Changes to administrative and postal regions reveal a Europe in flux

GfK Europe Map Edition 2014/2015: Comprehensive digital maps of municipalities, postcodes and topographic elements

Bruchsal, Germany, October 15, 2014 – GfK has released its Europe Map Edition 2014/2015, which reflects thousands of changes that have occurred in Europe since last year. These digital maps of administrative and postal regions comprise the basis for place-based or so-called “geomarketing” analyses for companies across all industries.

The approximately one thousand digital maps in the GfK Europe Map Edition have been updated 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 postal and administrative levels such as five-digit postcodes and municipalities. GfK's geomarketing experts have also calculated seamlessly fitting 2014 data on GfK purchasing power, inhabitants and households.

"A common belief is that government administrations and postal organizations are not fond of change," says Klaus Dittmann, head of cartography in GfK's geomarketing division. "But in fact these entities plan and implement many thousands of changes throughout Europe each year. This is done to improve service and efficiency, and to implement European regulations and austerity measures. For example, Portugal implemented EU cost-reduction measures in 2013 by making cuts to more than 1,000 municipal administrations. We update our maps for Europe every year so we can offer an accurate and error-free cartographic basis for geographic analyses."

An up-to-date and ultra-precise cartographic basis is essential for all spatial analyses, whether carried out in geomarketing software, a GIS, a BI solution or other database applications. Outdated postal boundaries are problematic, because postcodes are the means by which address-based company and market data is linked to and visualized on digital maps. For example, if the postcode associated with a company branch site has changed, the turnover values for this location will either be assigned to an incorrect postcode or disappear altogether if the postcode in question has been dissolved.

Changes and additions
There have been changes to every European country's postal and administrative levels. In total, this amounts to more than 4,000 changes, the more extensive of which are detailed below.

Admin.: There were changes to all 62 municipality IDs in the Serbian area of the country; there were also 14 name changes.

Postal: The postal layer was redigitized using newly available sources.

Admin.: 5 new municipalities, 10 boundary corrections, 18 boundary changes

Postal: 163 dissolved and 3 new 5-digit postcodes

Admin.: The settlements (Sogner) were updated using the new foundational data of the Danish Land Registry Office; there was also one dissolved and 61 newly added settlements (Sogner).

Admin.: 68 municipalities dissolved, 7 newly added and many boundary changes

Postal: 7 dissolved 5-digit postcodes, 91 name corrections, multiple boundary corrections/changes

Admin.: 18 dissolved and 7 new municipalities (Vallad_Linnad)

Postal: 2 dissolved and 35 new 5-digit postcodes

Admin.: 61 dissolved and 26 new municipalities (Comuni); several boundary and name changes

Postal: 12 dissolved and 23 new 5-digit postcodes; multiple boundary changes

Postal: 2 dissolved and 26 new 4-digit postcodes

Admin.: 6 new submunicipalities and several boundary changes

Postal: 86 dissolved, 28 new postcodes; approx. 700 boundary changes

Admin.: 1,168 dissolved municipalities, multiple boundary changes

Admin.: new layer: 4 regions

Postal: 29 dissolved and 4 new 5-digit postcodes, 112 boundary changes, 189 name changes

All maps have been completely redigitized.

Admin.: new layer with 6,034 settlements (Naselje)

Postal: 28 dissolved and 68 new 5-digit postcodes, 10 name changes

Admin.: 66 dissolved and 10 newly established municipalities; 7 boundary changes

Postal: one dissolved 4-digit postcode, 2 name changes, 13 boundary corrections/changes

Liechtenstein's administrative and postcode layers were updated with newly available and more precise sources.

Czech Republic
Postal: The postcodes were completely overhauled using new sources. This resulted in many boundary corrections, 58 dissolved and 56 new postcodes as well as 155 name changes.

Postal: 214 dissolved and 88 new postcodes; multiple name changes and boundary changes

The approximately 1,000 maps for a total of 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 postal and administrative levels, the Europe country 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
Illustrations can be found at

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

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GfK GeoMarketing GmbH

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