Understanding Atlas

Atlas is a way for people to explore areas and organisations on the MHCLG Open Data site. This guide shows 

  • How to access Atlas
  • Searching for areas
  • What the different parts of the page do
  • How to use the map
  • The area selector
  • The dataset selector
  • Technical information

Accessing Atlas

There are a couple of ways of accessing the Atlas section. At the top of every page is a link to Atlas. 

Clicking this will take you to the starting point of Atlas, on the page of the biggest geographical area in the platform. In the case of MHCLG Open Data, this is the United Kingdom.

Alternatively, clicking on any geographical area in a dataset will navigate to that area's page on Atlas.

Once in Atlas, you will see a page which has several sections - a search box, some information about the selected geographical area, a map, a grouped list of child geographies, and a list of related datasets.

Searching for an area

Searching for Trafford (a Metropolitan District in South Manchester) gives us this set of results:

Geographical areas can be categorised in more than one category. In this case, Trafford is both a Lower Tier Authority and a Metropolitan District. Additionally, there are other areas with similar names - Civil Parishes, and Lower Super Output Areas which have Trafford in the name. We can use the checkboxes to filter the results, to only show Metropolitan Districts. Click the plus sign next to 'Find areas of type' to show a set of checkboxes. You can use these to filter the results.

Checking the box next to Metropolitan Districts gives:

Clicking the green 'Trafford' link in the search results opens Trafford's page on Atlas:

This page shows the information that there is about Trafford in MHCLG Open Data. To the left of the map you can view how this particular area fits into the geographical hierarchy above it, such as country, region or metropolitan county. Each area can be clicked to the Atlas page for that area.

Using the Map

The map shows the simplified boundary of the selected area. Above the map is a drop down, which lets you choose to move to a related area, or group of areas. For example, we can use this to show all Metropolitan Districts in Greater Manchester, or we can choose to see all the Lower Super Output Areas in Trafford.

Again, every piece of green text is a link, so the map can be used to display information for other areas, and navigate administrative geography in England.

Area selector

Below the map is a categorised list of all the geographical areas that are inside the selected area. In the case of Trafford there are 4 Parish Councils, and 138 Lower Super Output Areas:

Add to Cart

Throughout this page, there are buttons and links to 'add to data cart'. These allow you to export datasets for custom geography collections. Please refer to the Data Cart User Guide for more information about this feature.

Area Profile

Below the area selector is the area profiles section. This is a table showing key statistics about the selected area. 

Green links are clickable, and will take the user to the observation page for the figure shown. Note that not all area-types have the area profile feature.

Datasets

The last part of this page lists all the datasets that have data about the selected area. 

Expanding a theme node will list the relevant datasets, and selecting a dataset will open the dataset page, which you can find out more about in this guide

Technical Information

The bottom of the page shows the technical information about the area with licence details on the left-hand side.

On the right side are links to download the information about the area in various formats. This section also contains metadata relevant to the area, including URIs. This information is particularly useful when constructing SPARQL queries.

To continue exploring our datasets, return to opendatacommunities.org

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