Platzhalter Platzhalter


An indicator is a visual or empirically measurable quantitative characteristic (ratio) employed in the fields of geography, spatial planning and environmental research to describe spatial aspects, terms or processes that are not immediately accessible. In order to operationalize and present such indicators cartographically they must be formalized and derived in terms of a base spatial unit. The geo-spatial interpretation of indicators necessarily involves the simultaneous analysis of related aspects of spatial structure or processes with a spatial impact.

In spatial and urban development, planning indicators are employed to estimate the achievement of targets and to communicate these measurement results. Indicators must display the following characteristics: conformity with goals, informative value, comprehensibility, spatial comparability and easy to calculate.




Indicators in these categories relate settlement space to the reference area oor parts thereof (e. g. industrial, commercial space to settlement space). Settlement space is one part of the reference area, which is constituted (without overlapping) of settlement space, open space and transportation space. Settlement space is made up of built-up area and urban open space (sports, leisure and recreation area).

Indicator overview for the category: Settlement


This category deals with ratios describing the building stock. A distinction is made between use (e.g. residential building) and building type (e.g. detached, semi-detached or row housing). The ratio of total floor area to the reference area, settlement area or built-up area gives a clear estimation of building density; in combination with population distribution it is possible to make an estimate of efficiency. A building is defined as any house whose floor plan is large than 10 m² and which is not a built structure in horticultural land (i.e. not horticultural land or allotments). In the case of building complexes (e.g. linked housing such as row houses, linear block housing) every separate entrance with an own address (house coordinate) is counted separately in statistical data.

Indicator overview for the category: buildings

Open space

Indicators of this category relate open spaces to the reference area, so that open space can be broken down into various categories of use. Open space is a part of the reference space, which is exhaustively constituted (without overlapping) of settlement space, open space and transportation space. Components of open space are agricultural areas, forest areas (incl. copses), uncultivated, usually near-natural areas as well as expanses of water. Mining and dump sites are also categorized as open space rather than settlement space (as is the practice of public survey agencies) because such sites are usually unsealed, vegetation on dump sites develops without human intervention and typical settlement functions such as living, working and relaxation are absent.

Indicator overview for the category: open space


Indicators for this category relate official estimates of population at the municipal level to selected forms of land use, thereby enabling evaluation of the land-use type per citizen (e.g. urban open space) and efficiency (e.g. population density in settlements).

Indicator overview for the category: population


Indicators for this category relate transportation space or transport route lengths to the reference area or parts thereof (e.g. ratio of transportation area to built-up area and traffic area), thereby providing information on the transportation infrastructure (incl. the transport network). Transportation is one component of the reference area, which is constituted (with no overlapping) of settlement space, open space and transportation space. Alongside sealed land for transportation, this category also includes traffic accompanying areas of greenery in the direct neighbourhood; unsealed pathways are ignored. In contrast to ATKIS Basis-DLM, harbour basins, navigable waterways, lakes and seas are not classified as transportation areas but as expanses of water and thus forms of open space. Aviation areas are constituted of runways only.

Indicator overview for the category: transportation

Landscape and nature protection

Indicators for this category relate the non-overlapping proportion of protected areas to the reference area. Thus landscape protection is explicitly acknowledged for the first time. In contrast to other systems (e.g. the National Strategy for Biological Diversity (NBS)), the more strict indicator "nature and species protection" also incorporates European protected areas (Natura2000 areas).

Indicator overview for the category: landscape and nature protection

Ecosystem Services

The category Ecosystem Services (ÖSL) includes indicators which have a contribution (services) in ecosystems for the welfare of the society. The distinction has been made based on regulatory, supply and cultural achievements.

The indicators can describe different sizes such as the potential of the nature for provision of Ecosystem Services or the demand as well as the need of Ecosystem Services

Indicator overview for the category: Ecosystem Services

Landscape quality

In the first part this category deals with the fragmentation of interlinked open spaces as well as individual habitats (forest) by linear infrastructure (particularly roads and railways) and closed settlement bodies (urbanized areas of 5 ha and above). Elements causing such fragmentation are regional roads (district roads and above) as well as all multi-track and single track electrified stretches of railway. Traffic volumes are not considered (in contrast to other systems) as relevant data is not available for all areas and time frames. The methodology of analyzing landscape fragmentation adopted by the IOER Monitor differs from other systems of indicators (e.g. State Initiative Core Indicators (LIKI) or National Strategy for Biological Diversity (NBS)) in regard to the precision of base data (ATKIS Basis-DLM at scale 1:25,000 rather than 1:250,000), the classification of roadways and the inclusion of settlements. Additional ratios are calculated to supplement those offered by current indicator systems (such as NBS).

In the second part of this category you can find indicators on hemeroby as an inverse measurement of nearness to nature (based on a 7-step classification).

Indicator overview for the category: landscape quality




Topics of the IOER-Monitor

The focus of the IOER Monitor and its system of indicators is to provide spatial information describing the condition (including the quality), the potentials, the environmental risks and the development of settlements, specifically the building stock, open spaces, the roadway network and the landscape quality.

 According to the DPSIR-concept of the European Environment Agency particular attention is paid to the “state” (ratios of land usage, density of transport network, land productivity) as well as “pressure” (such as fragmentation, Zersiedlung (splintering) and land consumption) and remedial measures (“response” in particular ratios of protected areas).

Indicator values are calculated by evaluating land use data (land ratios), their relation to socio-economic data (number of residents and workplaces, GDP) as well as environmental data (soils, protected areas, etc.). Criteria for the selection of indicators are: data is available for the entire country and for various topics of interest; spatial comparison is enabled (homogeneous base data); temporal comparison is enabled (permanent availability of base data).

The IOER Monitor provides aggregate information to the INSPIRE topics of transport networks, waterway networks, protected areas (Annex 1), ground cover (Annex 2) as well as buildings, land usage, population distribution, protected areas, areas with natural risks (Annex 3).