Frequently Asked Questions - About the boundaries
These Frequently Asked Questions provide information about us and our work. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for in the sections above, contact us using the details at the bottom left of each page.
What parliamentary boundaries are available in the Map Browser?
The Map Browser shows parliamentary boundaries in Scotland since the establishment of the Boundary Commission for Scotland in 1944. The parliamentary boundaries include UK Parliament constituency boundaries since 1950 (6 sets of constituencies), European Parliament constituencies since 1979 (3 sets of constituencies), and Scottish Parliament boundaries since 1999 (2 set of constituencies and regions). The browser also includes the areas affected by the Boundary Commission for Scotland's interim reviews during that same period.
What local government boundaries are available in the Map Browser?
The Map Browser shows local government electoral and administrative boundaries in Scotland since the establishment of the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland in 1973. For administrative boundaries, the browser shows Scotland's current 32 council areas, as well as the Regions, Districts and Islands Areas which existed between 1974 and 1995. For electoral boundaries, the browser shows each of the 3 sets of electoral wards which have existed for the current 32 council areas, and the 2 sets of electoral areas for Regions, Districts and Islands Areas from the 1980s until their abolition in 1995.
What about boundaries that existed before this?
We are creating datasets to show the set of electoral areas for Regions, Districts and Islands Areas from 1974 until the 1980s and will add these once they are available. We also intend to add datasets showing the counties and burghs which existed in Scotland immediately before 1974.
How can I find out more about these boundaries?
The websites of each of the two Commissions contain much more detail about all of these boundaries. Those websites are www.bcomm-scotland.independent.gov.uk for the Boundary Commission for Scotland, and www.lgbc-scotland.gov.uk for the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland. There are also links to those webpages from the left-hand menu on this website.
Can I get hold of data for these boundaries to use in a GIS?
These datasets are available as shapefiles which you can download from the websites of each of the Commissions.
What is an ED or a DW?
ED stands for Electoral Division which was the electoral area used for Scotland's Regions and Islands Areas, which existed between 1974 and 1995. DW stands for District Ward which was the electoral area used for Scotland's Districts, which existed between 1974 and 1995.
Why do some wards have names but not others?
Whenever they conduct an electoral review, the Commissions aim to give distinctive names to each electoral area. Finding names for these areas which are acceptable to local residents can be time consuming. In some local government reviews it was not possible to agree distinctive names for electoral areas, and the Commission made its recommendations using numbered wards instead.