Land Use in The Netherlands

Koen van Gilst

Koen van Gilst / June 5, 2024

1 minute––– views

This webpage uses hexagons to visualize land use across the Netherlands. Each hexagon represents a small fraction of the country's land, roughly 0.06% or 26.647 hectares. The color of each hexagon corresponds to a specific type of land use.

The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, facing a constant challenge: balancing competing demands for its limited land. Despite concerns about space, the Netherlands has more solar panels than the entire continent of Africa. Yet, solar parks occupy only one hexagon on the entire map.

With growing pressure on space, how can we ensure there's room for affordable housing, nature, and productive agriculture? This visualization sheds light on how the Netherlands currently uses its land, sparking a fact-based discussion on optimizing land use for a sustainable future.


This visualisation is made with D3.js. The source code of this visualization can be found in my website repository. For a simplified version using just an index.html file, see the link in the visualisation. The data is from the Wageningen Environmental Research.

This visualization reached the Hacker News front page on June 8, 2024. If you're interested be sure to head over to the discussion.