Consultation on new rural/urban statistical boundary definition

The Office of National Statistics is consulting on a new statistical boundary for the rural-urban definition.

Although the amount of coverage of urban areas was quoted at the highest levels in the su7mmer planning debates we have not had an accurate delineation since 2001 – when it was 10.6 % – so no idea where the Prime Minister gets 9% from.

The ONS is looking whether to go for a manual delineation based on polygons as below – accurate but time consuming,

Automatic based on polygons- very inaccurate will require manual tidying up or automatic based on 50m grid squares, as below (small holes would be filled in).

On a national scale the three produce identical results.  The issue is cost and usability.  Personally from a GIS point of view you will need both polygon and raster versions of the dataset, polygon as an aid to planning, raster for analysis, and I can see no reason why the initial grid square results can be used with some simple programming to refine a polygon boundary.  It just needs a good recursion based algorithm.  I cant see why ONS needs to consult on their results of them not have solved a simple programming issue.

 

 

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About andrew lainton

International Urban Planner

Posted on November 8, 2011, in GIS, urban planning. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Ahh statistics. The last bastion of the feebleminded. Together with quotes wot they got off the interweb:

    “An unsophisticated forecaster uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts – for support rather than for illumination.
    Andrew Lang

    Why does this really matter? So what if its 9% 11% or 20%. What really matter is peoples perceptions of urban / rural environments. And for that matter suburban, So why not just ask them.

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