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UKBORDERS

UKBORDERS is an online digital boundary service hosted by EDINA at the University of Edinburgh and currently only available for users in UK academic institutions. UKBORDERS allows registered users to specify and download digital boundaries for a wide range of geographical units and copies of the National Statistics Postcode Directory (NSPD) and earlier postcode directories.  Due to the large size of boundary and directory datasets users are advised to ensure that they only attempt to download these resources when working from a high-speed internet connection.

Principal elements

The four principal elements of the UKBORDERS service are

  • Easy Download. This provides access to the most regularly requested UKBORDERS boundaries, available as ready to use national datasets in SHAPE, E00, MIF/MID and DXF format. Because the files are national coverages they can be quite large and users interested in only specific smaller regions will need to manipulate these data within their local geographical information system software. The Easy Download facility is arranged by country because the boundary datasets tend to have been created by different agencies for each country of the UK. Each country's entry also includes links to useful lookup tables between geographical references.
  • Boundary Data Selector. This provides an interface for the specification of bespoke digital boundary datasets for download. Users can specify dates, countries and levels of geographical detail. It is possible to adjust the level of coordinate generalization and to specify the file format for download. This method will generally be most useful to users who are working at the level of a specific local authority or county.
  • Postcode Directory Download. This provides downloads of the full postcode directory files and covers the complete collection of directories purchased for the UK academic community by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). These files include all versions of the NSPD and its forerunners (also known as the All Fields Postcode Directory, Central Postcode Directory or Postzon file). Users are warned that the more recent directories are extremely large, as they contain records for both current and terminated postcodes and many additional fields for each postcode record.
  • View Metadata. This facility is under development but detailed metadata is available by contacting EDINA directly.

Additional Resources

The home page of the UKBORDERS service [http://edina.ac.uk/ukborders/]

The UKBORDERS help system includes a quick reference guide and a tutorial on downloading data from the system [http://edina.ac.uk/ukborders/support/guides.shtml]