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"Great" Interactive Statistics Visualization

In this chapter we give an overview of selected applied interactive statistical visualizations demonstrating practical outcome from our Geovisual Analytics research.  

Regional Statistics - "Ageing Population in Europe"

Europe eXplorer NUTS3

Advances in web-enabled graphics technologies have made a dramatic impact on developing highly interactive Geovisual Analytics applications for the Internet. An emerging and challenging application domain is geovisualization of regional (sub-national) statistics. Higher integration driven by institutional processes and economic globalisation is eroding national borders and creating competition along regional lines in the world market. Sound information at sub-national level and benchmarking of regions across borders, therefore, has increased in importance in the policy agenda of many countries. 

This Web site presents some interactive, interesting and educational examples of regional statistical visualization based on geovisual analytics such as NCVA's Europe eXplorer exploring Eurostat Regional Statistics.


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).

Europe eXpl 3 maps

Figure: Ageing Population in Europe


Coordinated Map and Treemap using HTML5

The layered choropleth regional NUTS2 European map shows population age group 65+ in colour. The region Liguria in Northerna Italy has the highest rate of eldery population. The linked map and treemap show this clearly.

The European treemap visualization  shows hierarchies in which the rectangular screen space is divided into about 280 European NUTS2 regions. Each region belongs to a country in the hierarchy. The colourful presentation accommodates a large number of statistical data items in a meaningfully organized display allowing patterns and exceptions to be spotted immediately. The size of the rectangle refers to "Total Population" while the colour attribute represents elderly population in Europe "age group 65+ in %".  

When the colour and size dimensions are correlated in some way with the tree structure, one can often easily see patterns that would be difficult to spot in other ways, such as if a certain colour is particularly relevant. We see that Germany has a high rate of eldery people while, for example, Poland in blue colour has a younger representation 

Dashboard Demonstrator: http://mitweb.itn.liu.se/GAV/dashboard/#story=data/nuts-regions-ageing-population-in-europe-2010.xml&layout=[map,treemap]

Another advantage of the treemap below is that, by construction, it makes efficient use of space and can display a large number of data items on the screen simultaneously.


map and treemap





Page manager: mikael.jern@liu.se
Last updated: 2016-03-23