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Europe eXplorer and Regional Development


europe eXplorer will open with regional NUTS2 data for 2015 (se Excel sheet).


Europe eXplorer NUTS2Abstract sound information at sub-national level and benchmarking of regions across national borders has increased in importance in the policy agenda of many European countries due to higher integration driven by institutional processes and economic globalisation. Geovisual analytics techniques help illustrating complex regional, spatio-temporal and multidimensional statistics.



Figure: Europe eXplorer with NUTS2 regions showing ageing (65+) population in Europe.  Three coordinated and linked views choropleth map, scatter plot, and "fish eye" bar chart. The elderly population have increased fast in Italian regions Toscana and Liguria and represents more than 25% of total population. On the other extreme, in Inner London the elderly population represented less than 10%. In 2015, 35% of the elderly population lived in only 10% of European regions. In Germany the concentration of the elderly population is higher in the old East Germany region such as Dresden. In Poland, Belgium, the Slovak Republic and Hungary the share of the elderly population is much lower. The younger population age 0-14 is represented in the bubble plot on the Y-axis vs. age 65+ on the X-axis and gives an indication of poor coordination between a young generation and retired populations. Open Europe eXplorer with NUTS2 regiones at: https://mitweb.itn.liu.se/geovis/eXplorer/euro

Why regional data?

Europe eXplorer”, was developed by NCVA in collaboration with OECD and Eurostat for visualizing and better understanding the socio-economic structure of European NUTS2 or NUTS3 regions.The EU Member States are often compared with each other, but in reality it is very difficult to compare a small Member State like Malta, which has around 420 000 inhabitants, or Luxembourg, which has around 540 000 inhabitants, with Germany, the most populous EU Member State at close to 81 million inhabitants. Comparing regional data that are as detailed as possible is often more meaningful and this also highlights the disparities — or similarities — within EU Member States themselves.

The European Union places considerable emphasis on cohesion policy, with the objective of bringing Europe's regions and cities closer together in economic, social and environmental spheres.

At the heart of regional statistics is the NUTS classification — the classification of territorial units for statistics. This is a regional classification for the EU Member States providing a harmonised hierarchy of regions: the NUTS classification subdivides each Member State into regions at three different levels, covering NUTS 1, 2 and 3 from larger to smaller areas. Europe eXplorer supports "country", NUTS2 and NUTS3 (see figure below) or read more about Eurostat Data at:


Europe eXpl 3 maps

Figure: Europe eXplorer supports three levels of statistical maps - European Countries and 289 NUTS2 regions and 1391 NUTS3 regions. The same variable "ageing population 65+" is here illustrated using the same class limits (12,14,16,19,20%). The visual result differs dramatically when you use NUTS2 regions instead of countries. We see no ageing problems in Spain when using the average value for countries but when NUTS2 regions are visualised, we see that north west Spain has an ageing population. The same for Germany (East) and Italy (North).

EC countries experience a growing interest in regional development. The performance of regional economies and the effectiveness of regional policy help determine a nation’s growth and shape the measure of well-being across countries. For the past years Eurostat has been studying regional disparities and regional economic growth in its member countries in order to evaluate innovative strategies for development and spread successful policies. This interest has generated new demand for sound statistical information at the sub-national level on factors that are important to enhance economic growth and living conditions.

Europe eXplorer is preloaded with a selection of latest indicators for 2015 from the public Eurostat database http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database; Europe eXplorer is available at: 


and can be loaded with othar indicators from the Eurostat database based on NUTS2 or NUTS3 using Excel.


Europe eXplorer with Statistics for NUTS2 Regions

Europe eXplorer NUTS2


Figure: Europe eXplorer with NUTS2 regions showing age group 25-64 with tertiary education 2014-2015. Three coordinated and linked views (Choropleth map, scatter plot, and bar chart). The map, bar chart and scatter plot (horisontal axis) show age group 25-64 with tertiary education while the scatter (Bubble) plot also shows correlation with GDP/BNP (vertical axis).

Europe eXplorer NUTS2

Inner London has the highest value for both GDP/BNP and education - Strong correlation. Romania has the lowest educational and GDP/BNP values in Europe. High resolution picture: Europe eXplorer Karta NUTS2 Techn vs BNP II.png . See also corresponding EXCEL data below. This map shows indicator "population aged 65+" and a list of all available indicators (total pop, fertility rate, life expectancy etc.) when you click on the colour scale "indicator select". The Vislet (interactive picture) below allows you to further explore the selected European statistical data. Or start Europe eXplorer with the link below to see more and analyse this data set:





age 25-64 tertiary education









Figure: List of European NUTS2 regions with highest level of education (See "Column M" in EXCEL below). Compare also with the map above, where red regions correspond to those regions witg  highest level of education.


Europe eXplorer excelFigure: Example of a standard EXCEL file with NUTS2 statistical indicators applied in the figure above and also represents the preloaded data set in Europe eXplorer. Each region is identified by its code, for example, BE34 Prov. Luxembourg and country Belgium. You can use this EXCEL file to insert your own data. Just make sure that the first two columns match data. This EXCEL file can be dowloaded:  http://ncva.itn.liu.se/resources/data/1.678695/EUNUTS2IndicatorsEXCELData2015.xlsx

For more information and details about the Excel data format see this User Guide

 Europe eXplorer - NUTS2 with the Distribution Plot

Distribution Plot Europe

This Distribution Plot in Europe eXplorer, shows each NUTS2 region along a horisontal axis "age group 65+" for each country. The region "Liguria" in Italey has the eldest "65+" population. Red bubbles represents NUTS2 regions with an eldery population 65+ and blue population with younger population. Download the Story File to your computer to be imported into Europe eXplorer: http://ncva.itn.liu.se/resources/stories/1.704089/Europe-explorerNUTS2-with-distribution-plot.xml


Europe eXplorer with NUTS3 Regions

Europe eXplorer NUTS3

Figure: Europe eXplorer is here applied to NUTS3 regions showing ageing population in Europe. A small region in Portugal is highlighted having the highest population ageing people. To access Europe eXplorer with NUTS3 regions - click on the "NUTS3 Icon" or select a NUTS3 story in the story panel.





