Update: smaller geographical areas, rich overview page, new stats, and much more

With batteries fully charged over a rather long holiday break, we stepped into 2014 working on an enhanced version of illustreets. We didn’t spare any effort and today we are happy to announce our first release for this year. The changes are as follows:

1) Smaller geographical areas

Whilst in the past the map was split in over 32,000 census neighbourhoods, now it has 172,000 smaller areas. This allows us to show the information related to households and residents in a more granular fashion (though the geography for crime, standard of living, and asking prices remains the same):


Wider areas


Smaller areas

2) New information in the quick view panel

The aggregated pupils’ performance compared to median has been eliminated, as it does not say much about the quality of the schools, and replaced with information about the homes in the area. Also, we changed slightly the section for residents:

Quick view changes
3) A complete snapshot of the area under the ‘Overview’ tab

This was perhaps the single most important feature that we always wanted: to show as complete a picture as possible using just one page. The map colours simply don’t do justice to many of the places across England, which otherwise are very livable.

Now we’ve done it! You can find almost everything you’d want to know about an area with just a click on the map and a quick glance at the first tab:

Overview tab

4) Geographical areas clearly delimited on the map

For complete transparency, we now draw on the map the geographic areas relevant to the information being displayed under each tab.

We use the smallest of the statistical reporting zones developed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for information about: households, dwellings, and residents in the area:


Another set of boundaries that we utilise is in fact an aggregation of the small areas above, also done by ONS. These units of geographic boundary are representative for: standard of living, crime, and asking prices:


Finally, we aggregate the price paid data supplied by Land Registry at postcode district level (i.e. SW19):

Postcode district

The boundaries for postcode districts have been extracted by the wonderful people at GeoLytix from Ordnance Survey’s freely available datasets, and provided free of charge.

5) Under the hood

Actually, it’s more like… above the hood, in the address bar.

One technical improvement which was really needed was the capability to link to particular sections for a certain area. For instance, suppose that you want to email a link to the schools available around, say, 10 Halsmere Road, London. Nothing easier; just copy the link which you see in the browser’s address bar when looking at the schools in that location. Here’s an example:


6) More tabs updated

First of all, the tab which used to be called ‘Land & Housing’ has been changed to ‘Neighbourhood’, whilst the one called ‘Residents’ is now named ‘People’. The latter has actually gone through a more substantial change, and as a result it shows some really cool stats about the area’s residents:

Age, singles, qualification level, and socio-economic classes

Economic activity

Well, that’s all for now. If you think that we left something out, just get in touch via Twitter, email, or the feedback form on the map, and we will consider your suggestions.

We hope that you’ll enjoy playing with the new version of illustreets at least as much as we enjoyed developing it for you. Happy exploring!

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Manuel Timita

Co-Founder and Lead Designer at illustreets
Manuel is a UX designer, developer, mapping enthusiast, and part-time Open University student. He loves his girlfriend, England, most Asian and European cuisines, JavaScript, cats, French authors, alternative music, The Witcher, red wine, and The Matrix. Runs on coffee by the gallon and Garibaldi biscuits.

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