ESPON portal - interactive mapping and dashboards

The online “ESPON toolbox” constitutes a set of applications for territorial analyses (databases, analytical tools, tools for benchmarking, territorial impact assessment, mapping). The ESPON toolbox is accessible through a dedicated webpage in the ESPON website and aims to support policy makers, practitioners and researchers with relevant territorial evidence (maps, data, short analysis, quick scans) in their various activities. Each online tool has its own webpage, and the tools are hosted on ESPON servers.

Despite marketed as a “toolbox”, it does not account for an integrated solution as each tool has its own logic, technological platform, design and approach to user experience. Thus, the user’s navigation among the different tools is complicated and may result in negative experience (often voiced in the stakeholder surveys). Moreover, the integration of data flow among these tools is weak because each tool has a self-contained system. A lot of efforts have been made to update the online tools during the ESPON 2020 Programme and make them more integrated and accessible. However, the fact that most of the tools are still stand-alone tools bears the risk for a fragmented approach in updating them which might further deteriorate the user experience, resulting in decreasing use of the tools.

In addition, the “ESPON toolbox” has no single dedicated mapping interface and application which could map in a dynamic and interactive way all data from the ESPON 2020 database. Various existing ESPON online tools offer mapping solutions limited to their scope and analytical functionalities.


The ESPON EGTC aspires to offer to the ESPON community an innovative and user-centred approach to the ESPON tools’ architecture, thus the aim of this activity is to develop one integrated interface (ESPON portal), providing a single access point to ESPON maps, data and scientific content.

The design and functionalities of the new ESPON portal will reflect the emergent need to improve the user’s understandability, experience and ease of navigation. This is expected to increase the user satisfaction of the territorial analysis and impact of tools provided by the ESPON Programme, and to expand the ESPON’s online community (policy stakeholders, researchers and practitioners).

Given the time constraint of closing the ESPON 2020 Programme in the second semester of 2022, the objective is to set up an initial version of the ESPON portal with the following components:

  • A new mapping solution, which would be capable of mapping, in an interactive way, data from the ESPON 2020 Database, other ESPON projects and external data sources.
  • Business intelligence utilities, which can generate interactive dashboards and interactive data visualisation.
  • Solutions that would enable effective and visually attractive storytelling, infographics and other modern data visualisations.
  • The ESPON 2020 online applications (currently, the standalone ESPON 2020 tools) - integrated, to the extent possible, in a common ecosystem of the ESPON portal.

The Portal implementation will be based on ESRI technology.

Prior market consultation

The call for tenders was based on the prior market consultation which run from 16 December 2020 to 28 February 2021, with the objective to acquire information regarding potential solutions to be envisaged for redesigning ESPON tools overall architecture. During the consultation period, the ESPON EGTC received 18 written replies from 10 countries: 13 companies, 2 universities(CH and ES), 1 ministry (RO), EU Commission and Eurostat-GISCO. The main results of the consultation can be accessed here.


Esri BeLux S.A. (BE)


€ 199 857


  • Inception Report, 03 December 2021
  • Alpha version of the ESPON Portal, 25 February 2022
  • Beta version of the ESPON Portal, 29 April 2022
  • Final version of the ESPON Portal, 30 June 2022


Zintis Hermansons (Project Expert) [email protected] , Caroline Clause (Financial Expert) [email protected]