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Activity 3: Geodata

This activity is concerned with the generation, provision and distribution of geodata. All geodata are collected, generated, produced, maintained and updated in-house at RRG. Available geodata are trans-European transport networks, administrative boundaries (NUTS classification), geographical datasets as well as interaction data and regional data.

The data are being updated, enhanced and improved continuously, both with respect to the actuality and the addition of new attributes or geographic elements. Basically, the datasets are available for the whole of Europe, but they can also be licensed for individual countries or regions or particular groupings thereof. Concerning the spatial resolution, the database accuracy is optimised for application at regional, national and trans-national or European level, but they can also be used at a regional comparative level. Further information on the spatial resolution and the scale is provided here.

The database is basically maintained as individual layers of the geoinformation system (GIS) ArcGIS (ESRI) (in coverage format, as well as geodatabase format); however, all data can also be made available as ArcView Shapefiles, specific ASCII data formats or other data formats upon request.

The RRG GIS Database is subdivided into the following branches:


The main feature of the RRG GIS Database is its mean spatial scale, allowing to cover Europe as a whole while at the same time allowing for analyses and applications at the regional level. The chosen scale also ensures data provision at affordable prices. Detailed information for ordering the database are available here.

Beyond the already existing comprehensive RRG GIS Database we also offer support in the development of database concepts and in the implementation of specific GIS databases, using most up-to-date database formats and databank management systems. We would also be happy to take over any digitalisation work related to this.

The main advantages of the RRG GIS Database can be summarised as follows:

  • spatial coverage: whole of Europe
  • Spatial scale: medium scale
  • up-to-date database format
  • covering all modes of transport as well as additional geographic elements
  • all countries covered based on same resolution, and same data and attribute definitions
  • road and rail networks are available for different points in time, dating back as fas as 1970, an as projections into the future until 2030
  • data can be ordered in individual portions (i.e. individual layers and/or individual spatial coverage
  • affordable prices for database license
  • open format, i.e. the data can be edited and adjusted to specific needs (both the attributes as well as all geometries)
  • available attributes can be used for a variety of applications

Transport networks

The RRG GIS Database trans-European Transport Networks covers all modes and comprises the following individual layers:

  • Road network
  • Railway network
  • Train stations and train stops in Europe
  • Inland waterways and inland ports
  • Short sea shipping routes, ferry connections, motorways of the sea and seaports
  • Seeports and inland ports
  • Airports in the world
  • Flight connections (2006)
  • Transport terminals and intermodal transshipment facilities
  • Travel analysis districts (Germany only)

The road and railway networks are available for different points in time. The layer comprise their historic development since 1970, and also include future projects until 2030 based on actual national outline plans and the outline plans of the trans-european transport networks. A general overview on the scope of the networks and the number of network elements and the attribute structure of the layers can be found here.

Administrative boundaries

The database on administrative boundaries and regions in Europe is based on the NUTS classification of Eurostat (1995; 1999a; 1999b, 2004), and comprises a hierarchical set of boundaries ranging from the lowest level (NUTS 5 level, municipality boundaries) towards the highest aggregates (NUTS 0 level, country boundaries) including all intermediate levels (NUTS 4, NUTS 3, NUTS 2, NUTS 1 levels). For each level there is available a polygon layer representing the actual boundaries, as well as a related point layer representing the region centroids. The polygon and point layers can be licensed as a bundle or individually. The following polygon layers are thus available:

  • Country and national boundaries (NUTS 0 level)
  • NUTS 1 level
  • NUTS 2 level
  • Counties (NUTS 3 level)
  • Municipalities (NUTS 5 level, available for Germany only)
  • INTERREG IIIB co-operation areas
  • VASAB co-operation area

In addition, the following point layers are available:

  • Capital cities in Europe (NUTS 0 level)
  • NUTS 1 Centroids
  • NUTS 2 Centroids
  • NUTS 3 Centroids
  • Municipality centres (NUTS 5 level, available for Germany only)

With the exception of the NUTS 5 level, basically all layers cover the whole of Europe, but they can also be provided for parts thereof.

Geographic layers

The following geographic features are available in the RRG GIS Database:

  • Cities in Europe
  • Shorelines, lakes and water bodies
  • Mainland and islands
  • Annotations
  • Individual raster system (grids)

In addition we also offer geocoding services, including the georeferencing of addresses by using the RRG Address Locator. The result of the geocoding will be either a point-Shapefile providing the address locations, or a table view where the coordinates are added as new columns.

  • Geocoded addresses (point layer)

Interaction data and regional data

Upon request, specific interaction data and regional data can be generated based on the comprehensive RRG GIS Database. These data do not represent layers featuring spatial objects, but represent data describing the relationships of spatial objects with each other, or describing characteristics of regions and other spatial entities. Basically, these data are available for the whole of Europe, but are also available for individual countries or regions or specific groups thereof. These data are not provided as layers but as matrices in one of the following data formats: ArcInfo Info tables, dbase files, MS Access database, or specific ASCII file formats.


Basically, the following interaction data can be provided:

  • Neighbourhood matrices
  • Airline distances, network distances and Manhattan distances
  • Travel time and travel cost matrices
  • Accessibility indices and peripherality indicators
  • Population potential within certain radius or certain travel time (road/rail/flight/shipping)
  • Isochrones (road or rail networks, any origin)

Furthermore, upon request it would be possible to calculate tailor-made interaction data matching your specific needs. Because the road and rail networks contain an explicit temporal dimension, all such indicators may be calculated for different points in time.
Region data are data characterising specific assets of regions in Europe, where regions could be either NUTS entities of different levels or any other spatially delimitated entity. As there are quite a lot of regional data available in official statistics, the focus here is on data that cannot be collected from official registers but which need to be derived through GIS techniques. Examples of these are climatic data, data on the quality of life in European regions, or topographic data.

The following regional data can be provided:

  • Regional climatic data
  • Quality of life
  • Topographic data

Furthermore it is possible to calculate specific interaction and regional data.

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