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BBCE - The British Business Census of Entrepreneurs


Atlas of Entrepreneurship: guide to users

Atlas of Entrepreneurship: guide to users

The Atlas on this website is intended as a finding aid for users of BBCE, and as a source of tutorial materials suitable for researchers, students and schools that can be used for education and coursework assignments. It uniquely allows insights into the population of business proprietors for all localities in the 19th and early 20th centuries, every 10 year between 1851 and 1911. Currently it covers England and Wales; Scotland's Atlas is in development (but its dataset is shown on the rest of the website and is available in BBCE).

Guide to using the Atlas

The Atlas opens at a default page for 1881 giving the number of all entrepreneurs in each Registration Sub-District (RSD). These are c. 2,000 census administration areas; town names are given on a separate tab with their relevant RSDs. The RSD boundaries are simplified to provide smooth transition between years, reduce processing time for users, and standardise for underlying boundary changes (see Acknowledgements for details of the RSD source data). Data for some places has been lost from archives, and some variables cannot be calculated: these are shown as 'unknown'.

Change years by moving the year bar top right. Many data variables do not have 1871; 'firm size declared' is not available after 1881: the map will then show the base map with no data.

Click the year bar to get that year; swipe across the year bar to get an animation.

Change location by dragging the map. Use the underlying street map for local detail.

Zoom: either using the +/- icon; or you can use the mouse wheel.

Hover over a place. The hover gives you the name and the data for that place for the current variable being viewed. As you look at smaller areas the scale of the map increases and you will see more detail of place names.

Change the variables. Click on the right hand lists to open various options. The definition of each variable is given by hovering over the variable name, and on the map when it loads.

Compare two maps side-by-side: icon top right outside the map. Very useful for comparisons over time. Precisely locate the map you want - click on icon - change year and choose the next map you want to compare. Options allow you to change maps in sync or not, and traverse the country.

Download the maps: an icon top right of each map allows you to export the map as a data or GIS file. This gives you the data for the current view.

Further questions? You want the variables, location definitions, or tabulations in a different format? The Atlas has a set of pre-processed information for easy web use. Go to the full BBCE dataset to progress to the next stage.

Feedback: We are very interested in your experiences of the Atlas. Send any comments or suggestions using the contacts page.

Notes: all variable definitions and data manipulations described on Overview pages and in Working Papers; all data are weighted; RSD boundaries are simplified but include detached areas in non-contiguous locations which show up with the correct shading (this can be confusing: they are not separate sub-units).

How to cite the Atlas of Entrepreneurship:

Bennett, R. J., van Lieshout, C., Smith, H., Montebruno, P. and Lucas-Smith, M. 2020. BBCE: Atlas of Entrepreneurship. Accessed on [insert date accessed]