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.
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
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