Everyone Loves Maps

This is our third module, on mapping library data.


Everything happens somewhere. Geography data is becoming increasingly important, because there is so much we can learn from data about locations. Examples include:

  • deprivation statistics and need of areas which include: income, education, work, services;
  • population density and rural/urban split;
  • number of young/old people;
  • government, local government boundaries (and all sorts of other boundaries - you may be surprised!);
  • the history of a place;
  • associated languages in a place;
  • natural environment such as flood plains, climate, and biodiversity.

Not only is geographic intelligence powerful and essential to data analysis, but it is fun! (Everyone loves maps...)

Location vs. Place

What is the difference between location and place? We tend to use 'Location' when talking about exact defined points or areas. For example, a local government boundary, or the location of a library. 'Place' is usually more indefinable. It may be 'the North', or 'Abroad', or 'Home'.

Some examples

Geographic data is important for analysis but maps are also a great (and often beautiful) way of displaying data. Much like with graphs though, there are many pitfalls. Let's have a quick look at a couple of maps being used to display the same information but in very different ways.

BBC Election 2017 in maps

Open Data Institute Leeds. Election 2017 3D Hexmap

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