September 10, 2007

UK social segregation increases

Filed under: Geography, politics — ubikcan @ 6:59 pm

The well-named SASI (Social and Spatial Inequalities) Research group has released a new atlas of the UK’s changing social status (BBC report).

A team from Sheffield University compared more than 1,000 neighbourhoods across Britain using data on subjects like health, education and housing.

Changing social status is represented on the map, published on Monday.

Professor Daniel Dorling, co-author of the report, said: “Our atlas shows that what is normal changes rapidly as you travel across the social topography of human identity in Britain.

“Most people think they are average when asked. In most things most are not.”

Dorling has been mentioned here before because of his innovative cartographic work on mapping. The new atlas is called Identity in Britain. Here is a sample map using Dorling’s classic and distinctive cartogram approach.

I hate to say it, but this work and others like it pretty much show that the UK is ahead of the US both cartographically (design) and in using maps to understand socio-political structures. While the US remains mired in choropleths, Dorling and his colleagues have pointed the way to more insightful and frankly better designed maps of our lives.


1 Comment »

  1. Hey, that’s not really fair to say. If the U.S. was composed of perfectly spaced hexagons like Britain is, we would be making cool maps like that also!

    Comment by BenSlater — September 11, 2007 @ 7:44 am

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