A visualization and data-sharing tool for ecosystem service maps: Lessons learnt, challenges and the way forward

E. G. Drakou*, N.D. Crossman, L. Willemen, B. Burkhard, I. Palomo, J. Maes, S. Peedell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
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A plurality in methods, models, terminologies is used to assess, quantify, map and communicate ecosystem services (ES). The Thematic Working Groups on Mapping (TWG4) and Modeling ES (TWG5) of the Ecosystem Service Partnership (ESP), recent literature and expert workshops, have highlighted the need for developing a platform that systematically organizes, visualizes and shares ES maps and related information. This led to the development of the Ecosystem Services Partnership Visualization Tool (ESP-VT), an open-access interactive platform that hosts a catalogue of ES maps with information on indicators, models and used data. Users can upload or download ES maps and associated information. ESP-VT aims at increasing transparency in ES mapping approaches to facilitate the flow of information within the ES community from academics to policy-makers and practitioners. Populating the ESP-VT with ES maps from different geographic locations, across different spatial scales, using different models and with various purposes, leads to a diverse and heterogeneous ES map library. The scientific community has not yet agreed on standards for ES terminology, methodologies and maps. However we do believe that populating and using the ESP-VT can set a basis for developing such standards and serve towards achieving interoperability among the varying ES related tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalEcosystem services
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Blueprint
  • Classification systems
  • Data catalogue
  • Data standards
  • Open access
  • Web services
  • 2023 OA procedure


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