Main Data Application
The main data application is the section of the user interface containing the indicators list of the ESPON database as well as the search and download tools.
It contains a guided search allowing to select different elements from closed lists that are automatically generated through web services based on the current database contents.
The available search fields are:
Territorial nomenclature (NUTS, FUAs, LAU&)
Level (for NUTS)
Type of indicator (base/key/background) as checkboxes instead of dropdown
Figure 1: Search options of the main interface
The tree of indicators shown on the interface is read from a data.json file obtained from the server. This file is generated periodically by an automated cron task in the server that gathers all current data on the database to create a new tree structure file. This architecture increases dramatically the performance of the system, as creating the tree on the fly directly from the database would take too long (about a minute). The guided searches also rely on this cached version of the indicators tree to speed up the searches.
The order of the indicators is predefined in the web services response through a field called sequence, but the user can sort the first level of the elements of the tree by clicking the column Name. The levels nested underneath are always displayed according to the sequence field. Sortable fields are marked with a small icon.
Figure 2: Main data section. Indicator tree
By clicking on an indicator, the user gets a new dialog that integrates all the available options in relation to that indicator:
Metadata: list of fields with information on the selected indicator. Automatically populated from the database.
Explore data: tools to display the indicator data as a graph or a map and to download it.
Genealogy: information on the indicator(s) that have been used to compute the current indicator. Available only on indicators for which it has been defined.
Figure 3: Explore data dialog
Figure 4: Displaying the genealogy of an indicator
The graphical tool provides filters to narrow down the data to be displayed. There are three possible filters:
Region: a selector to choose any territorial unit for which data exists for the selected indicator. The choices are automatically populated from the contents of the database.
Year start: a selector to choose the year to start the graph. The choices are automatically populated from the contents of the database (optional parameter).
Year end: a selector to choose the year to end the graph. The choices are automatically populated from the contents of the database (optional parameter).
Once the graphic is ready it can be saved as an image. The style of the graphic is preset and cannot be customized by the user.
Figure 5: Example of graphic
The mapping tool shows geographical extent of the availability of data for a given indicator. This is shown as dark grey for regions with data and light grey for regions with no data. Clicking on a region brings up a dialog showing the territorial unit code, name and value for the indicator.
The map follows the ESPON mapping layout with:
Ultraperipheral territories as insets in the top right.
Sea in light blue.
Non-ESPON countries in light grey.
Blue lines framing the map.
The map is created by selecting two elements from dropdown lists:
Year: a selector to choose the year of the data to be mapped. The choices are automatically populated from the contents of the database.
Nomenclature-version: a selector to choose the geographical division to be mapped (NUTS/LAU& and reference year). Options here could be NUTS2-2006, NUTS3-2013&
Once the map is ready it can be saved as an image, zoomed in/out and regions clicked to get information. The boundaries shown on the maps are automatically retrieved from ESPON DB through web services.
Figure 6: Mapping an indicator
The Download section allows getting a zipped package with all data and metadata linked to the selected indicator. The link is retrieved from the database through a web service, thus whenever it changes, the interface will automatically show the updated link to the package.
Figure7: Contents of a data package