Hexmaps – the old fashioned (stupid) way

Some time ago, a colleague had been impressed by the Guardian’s hexmaps of the 2015 general election. He issued a challenge to try and recreate the basic premise using whatever software and techniques we had available and some uncontraversial data (population and deprivation data).

The basic idea of this is that:

  • constituencies are given a block of hexagons, the amount of which is proportionate to their population;
  • those hexablocks are supposed to look like the constituencies themselves
  • the hexablocks are then stuck together and ‘tessalate’ with eachother
  • the shared borders of the constiuency should be reflected by it’s hexablock
  • the overall aggregation of these hexablocks should look recognisably like the shape of it’s parent (in the Guardian’s case, the UK; in my case, Wakefield district)

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Convert Easting and Northing Coordinates to Latitude and Longitude using VBA

Many Government bodies and agencies  in the UK still publish postcode data using Easting and Northing co-ordinates.  Although this may be useful for some, many software systems, such as Tableau, don’t natively support this and prefer the more universally used Latitude and Longitude coordinate system.

Converting to and from these coordinate systems is not a perfect science.  The process is an approximation as it attempts to convert 2-dimensional mappings onto a 3-dimensional object, along with taking account of some of the obscurities of the OSGB36 grid system.  You can read more about the UK’s grid system at the Ordinance Survey. Read more