Finland: The National Land Survey of Finland (NLS) opened all its topographic data to be used free of charge. Earlier, the freely available data will particularly benefit application developers, map enthusiasts and organisations using geographic information.
Kari-Pekka Karlsson, Product Group Manager at the NLS, said, “Data from the Topographic database, laser scanning data, the topographic map (raster) in scale 1:50 000 and the datasets that were made available during the pilot project will first be available via the download service.”
Antti Kosonen, Director at the NLS, said, “Open topographic data is significant to society in general, since by making map data freely available the NLS paves the way for other government agencies in granting access to data. We hope that the datasets will give rise to new innovations, since commercial use of the datasets free of charge is also permitted, provided that the source of the data and the time of acquisition are mentioned. The open data is also expected to benefit consumers through new innovations.”
“Once application developers gain access to the datasets free of charge, they will be used for various purposes. I don’t think that all combinations have been invented yet, especially now when our data can be freely combined with that of other providers”, added Kosonen.
Topographic maps are suitable as base maps for land use planning, for recreational and outdoor activities in mobile applications as well as a base for environmental web services.
In addition to digital maps in raster form, the Topographic database, topographic map datasets in various scales, benchmarks, elevation models, laser scanning data as well as aerial images and orthophotos will be made available free of charge.