Maps of UK Administrative Areas
There is a lot of historical complexity!
- Some parts of England have 2 tier local government (County and District).
- The rest of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have a single tier Unitary authority. e.g. Cornwall is a unitary authority, but neighbouring Devon is 2 tier, with a county council, over several District Councils.
- Many English unitary authorities are cities, split off as county level unitary organisations from their surrounding county.
- London has a 2 tier structure - the Greater London Authority which is sub-divided into Boroughs
- For electoral (not administrative) purposes, both Districts and Unitary Authorities are split into Wards, which elect local councillors.
- Separate from Wards are Parishes (though their areas often the same). These are not church parishes, but administrative areas with a Parish Council, which has a local voice on Planning matters.
- Finally, what Brits normally think of as geographic counties (e.g. when addressing a letter) no longer really exist for administrative purposes. In 1972, the historic counties were rearranged, and split into urban and county areas [wikipedia]. An example is Middlesex, which no longer exists. The historic counties map shows them.
- Not shown, are "ceremonial counties", which are also based on the historic county structure, which areas with a Lord Lieutenant.
- Wikipedia explains this bizarre complexity
- The boundary data comes from OS Open Data in very high (1m) resolution ESRI Shapefile format.
- A better (much more useful) source is the Office of National Statistics' data portal, which has lower resolution versions (i.e. much smaller files) of the same data.
- I've smoothed the boundaries (i.e. ran a point reduction algorithm on them) to 10-50m resolution, and converted them to geojson/KML
- In due course, I will make a geojson/KML filas of each area available.