olihawkins

A hexmap of district and unitary local authorities in England and Wales

4 Feb 2018 20:57 GMT

Last week I posted an interactive hexmap showing internal migration in England and Wales. Today I am publishing the boundaries for the hexmap so that other people can use them to show data for the same geographical areas.

The hexmap represents the 348 lower-tier (district and unitary) local authorities in England and Wales. The map preserves the organisation of local authorities within their countries and regions.

A hexmap of lower-tier local authorities in England and Wales where each hex is shaded according to its region.

The boundary data for this hexmap can be found in the files linked below in HexJSON and GeoJSON formats.

Arranging the local authorities where you would expect to find them, while preserving their geospatial relationships to one another and their regional groupings was not easy. Each solution to a particular difficulty created its own new problems, and it was often a question of deciding which arrangement was least unsatisfactory.

What this process has taught me is that hexmaps that represent real geographies are a useful fiction, and producing one involves making compromises. So while I am happy with the arrangement shown here, it is by no means definitive. Feel free to take it as a starting point and modify it further. I would be interested to hear of any changes or improvements.

The map was made using an interactive tool I have written for editing HexJSON data in the browser. I intend to put it online once I have had an opportunity to tidy up the code a bit.

Finally, I want to say thanks to Carl Baker, who kindly reviewed the work and suggested some improvements. Carl not only has great mapping skills, but also a remarkable memory for the geography of the UK, so he was able to spot problems and suggest solutions quickly.