The Environment and Health Atlas for England and Wales

obs-blog-health-atlasThe atlas provides interactive maps of geographical variations for a range of health conditions and environmental agents at a neighbourhood (small-area) scale in England and Wales.

The Environment and Health Atlas for England and Wales is an independent publication produced by the Small Area Health Statistics Unit, an academic unit funded by the Medical Research Council and Public Health England.


  • To provide baseline information for policy makers and the public on geographic patterns of environmental agents and disease.
  • To help in development of hypotheses to understand and explain variability in disease risk that may relate to the environment, lifestyle factors and/or location.
  • Following on from this, to help in development of research to investigate potential causal relationships between environment and health factors – where either evidence or lack of evidence for an effect provides important information to inform public health and policy.

A tutorial on creating thematic maps from 2011 Census data

2011Census-logoLearn how to select 2011 Census small area data and create printable thematic maps for Bradford.

One of the easiest ways to explore the 2011 Census results is mapping small areas, making use of free online tools.


Let’s say you want to visualise Ethnic Groups in Bradford by creating a map of where people reside. 2011 Census data is hosted by Nomis and can be accessed by clicking here.

With the 2011 Census data front page open, choose Key Statistics followed by the KS201EW Ethnic Group table. Table information is provided, with a link to a full description. You want to Explore the data, so click on the Wizard Query.

You now have a 5-step process to complete, starting with geography selection.


STEP 1 The small area you will use is Lower layer Super Output Areas. Select ‘some’ from the drop-down box then find Bradford from the next drop-down and click ‘tick all’, then Next.

STEP 2 is selecting ethnic groups. Uncheck ‘All usual residents’ and check only broad ethnic groups, then click Next.

STEP 3 is percent selection, which can be skipped. Click Next.

nomis_tutorial-img-7STEP 4 is choosing the format. Check ‘Map’ and click Finish.

STEP 5 is the download. Click ‘View map’ which opens a new window.


Here you can select which Ethnic Group to visualise and customise your map size or include a background (as above), with a printable version if needed.

2011 Census OAC Preliminary Mapping

2011Census-logoWe have produced a thematic map of Bradford for the preliminary 2011 England and Wales Output Area Classification.

The Output Area Classification (OAC) distills key results from the Census for the whole of the UK to indicate the character of local areas. It profiles populations, structures other data, and helps target resources.

To open the preliminary results map please click here.

Map legend code names

1 – Rural Residents
2 – Cosmopolitans
3 – Ethnic Mix
4 – Blue Collar Neighbourhoods
5 – Multicultural Metropolitans
6 – Suburbanites
7 – Hard-Pressed Households
8 – Urbanites

Pen Portraits for these ‘supergroups’ are available here.

Google Fusion Tables

obs-blog-fusiontables-postLearn how to create a choropleth map of your data and visualize it on Google Maps.

Fusion Tables is an experimental data visualization web application to gather, visualize, and  share larger data tables. The Guardian newspaper makes active use of this as part of their  pioneering data journalism work.

You can easily upload data sets from CSV, KML and spreadsheets, and visualize the data using a  variety of tools. Users can merge data from multiple tables and easily visualize large data sets  on Google Maps.

All you need is a Google Drive account to get started.

How to create thematic polygon data maps is an excellent step-by-step guide to walk you through the process of making your own maps.


This Population Density map pictured (click to open) used 2011 Census table (KS101EW) data on usual resident population which was merged with an LSOA boundary file.


KML boundary files for Bradford