European Values Maps
    European Value Maps are conceptual maps of human values across Europe. European Value Maps allow the public to reflect on the sheer variety of opinions that are held by European citizens. In doing so, they help European citizens to become more accepting to differences in their opinions, and therefore reduce opinion polarization that has become one of the warring trends in our society.

    European Value Maps are created using European Values Study (EVS) data set. Each map is created using a small set of questions from this survey (usually between 10 and 20 questions) that are unified by a single societal topic. Each dot on the map represents a person who filled in the survey. Two dots are close on the map if the two corresponding persons filled in the survey in a similar way. The countries represents groups (clusters) of people with similar opinions.

    European Value Maps resemble geographic maps, but you should not be misled – there is no geography involved. A country in this map is conceptual – it is a group of people that hold similar opinions. This way the maps allow to observe and investigate all the variety of opinions on a certain topic without drawing strict geographic borders. We believe that observing these diversity of opinions will help European citizens to embrace their differences and similarities and avoid falling into extreme polarized groups.

    You can investigate the countries by clicking on them and reading their description. The description of each country was produced by a careful manual analysis of the data within it. To see if you agree with the description, you can investigate the opinions within each country yourself by using bar-charts that show how the questions were answered. You can also investigate the demographic data of the population within the counties using the bar chart tab. This way you can also investigate the interplay between the conceptual and geographic proximities. You can also see yourself on the map! Just click on the survey tab, answer the proposed questions and enjoy exploring your position as it relates to the position of European citizens!
    Methodology and Related Work
    Data of the European Values Study have been presented in visual form in the European Values Atlas, using choropleths (geographic maps with countries coloured accordingly to the value of an investigated variable), bar charts, and scatterplots. These visuals show valuable insights on the separate dimensions of the data set (one question at a time). Our goal with the conceptual maps is to introduce a whole other dimension of the use of data visualisation to the analysis of European Value Study data. We suggest mapping multiple dimensions of the data set at once, without strict prior hypotheses, providing an overview of the data and tools to investigate details, to build further surprising and unexpected insights on the data.

    For the construction of a map, we first select a set of questions from the EVS that address a single societal topic. Whenever feasible, the questions are selected based on previous research on the topic. We cluster the corresponding multidimensional space (the number of dimensions is the number of questions we considered). Afterwards, we apply dimensionality reduction techniques, that map the multiple dimensions to the two dimensions of the screen. Finally, we color the regions that contain points of the same cluster with the same color. This methodology was applied earlier to build conceptual map of a survey on the topic “Should we eat meat?”. More generally conceptual maps are being popular for other types of data types, beyond surveys.
    Tamara Mchedlidze
    I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Information and Computing Sciences of Utrecht University. I am passionate about Graphs, Algorithms and Data Visualizations. I love beauty in all its forms – whether it is nature, art or design. I am intrigued by psychology and the dynamics of human relationships. My goal in life is to use all my skills to make this world a little better place to live.
    Isabel Floor
    During the spring of 2022, I worked on the European Values Maps for the course Software Project for the bachelor Computer Science at Utrecht University. Now, I am working as Assistant Researcher at the Department of Information and Computing Sciences of Utrecht University to continue the research.
    The Map Chaps
    During the spring of 2022, a group of 12 students worked on the European Values Maps during the course Software Project as part of the Bachelor Computer Science at Utrecht University.
    Inge Sieben
    Inge Sieben is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology at Tilburg University. She is co-author of the Atlas of European Values, (2022 - Open Press TiU; 2011 - Brill publishers) and coordinator of the Erasmus+ KA2 EVALUE project on European Values in Education. Her research interests include moral and childrearing values, religion, and democracy in a comparative perspective.
    Quita Muis
    Quita Muis is a PhD researcher and lecturer at the Department of Sociology at Tilburg University, connected to the European Values Study and the university’s Impact Program. For her dissertation, she investigates polarization, particularly between educational groups. Her broader research interests include (changes in) public opinion, polarization, identity, and politics.
    Tim Reeskens
    Tim Reeskens is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology at Tilburg University. He serves as the coordinator of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence of European Values, and is the National Program Director of the European Values Studies Netherlands. His research interest regard the comparative study of social and political values and attitudes, with a focus on social capital, welfare attitudes, and national identity.
    If you have any questions regarding the European Value Maps, please contact Tamara Mchedlidze.