OAC Groups on MapTube – A Demographic Map of the UK

The 21 Output Area Classification Groups is a updated version of one of MapTube’s most popular maps of the UK’s geodemographic. The original has had over 17,000 views and the was the first map added to the social mapping website which now has had almost 1,000 maps uploaded to it.

The Output Area Classification takes data from over 50 variables from the 2001 census, and clusters it into 7 supergroups, each subdivided into 2-4 groups to make a total of 21. Each group indicates broadly similar characteristics. Each of the 220,000 output areas in the postcode (typically representing ~300 people, or ~6 postcodes) is assigned to a group best on the “best fit” for that area’s population, bearing in mind only one group can be assigned, regardless of the diversity of the population there.

The new map is improved from the original in several ways:

  • The map is now broken up into the 21 groups, rather than the 7 top-level supergroups, revealing greater detail of the UK’s geodemographic.
  • Taking advantage of new technology built into the latest MapTube release, you can now click on any point on the map, and see the name of the supergroup, group (and subgroup) for that particular area in the resulting popup.
  • The colour scheme has been modified slightly – the groups in the “Countryside” supergroup are sublter shades of green, so the map is not visually dominated by bright green when viewed at a small scale.
  • Each supergroup has a distinct colour, as before, and their constituent groups vary by brightness – e.g. the “Prospering Suburbs” supergroup’s four groups are different shades of red.
  • Northern Ireland is now included.
  • The source data is downloadable as a CSV file – follow the “More Information” link on the key.

Here is a special link to the map, with the “Satellite Hybrid” Google Map layer selected, which provides a contextual overlay to the new OAC Groups choropleth map, and maximum opacity – I think this version is the most useful view.

The new map is also currently the Featured Map on the MapTube homepage. (Disclaimer: this is only because I have access to the Featured Map picker!)

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