GfK has released its Europe Map Edition 2015/2016, which reflects the thousands of regional changes that have occurred in Europe over the past year. The digital maps of administrative and postal regions comprise the foundation for location-based analyses, or geomarketing, for companies across all industries.
GfK updated the approximately one thousand digital maps in the GfK Europe Map Edition to reflect the latest status. The maps have been supplemented with numerous regional levels. One of these enhancements includes an increase in the level of detail, particularly along coastlines and in cities. The maps offer comprehensive coverage down to Europe's most detailed postcode and administrative levels – the five-digit postcodes and municipalities, respectively. GfK's geomarketing experts have also calculated 2015 data on regional purchasing power, inhabitants and households.
Demographic, economic and political changes pose challenges to government and postal organizations across Europe. Fluctuations due to moving residents as well as long-term demographic and economic changes necessitate reforms to ensure boundary structures meet current and future demand.
"Efficiency is a political and economic imperative in today's administrative and postal organizations," explains Klaus Dittmann, head of cartography in GfK's geomarketing solution area. "For this reason, hundreds of regions such as municipalities and postcodes are adjusted each year in every European country so these organizations can operate efficiently and provide better service. These changes are reflected in the administrative and postcode maps that we update every year to ensure our customers have a reliable basis for their business analyses."
An up-to-date cartographic basis is a prerequisite for carrying out market analyses in companies from all industries. Outdated postcode boundaries are problematic, because this is the means by which address-based company and market data is linked to and visualized on digital maps. For example, if the postcode of a company site changes, any turnover generated by this site would be attributed to the wrong postcode if outdated boundary data is used.
There have been changes to every European country's postcode and administrative levels; in total, these changes number in the thousands. Some examples of the more comprehensive changes:
The administrative and postcode boundaries were newly rendered on the basis of official and more detailed sources. All boundaries are now accurate to within 50 meters (admin. boundaries) or 10 meters (postcode boundaries).
The administrative boundaries of the federal states of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Berlin were newly rendered on the basis of official vector data from the respective regional authorities. The maximum boundary deviation is now less than 5 meters. Postcode boundaries are now accurate down to the level of individual houses.
The administrative and postcode boundaries were newly rendered on the basis of official and more detailed sources. This changed the maximum boundary deviation from 250 meters to 10 meters.
All maps for Poland were completely re-digitized. This changed the maximum boundary deviation from 50 meters to 25 meters (in rural areas) and to around 10 meters in Warsaw.
The 5-digit postcodes were overhauled using new sources from the Czech land registry office. For this reason, there were countless boundary changes that affected all administrative and postcode layers.
The administrative and postcode boundaries were newly rendered using official and highly detailed sources. This changed the maximum boundary deviation from 250 meters to 10 meters.
All boundaries were newly rendered on the basis of official vector data from the Swiss authorities. The maximum deviation from the precise (real-world) position now corresponds to less than 5 meters. Postcode boundaries are now accurate down to the level of individual houses.
NUTS regions: new system as of 01.01.2015
The Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics (NUTS) was created by Eurostat in order to provide a unified classification of regional units for the compilation of regional statistics for the European Union. This standard is updated in intervals every three to four years to reflect regional administrative changes.
The approximately 1,000 maps for the 42 European countries are available in all standard map formats, including *.shp (ESRI), *.tab (MapInfo), *.lay (RegioGraph) and Oracle Spatial. In addition to maps of the postcode and administrative levels, the country map editions also include topographic details such as streets, bodies of water and city points categorized by number of inhabitants. All maps are vector-based and consequently offer infinite zoom and flexible viewing options.
Additional information on GfK's digital maps can be found at
Print-quality illustrations can be found here.
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