The maps of changing Whitehall

18 May 2010

Last week I illustrated my post about the mergers and demergers of Whitehall with a very bad picture of a very neat illustration of the timelines of government departments in tube map style.  Steph Gray responded to my plea for help in finding a cleaner version of the picture and linked me up with its custodian in BIS.

So I now have a high resolution version, though it came with a health warning, not guaranteeing complete historical accuracy – which turned out to be important shortly afterwards, when Patrick Dunleavy left a very helpful comment pointing to a  more rigorous treatment of the subject, albeit one not so visually striking and covering  only the last twenty years.

This is the BIS-produced diagram which was in my earlier post (click on it to see a larger version):

This is the diagram Patrick Dunleavy pointed out to me, taken from Making and Breaking Whitehall Departments: A Guide to Machinery of Government Changes by Anne White and Patrick Dunleavy and published by the Institute for Government just last week – and clearly worth a thorough look in its own right (again, click on the image to see a slightly larger version):

And finally a splendid bonus in the form of a tongue in cheek extrapolation by the BIS team of departmental changes out over the next century and a half:

So now we know where we have been and where we are going. Nothing can possibly go wrong.


[...] The picture below shows how departments have split and merged over the last few decades (it’s a poor quality mobile phone picture I took at last year’s Civil Service Live – if anybody knows a source for a proper version of this image and its pair which projected forward over the next few decades, please do let me know Update: high quality images kindly provided by the good people of BIS and included in a new post here). [...]

by The changing map of Whitehall | Public Strategist on 18 May 2010 at 1:13 am. #

[...] H/t Public Strategist. [...]

by Whitehall: the next 150 years | UK | Global Dashboard on 18 May 2010 at 10:35 am. #

[...] look at the regular reconfigurations of Whitehall departments. I particularly enjoyed the spoof [...]

by Changing seats in Whitehall « Rage on Omnipotent on 21 May 2010 at 12:46 pm. #

[...] look at the regular reconfigurations of Whitehall departments. I particularly enjoyed the spoof [...]

by Changing seats in Whitehall « TRC – Advisory, Consulting, Engagement on 21 May 2010 at 12:46 pm. #

[...] of representing all departments over all time on one single image, much like the striking ‘Tube Map‘ visualisation. It quickly became obvious that the level of detail we require would mean [...]

by Visualising Government: Spaghetti, Sketching, and Compressing Time | The National Archives blog on 8 February 2013 at 4:35 pm. #

[…] tends to happen in the wake of elections, but departments often get reorganised – see these lovely timelines of government department reorganisations highlighted by Public […]

by Should the DWP be disbanded? | arbitrary constant on 14 January 2014 at 11:32 am. #