How to use the webmap


  1. The map can be slow to load, and the dataset can be slow to download, but both are worth the wait! Sometimes the data won’t load over weaker wifi connections – in this case wired access is recommended.
  2. If the website doesn’t look or function as described below it is possible that the web browser you are using (e.g., Internet Explorer) is out of date. Try using a newer browser – such as the free Google Chrome browser that you can download from

How to find the webmap: or Google ‘alcohol webmap scotland’. Then click on the link or map to go to the webmap.

The webmap should look like this:webmap_screen1

Instruction panel (left):

You’ll see some instructions to the left of the map – how to turn layers on/off, zoom, search, find out more about a neighbourhood[1], go fullscreen, find out about the underlying data, and download the data.

You can choose whether the map shading shows how each neighbourhood compares with the Scottish average or the average for the specific local authority that the neighbourhood is within.  For example – in ‘Scottish average’ mode we see that the highest densities of alcohol outlets (shaded red) are confined to the main cities and towns, but when compared against the ‘Local Authority average’ we find that some smaller localities are highlighted too, particularly in councils with outlet densities lower than those in Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Map legend (right):

You can use the map legend panel on the right to select which neighbourhood measure you want to see on the map (e.g. all alcohol outlets, tobacco outlets or alcohol-related deaths).  The different layers are described in more detail at

Using the map:

You can pan around the map and zoom in and out to different areas, or use the search box to search by street, place name or postcode.  For this example we’ll look at what the webmap can tell us about an Edinburgh neighbourhood – one that contains the postcode EH8 9QW.  We will begin by comparing this neighbourhood to the Scottish average.

  1. Select ‘Scottish average’ rather than ‘LA average’, on the left of the map.
  2. Type the postcode into the search box, then press enter or click on ‘find’.
  3. Zoom in to highest zoom level (click the button) to see the postcode layer.
  4. When you find it click on postcode EH8 9QW on the map – this will highlight (in yellow) the neighbourhood that the postcode is in.
  5. Choose between the different data layers (using round buttons on right side of the map). You’ll notice that the colour key for the map ranges from dark blue for the lowest values, to deep red for the highest values.  The red shading shows that this neighbourhood is among the highest in Scotland for all alcohol outlets, off-sales alcohol outlets, on-sales alcohol outlets, tobacco outlets, and alcohol-related deaths, but the light blue shading shows that it has lung cancer/lung disease death rates and deprivation levels below the Scottish average.  To look at how this changes when the neighbourhood is compared to the rest of the Local Authority (rather than the rest of Scotland), click the ‘LA average button’ and do the search again.

When a neighbourhood has been highlighted yellow on the map (by clicking) a text box will appear under the map to give more information about the neighbourhood, and how it compares with the rest of the Local Authority and Scotland on each of the measures (see image below for what it should look like).  Outlet availability is measured as density (per km2) within a 10-minute walk (800 m)[2] of the neighbourhood’s population centre.  It is not the number of outlets within each datazone – such a measure wouldn’t be comparable between neighbourhoods because they differ in size so widely, and would also be artificially constrained by the neighbourhood boundaries in a way that residents aren’t in real life.

The map and text box should look like this after following the steps above: (N.B. you’ll need to scroll down to see all the information in the text box)webmap_screen2

Using the download facility:

The map is useful for looking at the stats for a single neighbourhood (datazone S01002070 in this case, as shown in the text box) and seeing the general patterns of outlet density, health and deprivation in the surrounding area, but what if you want to look at the data in greater depth, for example to find out how that neighbourhood ranks against others?  To do this you can download the data for the area of interest, or the whole of Scotland:·

  • Click on ‘DATA DOWNLOAD’ and enter your contact information (used by us confidentially to find out how the data are being used)·
  • Click ‘Get Data’·
  • Select ‘Whole of Scotland’ or ‘Selected Local Authorities’ or ‘Selected Scottish Parliamentary Constituencies’·
  • Choose relevant area(s), if applicable

A spreadsheet will download, containing information about the dataset (‘Sheet 0’), Abbreviations and definitions (‘Sheet 1’), the data (‘Sheet 2’), and descriptions of the data columns (‘Sheet 3’). The spreadsheet is in Microsoft Excel format (.xlsx) but can also be opened in other programs such as’s free Calc program (go to to download).

If we download the data for the City of Edinburgh Local Authority we get the data for all 549 datazones in Sheet 2.  For ease of navigating around the data it is worth clicking on cell B3, then on ‘View’ > ‘Split’ in Excel (or ‘Window’>’Split’ in older versions of Excel or Open’s Calc program), so that the column headings and datazone codes are always visible.  Then we can scroll down to the neighbourhood (=datazone) we are interested in (S01002070), and highlight it for ease of remembering where it is.  Scrolling across the data columns informs us that, out of all 549 neighbourhoods in Edinburgh, this neighbourhood has the 53rd highest density of alcohol outlets, the 46th highest density of tobacco outlets, and the 51st highest rate of alcohol-related deaths.

But which are the highest ranking neighbourhoods?  Don’t try to sort the data in the outlet density columns as it’s in text format, and the sort will produce strange results.  But the rank columns are numeric so do sort properly.  Select row 2 (column headings) and select ‘Data’ > ‘Filter’ (or ‘Data’>’Filter’>’Auto-filter’ in Calc). Click on the small filter button (downward pointing triangle) in the column of interest (e.g., LA ranks of on-sales outlet density, column AJ2) and select ‘Sort smallest to largest’ or ‘Top 10’.  The top-ranked datazones will now be at the top of the spreadsheet.  This shows us that datazone S01002117 is top ranking for on-sales outlet density, then datazones S01002106, S01002131, S01002108 and S01002118 are 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, respectively.  But where are these other datazones?

Searching by datazone code is not currently possible within the webmap, so the best way to find out where these datazones are located is to use Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics, at  Just enter the datazone code in ‘Quick Profile’, and select ‘Maps’.  The datazone with the highest density of on sales outlets – in both Edinburgh and Scotland – is in the Grassmarket area.  The other top-ranked datazones are also centrally located.

For more information please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Dr Niamh Shortt

Dr Elizabeth Richardson


[1] Here neighbourhoods are ‘datazones’: see for more info

[2] Because the area covered by an 800 m (approximately 10 minute walk) circle around the neighbourhood’s population centre is actually 2 km2, the density value per km2 (shown in the text box) can be doubled to give the number of outlets within 800 m.  For example, the neighbourhood we have highlighted here has a tobacco outlet density of 32.3 outlets per km2 within 800 m of its population centre, and this is equivalent to a count of 64.6 (=65) outlets within this same distance.

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