representation, if that is your intention, via the website and look forward to that contribution. Meanwhile, to answer your latest questions and to recap:

The role of the BCE is to make recommendations for new constituency boundaries across the country.

The scale of the change is such that in presenting initial proposals our overriding concern is to optimise transparency and clarity. Only 77 constituencies remain unchanged and existing constituencies are only one of a number of factors BCE may take into account. BCE’s key objective following the opening of the consultation process is to support people’s involvement in that and, as such, producing regional and constituency maps ensures that an appropriate level of detail is made available to all.

BCE’s initial proposals of 13 September 2011 were accompanied by pdf maps, as you know. These are accurate – Apple Mac Illustrator files were updated when amendments were made but shapefiles were not updated in the final instance.

To view hard copies of the maps as well as the reports, please refer to the website to find your nearest ‘place of deposit’.

We hope that making full sets of maps and reports available online as well as in places of deposit will support as comprehensive a consultation process as possible.

Please also find our ‘Guide the the 2013 Review’ on the website which will answer any questions you may have relating to the next stages / final stage of the Review.

Please note that the ‘Publications’ page (http://consultation.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/publications/) currently has a link to the archived site for the 5th Review (under ‘annual reports’); under the heading ‘Fifth Periodical Review’ there are links to the four volumes of the fifth review report which include map annexes (this is where you can access those maps).

Regards

BCE teamHow did you get on? Let’s see if you’re right! Here are the four questions (I’ve simplified them a bit) that that email was supposedly in reply to…

1. How much would it cost to have live streaming of the hearings?

2. The 2010 version of the Ordnance Survey’s Boundary Line mapping product (containing the ward data used in the Review) is no longer available. How can this matter be resolved?

3. Will new (2011) ward boundaries only be used in the 2018 review, or will there be a mini-review after this one so that constituency boundaries can be tweaked to follow the new ward boundaries?

4. Can you email me the shapefiles for the Commission’s initial proposals?
So, how did you get on?

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Map fun

In Birmingham,maps,redistricting,West Midlands county on October 3, 2011 by dadge

Enjoying playing with my new toy. I’ve finally got my hands on the map files of the Commission’s proposals, so I can do maps like these, contrasting the current seats (orange) with the new ones (blue). If you want the files, or have a suggestion for a map, email me at dadge1@gmail.com

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Not so fast…

In maps,redistricting on September 30, 2011 by dadge

Coming back to the subject of mapping, the Guide to the Review (pdf) (paragraph 16) states:

The local government boundaries that the BCE is using for the 2013 Review can be found in the Ordnance Survey’s Boundary Line mapping product (October 2010 version). (Available free of charge at 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 scale* from customerservices@ordnancesurvey.co.uk or 08456 050505.)

This sounds all fine and dandy, so what happens when you contact the Ordnance Survey? You get this reply:

Thank you for your e-mail.

The product Boundary Line is available through the OS OpenData initiative. OS OpenData is the launch of a specific suite of datasets as part of the drive to increase innovation and support the Government’s ‘Making Public Data Public’ initiative. These datasets can be accessed at no cost and exploited via a very simple set of licensing terms. A new online service allows users to view, develop, download and order the OS OpenData products.

The products through the service are updated at regular intervals. Unfortunately, we do not hold the historical data after the updates. The Boundary Line product was updated in May 2011 and thus we no longer have the 2010 data.

If you have any further enquiries please let us know. (Emphasis mine.)

Hm. I emailed the Boundary Commission about this problem on Monday and I’m still waiting for a reply.

***

Meanwhile, I went to the OS website and got hold of their chunky “Boundary Line mapping product”. *No mention of scale – this is either something the Commission has made up or not explained properly.

When you download Boundary Line you might be forgiven for thinking you’re downloading a set of maps, but no, it’s a set of data. So, what am I supposed to do with it? The answer I found, after a bit of digging on the OS website, is “open your GIS”. I know this may be hard to believe, but I’ve never owned a GIS, so I had a hunt around for one. The best one appears to be ArcGIS, but I discovered after I’d downloaded it that my system can’t run it. So I asked the great guys on the Vote UK forum for advice, and they recommended Quantum GIS. Bingo! Er, not so fast.

***

Next problem: how to load the OS data into the GIS. A quick look at the manual and a bit of trial and error and I used the “Add Vector Layer” icon at the top to load the “shapefiles”. A bit of playing around and I’ve come up with a pleasing result:

Do you notice something? If you’ve been following the story closely, you’ll remember that this is the 2011 version of Boundary Line, so in places like Cheshire where the boundaries changed this year, the boundaries don’t match the ones the Commission has used.

But why, I hear you ask, are they using old boundaries anyway? Well, the legal position is (contd p.94)

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It’s a map

In maps,redistricting on September 27, 2011 by dadge

Two weeks into the consultation, and finally this: http://goo.gl/6JZHV
I know, it’s really sad, but my gob is smacked and my breath is taken. Isn’t it a shame that the Boundary Commission couldn’t’ve commissioned it?

Thanks are due to the brilliant Alasdair Rae, who produced the Guardian’s comparison maps. I asked him if he could do a blank version and wow. 🙂

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The review in pictures – week 2

In maps,redistricting on September 27, 2011 by dadge

source unknown

source unknown


Enfield Advertiser

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Gazette Live

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