Tips and Tricks
The tool allows you to identify spatial development trends in Europe and in its four macro-regions using a set of indicators for the different thematic areas of cooperation in macro-regions, as well as a proposal of indicators relevant for the objectives of the new Cohesion Policy. MRS. ESPON is an innovative, advanced online GIS mapping tool that calculates relevant data on the fly for each indicator allowing a continuous update of new data. The tool allows you to compare the development between different timeframes, provides descriptions of the trends and patterns displayed in the maps and briefly comments on the political dimension.
The tool offers a comparative perspective of macro-regions. If you are interested in further information on macro-regions you can get an overview in the MRS button. A background section in each of the 5 modules gives you more background information (see e e.g. the EUSBSR example). The tool also provides numerous links that lead you to the individual macro-regional homepages and official documents. On the front page you see for example at the bottom the logos of the four macro-regions, which will forward you to the individual homepages.
The platform offers very easy thematic access. Simply choose the module you are interested in on the landing page, for example on the EUSAIR and there you will have direct access to all thematic areas organised according to the governance structure of the macro-region. For each element such as pillars and topics you will find information attached in the form of descriptions, interactive maps and graphics.
The mapping tool allows you to compare the changes between two points in time. Let’s take the example of ‘Surface of Marine Protected Areas.’ By selecting the initial year, and then selecting the year you want to compare it with, you will receive a map that displays the changes. Try it yourself here.
You have some initial suggestions for interpretation in the texts below the map. If you select the country or region that you are interested in, the tool displays on a tooltip the value of the initial and the final year, as well as the calculated variation in %.
This platform brings together relevant information from different data sources, such as ESPON Database, Eurostat, National Statistical Offices, World Bank, OECD, ILO, UNCTAD, ESPON projects and regional collaboration partners. The information of the source and metadata of each indicator is given below the map in the button Indicator Info. As the maps combine data from different sources in order to fill in the gaps, specific source information will appear when selecting each individual region with a link that takes you directly to the source.
The tool provides four positioning options in the European module, one for each policy area. These allow you to identify how the macro-regions compare in the European average. For an example see here.
All the information of the tool is available for your use. You may download the data behind a map in a spreadsheet by selecting the “download”-“Excel” option on the top right corner of any map. In there you will also find the option to export the map as an image, a pdf or a vector file in case you want to edit the map yourself. Whenever you download an excel or pdf file of a map it will also include the metadata of the indicator. The texts on the different pages can also be copied and pasted.
Much of the data is automatically retrieved from other data providers. Thus whenever the source information is updated, the tool will automatically display the new data. For other elements and data, ESPON will periodically keep the tool updated in terms of new indicators and new years for indicators already included on the system. In this sense, if you find a data gap on a map or graphic for which you have information to fill it in, please do let us know by writing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MRS. ESPON has been set up in way that can be easily adapted to modifications of the MRS governance. Thus it is possible and simple for the tool administrators to include a new indicator, modify the objectives of a certain Priority Area or even include a new Action Group. This way we can ensure the tool will not become obsolete whenever a MRS updates its action plan.