Where the students live...
Applicant Discovery Day
Welcome to the computer mapping session!!! In the next
few minutes, you will go on a whirlwind tour that will
allow you to discover the city of Liverpool using spatial
In the process, you will get to play with some
of the most exciting technology to make maps.
Move through the notes by navigating the arrows.
- Spatial data are displayed in ‘layers’ – each layer displays a different variable for Liverpool
- At the minute, population density is the only visible layer on the map
- Population density takes the number of people who live in each area and
divides it by the size of the area (km2 in our case)
- The map is coloured based on these values, with lighter values representing greater density
- Which areas of Liverpool have the
highest population density? Why might this be?
Let's peel off the population density layer. Tick off
the checkbox next to its name on the map legend.
Welcome to the
"Output Area Classification" (OAC), a product of our very
own Professor Alex Singleton. The OAC is a neighborhood
classifications are data-driven descriptions of places.
Using large amounts of quantitative information, we are
able to draw this empirical portraits of the character of
Explore the classifications
Zoom into different areas and click on areas to find
out what category they belong to.
For a description of each group, flick the slide next!
OAC groups (pt. I)
- Hard pressed living: Typically found in urban areas, residents are less diverse (mostly White). Occupations are dominated by manual labour opportunities.
- Constrained city dwellers: Neighbourhoods are characterised by social housing and residents tend to be older on average (with a lower proportion of children in the area). Unemployment rates are higher than other groups, with educational levels lower.
- Urbanites: Residents tend to be employed in financial, public administration and education-related roles. Main urban areas, with a mix of terraces and flats.
- Suburbanites: Areas located on the outskirts of urban areas. Characterised by semi-detached houses. Residents are a mixture of young families and retired individuals, and are above average in terms of incomes.
OAC groups (pt. II)
OAC goes beyond Liverpool to include the entire country. Right click on
link, open in new tab, and enter your own postcode - does the description of
the neighborhood describe your perception of the place well?
- Cosmopolitans: Densely populated, these areas are dominated by privately rented flats and younger populations (particularly students and young professionals)
- Multicultural metropolitans: Terraced housing dominates these areas. There is a high ethnic mix, and most other characteristics are at national average (less distinct then!)
- Ethnicity central: Higher concentrations of non-White populations. Typically younger, renting accommodation and higher unemployment.
- Rural residents: Rural areas with an older and affluent population (there are none of these in Liverpool – a truly urban city!)
Let's peel off the OAC layer. Click on the
'tick' of the `liverpool_oac` layer and it'll disappear from
the map, uncovering a map of every building in Liverpool.
Try and find:
- Anfield (clue: Look North towards
- Albert Docks (clue: Follow the River
Mersey until you get to the city centre)
- Liverpool John Lennon airport (clue: Try
You may have noticed on the right hand side some sliders.
These show graphs that allow you to further explore the population
of Liverpool. Use them to filter the data presented on the
map based on these values. Try clicking on ‘percentage of
students’ and dragging the bars to select only the highest
percentage values. This will update the map (it will take a moment
while it works its magic) to show only those areas with the
highest percentages of students.
Try to find an answer for the following questions:
- which area contains the
highest number of students in Liverpool?
- Where are the two main
areas which students live in Liverpool? Why might students be
attracted to these areas?
- How does the spatial
distribution of students relate to patterns in population
- You may have noticed that
all buildings are coloured in including Anfield – but no
students live in the stadium (and some keen fans have tried),
why might this be? (clue: think back to the population density map
– where might the building values come from?)
Combine the OAC layer with the population sliders to
answer the following:
- Which type of neighborhoods do students live in?
- How are these areas different from the rest of
Well done on completing the short practical! We hope that we have
given you a little flavour of what we do here in Liverpool, although
this is only the basics – we will show you not only how to make maps
like this, but how to analyse and understand them.
Please do use any remaining time to ask us any question you may have
about our degree or the city itself!