Thursday, 6 December 2012

Sheffield's Ancient Woodland and SSSIs: Open data

Here are some data I retrieved a couple of years ago from the UK government's MAGIC site. Unfortunately, this site only provides downloads in proprietary GIS formats, ArcGIS and MapInfo I think. Given that the government's recent open data initiative is encouraging people to use public data in new ways, I guess it's ok to change the data into formats that make it more usable for the average person.

The files from MAGIC were edited in QGIS (a miracle of open source programming) to restrict the data to the Sheffield area. (EDIT: I should point out that this means the data are arbitrarily cropped to particular OS gridlines. This was done to reduce the file size for posting to the internet. If your local wood is not shown as 'ancient', it may simply be outside of the area that I cropped to. As I say above, the full national dataset is available through the MAGIC link above).

Then I followed the protocol that I posted earlier to turn them into KMZ files. So, the first map is Ancient Woodland, the second is Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The data can be downloaded for home use in Google Earth here and here, for the moment at least. Clicking the 'View larger map' link below each map will link-out to Google Maps, where, at least for the woodland dataset, the names of each land parcel are shown. [Also, choose the 'View larger map' link if the sites (which should be in red) do not appear automatically -- sometimes the site outlines do not seem to be retrieved from the hosting website.] Alternatively, if you zoom in on the map below and click on a woodland boundary, the name will be displayed. Obviously the original data are from MAGIC, and users should take heed of the license agreements imposed by the government, which restricts usage to non-commercial activities.

Ancient Woodland in the Sheffield Area

View Larger Map

SSSIs in the Sheffield Area

View Larger Map

1 comment:

  1. I no longer have access to the web account that was hosting the GIS boundary files, hence the maps now appearing blank. Apologies!