Try Europe eXplorer with preloaded NUTS3 statistics:



Europe NUTS3 Dist Plot




Figure: This Distribution Plot in Europe eXplorer, shows each NUTS3 region along a horisontal axis "age group 0-14" for each country. The region "Reunion" in France has the youngest "0-14" population. Red bubbles represents NUTS3 regions with an eldery population 65+. We see that Germany, Portugal, Greece, Italy and Spain are among the European countries with regions having a large percentage of elderly population. But they also have regions with a much younger population. 


Example of EXCEL Input Data to Europe eXplorer NUTS3:

NUTS3 ExcelFigure: Example of a standard EXCEL file with NUTS3 statistical indicators applied in the map and distribution plot above in Europe eXplorer. Each region is identified by its code, for example, BE231 Prov. Arr. Aalst and country Belgium. You can use an EXCEL file to insert your own data -  make sure that the first two columns match data. This sample EXCEL file can be used as a format and be downloaded from:



Storytelling with Europe eXplorer

Storytelling, in Europe eXplorer, is about telling a story on selected European countries or regions (NUTS2, NUTS3) and the related analytics reasoning processes on how statistical knowledge was obtained. Our storytelling implementation is based around three complementary characteristics: explore and gain insight, tell-a-story and publish a "Vislet" :

  • Data provider: Import data from SDMX, PC-Axis, Excel or txt files.
  • Authoring: Explore and gain insight, motion visual representations in a creative discovery process.
  • Tell-a-story: Storytelling tools are integrated into the geovisual analytics process transforming statistical data into knowledge. The snapshot mechanism helps the author to highlight data views of particular interest, and guide others to important visual discoveries. Collaborative stories support a shared understanding with other statisticians and, after consensus has been reached placed in the public domain. When you are satisfied with the Story, i.e. visualizations, data, chapters, storytext, snapshots and metadata you must save your Story file as an XML file on your computer.
  • Publisher: Import Story, select layout and visual representations, and create the HTML5 code for embeddable interactive motion visualization and finally publish on a web site or blog "Vislet".

Europe eXplorer publishA Story with snapshots and metadata is created in the eXplorer Story Editor (see figure below) – A story is saved and can be shared with colleagues to reach consensus. "Storytelling" is achieved through a mechanism in eXplorer that supports the storage of interactive events through “memorized interactive visualization views” or “snapshots” that can be captured at any time during an explorative analytics process and becomes an important task of a web-based storytelling authoring analytical reasoning process. In the figure below we see a "snapshot" Chemnitz - coordinated and linked between the Map, Snapshot list and integrated into the Storytext.


Europe Snapshot















Read more about Storytelling at: http://ncva.itn.liu.se/explorer/storytelling?l=en


Europe eXplorer NUTS2 Vislet

The interactive Vislet below embedded into this web site was produced from a Europe eXplorer Story, saved on a local, imported into our Publisher (views are setup), HTML5 code is created and embedded into your own web site. Zoom in on the map with (-) or (+) or use scroll with mouse - click on your region and see the coordination with the two other views. 





Eurostat NUTS2 and NUTS3 visualization with our Tools

Eurostat uses our  visualization tools (GAV HTML5 tools see Education Geovisual Analytics) for exploring and analysing NUTS2 and NUTS3 regions:




Eurostat NUTS2

FigureEurostat Regional NUTS2 Statistics Regional Visualization using our HTML5 tools. Total Fertility rate 2013. These tools HTML5 are explained at: http://ncva.itn.liu.se/education-geovisual-analytics


Eurostat GDP Nuts3

Figure: Eurostat Regional NUTS3 Statistics Visualization. Time linked choropleth map and distribution plot showing unemployment rate 2011. A time slider shows data 2003-2011.


OECD eXplorer for regional development

Our collaboration with OECD started in summer 2008 - The first version of OECD eXplorer was published om the OECD web site and created a lot of attention. This public OECD eXplorer web site has more than 50,000 visitors per month.  http://www.oecd.org/gov/regional-policy/regionalstatisticsandindicators.htm

OECD supports two statistical databases to answer the increasing demand for statistical information at the regional level:

  • The OECD Regional Database provides a unique set of comparable statistics and indicators on about 2 000 regions in 34 countries.  It currently encompasses yearly time series for around 40 indicators of demography, economic accounts, labour market, social and innovation themes in the OECD member countries and other economies.
  • The OECD Metropolitan Database provides a set of economic, environmental, social and demographic estimated indicators on the 275 OECD metropolitan areas (functional urban areas with 500 000 or more inhabitants).

OECD use our Statistics eXplorer named OECD eXplorer and Metro eXplorer to compare demographic trends, economic, social and environmental performance of regions and metropolitan areas in OECD countries and to view interactive maps and other visual presentations of the regional database and the metropolitan database



OECD eXplorer EU TL3

Figure: OECD eXplorer with indicator "age group 65+ years" showing the ageing population in European regions (TL3/NUTS3)


Litterature about statistics visualization:


Page manager: mikael.jern@liu.se
Last updated: Fri Nov 18 15:55:33 CET 2016