How to access ward boundary shapefiles

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Wards are one of the most common units of geography that our users are interested in. They are more meaningful and recognisable than statistical geographies such as Lower Super Output Areas. But where do you find ward boundary information?

Most councils will provide ward boundary maps on their websites or Ordnance Survey provide a ward map at a national level.

However, for those working with Geographic Information Systems, access to shapefile boundaries for wards is also useful.

What are shapefiles?

Shapefiles are a popular format used for storing and sharing geospatial data. They can be useful for a variety of purposes, including Geographic Information Systems, urban planning, business intelligence and disaster response.

Within Geographic Information Systems, shapefiles are used to analyse spatial data and create maps. They allow for the representation of various geographic features such as points, lines, and polygons.

Our Local Insight tool for example, allows users to import multiple custom areas into the system based on shapefiles. We then aggregate more than a thousand socio-economic indicators to these areas, to be explored through maps, dashboards and reports (find out more about Local Insight here).

How to access ward boundary shapefiles

The ONS Geoportal provides access to a wide range of geospatial data for the United Kingdom, It provides boundaries and lookups at various levels of detail and granularity for UK geography.

The video below explains how to find and download ward boundary shapefiles for the areas you care about.


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