We have recently been witnessing the growing establishment of map-centered web-based geo-portals on national, regional and local levels. However, a particular issue with these geo-portals is that each instance has been implemented in different ways in terms of design, usability, functionality, interaction possibilities, map size and symbologies. In this paper, we try to tackle these shortcomings by analyzing and formalizing the requirements for map-based geo-portals in a user experience based approach. First, we propose a holistic definition the term of a “geo-portal”. Then, we present our approach to user experience design for map-based geo-portals by defining the functional requirements of a geo-portal, by analyzing previous geo-portal developments, by distilling the results of our empirical user study to perform practically-oriented user requirements, and finally by establishing a set of user experience design guidelines for the creation of map-based geo-portals. These design guidelines have been extracted for each of the main components of a geo-portal, i.e.
, the map, the search dialogue, the presentation of the search results, symbologies, and other aspects. These guidelines shall constitute the basis for future geo-portal developments to achieve standardization in the user-experience design of map-based geo-portals.