Geographic metadata in the catalogue

Having located a data collection of interest, there are several elements of the catalogue record that present information on geography:

  • Spatial unit: The names of standardised boundary sets (spatial units) referenced in the data collection. You can find detailed descriptions of the key units in our catalogue on our spatial unit definitions page.
  • Country: The country to which the data pertains

A section of an example catalogue record is shown in the image below, with the geography fields highlighted in the red box.

In this instance, the study has been georeferenced with five separate spatial units: Government Office Regions, Unitary Authorities (England), Local Authority Districts, NUTS-II Areas, NUTS-III Areas. NUTS are Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics.

The study was undertaken in the United Kingdom.


In some instances, further unstructured description of a data collections geospatial content may be found in the Abstract. For example, a description of the spatial units available under different access conditions.

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