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Data journalism, Data visualisation, How to guides, Mapping

Borders and boundaries: 16 Google Fusion border files for you to use

England deprivation mapped with Google Fusion

England deprivation mapped with Google Fusion

I’ve been building up a collection of border files for us to use in Google Fusion table maps – and these are the key ones. You can download these as KML files or as CSVs. Or merge them with your data. If you have a shp file you what to convert to Google Fusion tables try shpescape, which will do it for you.

And there’s a new site too which looks promising: Inquiron, which converts geofiles into a variety of formats.

Google’s Public Data explorer is a good place to find others too.

I would love this to become more comprehensive – do you have any borders you can share?

UK borders

  1. Health boundaries (pre 2010)
  2. Health: New England health boundaries, Care Commissioning groups
  3. Local Authorities, UK (post-2010)
  4. Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs, used for deprivation and census and updated after 2011)
  5. Middle Super Output Area (MSOA)
  6. Police Force Areas
  7. Regions

World and United States

  1. US counties
  2. New York, Five Boroughs
  3. US states
  4. US Congressional Districts
  5. Afghanistan provinces
  6. France: Régions, Départements et Préfectures boundaries
  7. World borders (exc South Sudan)
  8. World borders (inc South Sudan)
  9. Venezuela provinces

About Simon Rogers

Data journalist, writer, speaker. Author of 'Facts are Sacred', from Faber & Faber and a range of infographics for children books from Candlewick. Edited and launched the Guardian Datablog. Now works for Google in California as Data Editor and is Director of the Sigma awards for data journalism.


35 thoughts on “Borders and boundaries: 16 Google Fusion border files for you to use

  1. Hi there. Do you know where I can find an accurate UK Postcode boundary fusion table? I found one, but when mapped against the LSOA boundaries, they don’t seem to correlate.

    Posted by Noah Price | March 14, 2017, 5:10 pm
  2. This looks like just what I’ve been searching for, but I can’t seem to download the LSOA data as a KML file. Is this right?

    Posted by Ken Pollard | September 16, 2016, 9:19 am
  3. Hi Simon,

    Appreciate this comment is maybe three years too late (just proves the continuing relevance of your work!), but I’m looking to map Local Authorities in the UK and the link above says not to use your data. Any idea where to look for the most recent data + KML boundaires?
    Many thanks!

    Posted by christyromer | July 20, 2016, 9:06 am
  4. Hi Simon,

    A very useful collection of links. My only problem is that the Local Authorities set (#3 on your UK list above) seems to be locked down now. I can neither merge from it, since Fusion doesn’t allow me to choose a field to match with my table, and nor can I download the data to clean it up a bit and get around the merge problem that way.

    All Google searches seem to return to your site! This data must exist somewhere. Any thoughts?

    Posted by Adam Bowie | March 10, 2016, 11:12 am
  5. Is there a limit to the the size of file which GFT will publish. I find I can publish maps of local authorities from England and Wales with KML but if I add Scotland with all it’s little islands, I can create it, but publish doesn’t work

    Posted by John | January 17, 2016, 2:10 pm
  6. Absolute Godsend!!!. You wouldn’t happen to have Output Areas as well would you. THANK YOU

    Posted by Faisal Wasswa | August 25, 2015, 1:36 pm
  7. Hi Simon,

    Is the LSOA dataset based on the one from the ONS data portal? Lower layer super output areas (E+W) 2011 Boundaries (Full, Clipped) V2?

    Thanks for your help with these – really useful!

    Posted by Kate (@katesmithtrust) | August 13, 2015, 4:10 pm
  8. Hi Simon. Great site. Do you know if the video course will be available again soon? Its currently closed. Thanks, Chris.

    Posted by Chris Woods | June 12, 2015, 6:32 pm
  9. Hi Simon, really enjoy following your work/videos. Trying to come up with a topic for my MSc in Health Informatics at City University, London. I’m getting to grips with google fusion tables, but just can’t settle on two health related datasets to merge….I’d like to find a meaningful topic. I’m a nurse in Interventional Radiology, but it’s such a new subfield of Radiology that there is little or no open data around. Any advice would be much appreciated…

    Posted by mulanlaoshi | April 11, 2015, 12:20 pm
  10. Hi Simon, I used your England LSOA data to map areas which qualify for funding assistance under ECO (I was looking especially at the rural element which is very scattered) and it has proven to be very helpful, I would like to do a similar thing with Scotland but I cannot seem to locate that data anywhere. Would you have any ideas where I may locate it? Thanks for the useful resource links, made my work a lot easier as I am a complete newbie to fusion tables, great tools though!

    Posted by Dan Hewitt | May 2, 2014, 1:52 pm
  11. Hi Simon. Thanks for these files they have been massively useful. One thing I can’t seem to find is the boundaries for UK Parliamentary constituencies, do you have any idea where may have them?

    Posted by meltwaterfalls | February 24, 2014, 4:40 pm
  12. This is great, trying to map recent fuel poverty stats. Thanks!!

    Posted by Ian | November 4, 2013, 1:03 pm
  13. ONS’s new Open Geography Portal is a very useful source of UK boundary files. I’ve just blogged about this at http://ukdataexplorer.blogspot.co.uk/.

    Posted by James Trimble | August 15, 2013, 6:29 pm
  14. Terrific work! This is the type of info that are supposed to be shared around the internet. Shame on the seek engines|Google} for no longer positioning this submit higher! Come on over and discuss with my website . Thank you =)

    Posted by storgatan | February 6, 2013, 5:22 pm
  15. It’s actually the data here (http://www.education.gov.uk/researchandstatistics/datasets/a00196810/schools-pupils-and-their-characteristics-january-2) on Free School meals that I am trying to map (which I have seen on the Guardian already….). I tried using both the id codes and the names but it didn’t work. I went through the tutorial on your blog and that worked fine so not sure what I am doing wrong. Will keep trying!

    Posted by Sandra Smith | February 1, 2013, 7:44 pm
  16. Hi. I’ve come to this via the comments page on the Guardian. I’m trying to map some DoE data:


    using Fusion tables. When I try to merge the Local Authorities UK data with my data it says, ” Unable to perform merge….”. I can get it to work with this table here


    but the coverage is very patchy – maybe only 15 % of LAs are being picked up. Any suggestions or alternative tables?

    Posted by Sandra Smith | February 1, 2013, 2:35 pm
  17. FYI I tried to access your US counties file but got a permissions error.

    Posted by Sharon Machlis | January 30, 2013, 2:03 pm
  18. Lovely work – thanks!

    Posted by Simon Rogers | January 28, 2013, 10:06 pm
  19. Hi Simon, here’s a Fusion Table that I put together for Counties in England: https://www.google.com/fusiontables/DataSource?docid=19DqHxxbkdgsEmXVooB7vRHRit8wVnVAEcP9W5lA

    Posted by Adele Gilpin | January 28, 2013, 7:03 pm


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About me

Data journalist, writer, speaker. Author of 'Facts are Sacred', published by Faber & Faber and a new range of infographics for children books from Candlewick. Data editor at Google, California. Formerly at Twitter, San Francisco. Created the Guardian Datablog. All opinions on this site are mine, not my employers'. Read more >>

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