ESPON HyperAtlas 3.0


For authorities to respond on existing disparities it is important to know more precisely where these disparities are and at what levels, so that their origins, consequences and underlying economic mechanisms can be further investigated. Regional disparities can exist with respect to various topics, such as income, labour market, education and health. Moreover, indices used to measure regional disparities to support political decisions are often evaluated in relative terms.  

The development of the ESPON HyperAtlas, a tool developed to support authorities in responding to existing disparities by offering methodologies to analyse and visualise spatial phenomena by taking into account the relative situation, started in the ESPON 2006 Programme. During the ESPON 2013 Programme, this tool has been made better accessible via a user-friendly web application offering a large number of methods to compare and analyse a region’s relative position at European, national and local scale for a whole set of criteria. 

The ESPON 2013 project Territorial Performance Monitoring (TPM) has been using the HyperAtlas extensively. The project and its stakeholders recognized the usefulness of this tool for policy makers at different scales who wish to analyse the situation in their region through the lens of comparative benchmarking and mapping. However, some limitations in that version of the HyperAtlas prevented to achieve the objectives of comparative benchmarking and mapping.  

This ESPON activity on “HyperAtlas 3.0” shall overcome these limitations and make the new ESPON HyperAtlas, in its third version, more useful and applicable for regional practitioners and policy makers. 

Main Objective 

The main objective of this service is to fully revise the HyperAtlas version 2  and build a HyperAtlas 3.0 that is transparent, has a user-friendly interface with clear examples and storylines on how to use the tool and its resulting maps and graphs and links the tool to the regional data in the ESPON 2020 Database Portal. This should lead to a HyperAtlas 3.0 that can be used to support policy makers in analysing and comparing their regions, finding insight in disparities and similarities and on which regions are catching-up and which are staying behind, using methods such as multi-scalar analysis and spatial statistics.  

Users of the tool should at least be able to use the tool as follows:  

  • Regional governments (and their associations) should be able to use the tool to assess their status compared to their close neighbours, within their country or within a larger area. They should also be able to assess if they are catching up or staying behind.  
  • National governments should be able to use the tool to identify regions that are lagging and leading on specific topics and to find regions that with some targeted support could improve their status and thus contribute substantially to lowering disparities within the country and the EU. 

Main outcomes envisaged 

The main outcomes of the service should be: 

  • Web application, including an administrator module, that can be used in a simple, intuitive and user-friendly way by European, national and regional authorities to analysing and comparing their regions with the local, regional, national and European situation.
  • User guidance explaining why and how to use the HyperAtlas 3.0 including some practical examples and storylines. 
  • Administrator guidance on how to keep the HyperAtlas 3.0 up-to-date. 


  • ÖIR GmbH, AT (lead contractor) 
  • Laurentia, ES 


Lifetime:February 2020July 2021 


  • Inception delivery, 18 May 2020
  • Interim delivery, 18 August 2020
  • Draft Final delivery, 18 December 2020 
  • Final delivery, 18 March 2021 

Contact:Marjan van Herwijnen (Senior Project Expert)[email protected] and Caroline Clause (Senior Financial Expert) [email protected]