Workshop: An introduction to mapping census data28 October 2009University of Stirling

This workshop has now passed. Slides from the workshop are available (see link below).

  • Time: 10.00-16.00 (registration and refreshments at 09.30)
  • Date: Wednesday, 28 October 2009
  • Place: Room 2X4, Cottrell Building, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Please note: this workshop is almost identical to the one held at Stirling in May 2009.

UK Censuses provide an unrivalled source of contemporary and historical demographic and socio-economic information, available with complete UK coverage at a range of geographical scales down to small local areas. Census information has a vast range of uses, both on its own, and in conjunction with information from other sources. A common requirement is to produce maps and other visualisations of census information using mapping software.

The workshop begins with a brief introduction to the range of information and resources available from the units of the ESRC Census Programme, and then focuses on census aggregate data, the most widely used component of the census outputs, and how it can be combined with digital boundary data (DBD) to produce maps. The workshop is aimed primarily at postgraduates, researchers, teaching staff and data librarians, and consists of a mixture of presentations and a hands-on session following a series of exercises to obtain census aggregate data and digital boundary data, and create maps from them. It aims to be flexible enough to accommodate the particular interests of attendees, and provide answers to questions such as:

  • What is census aggregate data?
  • What is digital boundary data?
  • What are they used for, and how might I use them?
  • How can I identify and obtain information of interest to me?
  • How can I combine aggregate statistics and DBD to produce maps and perform spatial analyses?
  • What methods could I use to combine non-census information (e.g. postcoded sample data) with aggregate statistics and DBD?

For those in UK higher and further education only. Postgraduates, researchers and teachers whose work involves the use of census data, postcodes, deprivation and health datasets will find the workshop particularly useful, as will data intermediaries, for example, subject specialist librarians.

Familiarity with MS Excel is desirable but not essential.


09.30-10.00 Registration and refreshments
10.00-10.15 Welcome and introduction to
10.15-11.00 Census aggregate data and Casweb
11.00-11.10 Refreshment break
11.10-12.00 Practical 1: downloading census aggregate data using Casweb
12.00-12.45 Introduction to visualising and analysing census data using Digital Boundary Data (DBD)
12.45-13.30 Lunch
13.30-15.30 Practical 2: digital boundary data and mapping
15.30-16.00 Summary and feedback
16.00 End

The workshop is free to attend and includes lunch and refreshments. However travel and accommodation costs will need to be met by the participants.