3. Data Description
This section describes the format and contents of the data available on the Data Download section. Two products can be downloaded.
Historic County Borders Database
This database contains an entry for each segment of historic county border which has so far been digitised and
relased via the Download page. An illustrative extract of the database is presented below:
Segment code - each segment has a unique 4-digit 'Segment Code'. This is numbered from '0001' - based on the date of digitisation'.
Segment Name - each segment has a unique 'Segment Name'. This formed from the
Historic Counties Standard Codes
for each of the two counties which share the segment, i.e.
The order of preference is based on alphabetical order.
Where a county has a seaward border, this is formed as:
Where the main body of a county comprises two parts (e.g. Lancashire) these are denoted by, e.g. LCS1 and LCS2.
Each island forms a single segment, denoted thus:
Grid Ref 1 - The National Grid reference for the start of the segment.
Grid Ref 2 - The National Grid reference for the end of the segment.
HCS No. 1 - The Historic Counties Standard Number for the first county identified in the Segment Name.
HCS No. 2 - The Historic Counties Standard Number for the second county identified in the Segment Name.
Notes - Any comments relating to the segment.
Digitised Historic County Border Data
The digitised border data are being made available in GoogleEarth (KMZ) and Arview Shape (SHP) format (originally developed by ESRI). The KMZ and Shape files contain a group of polygon objects (one for each historic county contained therein). Two versions of the SHP data are available: one projected onto the Ordnance Survey (British) National Grid; the other projected in longitude and latitide on the WGS84 datum.
To obtain the data, download the file (e.g. Historic_Counties_of_England_OSGB.zip) from the Download page.
The data are contained in zip files. For the KMZ file this is to overcome the problems encountered with some browsers when trying to download KMZs. The zip file can be downloaded and unzipped to produce the KMZ. On Un-Zipping the SHP files, the 4 files which together form a SHP record are obtained:
The DBF file contains the following attribute data for the polygons:
ID - the Historic Counties Standard Number.
HCS_CODE - the Historic Counties Standard Code.
NAME - the historic county name as listed in the Historic Counties Standard.
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