About the National Land Survey of Finland

The over 200-year old National Land Survey of Finland performs various kinds of cadastral surveys such as parcelling and reallocations of pieces of land, produces map data and promotes the joint use of such data.

The National Land Survey of Finland safeguards the land ownership and credit system by maintaining information about mortgages and registrations of title to property as well as other property information in its registers. Other central tasks are spatial data research and application as well as data and information system development.

The National Land Survey of Finland has offices in 37 localities across Finland, from Mariehamn to Ivalo. The number of employees totals approximately 1760.

The oraganisation chart of National Land Survey of Finland

Strategy

Our mission is Information, services and research about the Earth. Our vision is to show the way.

The vision is divided into four parts:

  • We are responsible for the Land Information System and the Topographic Data System.
  • We are at the forefront of international spatial data research.
  • We provide advanced and customer-oriented e-services.
  • Our data enables new growth in society.

Our values steer and shape the organisational culture, which affects the strategic competence areas.

Strategic competence areas

Values

The values of the National Land Survey of Finland are

  • A reliable partner
  • Will to serve
  • Courage and the ability to create something new
  • Different together

These values affect management, the everyday work of employees as well as customers and society.

Social responsibility

Social responsibility or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) means the responsibility an organisation takes for the effects of its decisions on society and the environment and on its customers and employees.

The National Land Survey of Finland's principles of social responsibility include

  • acting in an open and ethical manner
  • respecting stakeholders
  • compliance with laws and international codes of conduct
  • other voluntary activities, through which the organisation promotes sustainable development beyond the minimum requirements of the law.

The mission of the NLS is to benefit society by maintaining reliable registers and up-to-date topographic information and by producing quality services for all of our customers.

Social responsibility report 2016 (GRI G4)
Social responsibility report 2015 (GRI G4)
Social responsibility report 2014

International activities

We actively participate in international projects as well as in the activities of several international organisations. The National Land Survey of Finland operates, where necessary, as a monitor in development cooperation projects at the request of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The National Land Survey's international operations during the years 2013–2017 focus on the European Union. The main forums for international activities are cooperation between the European mapping and cadastre agencies, especially Nordic cooperation, cooperation with the Baltic countries and EuroGeographics cooperation. The National Land Survey also participates in the activities of the UN, selected organisations and their conferences, as well as in the preparation of international norms and regulations.

Directors

Central Administration

Arvo Kokkonen, Director General
Marja Helin, Secretary to the Director General
Pekka Halme, Development Director
Petri Korpinen, Deputy Director General
Antti Kosonen, Director of Innovations
Markku Markkula, Deputy Director General
Christine Nyholm, Senior Auditor
Tiina Sarjakoski, Research Director
Ari Tella, Chief Engineer
Heli Ursin, Head of International Affairs
Tuija Varjonen, Internal Auditor
Pirkko Yliselä, Director of Communications

Production

Irma Lähetkangas, Deputy Director General

Directors of the result units

Mauri Asmundela, Valuation Surveys
Heikki Lind, Legal Registers
Janne Murtoniemi, Registration Process
Petri Notko, Basic Surveys
Timo Potka, Land Consolidations
Antti Saarikoski, Information Services
Juha Vilhomaa, Topographic Data

General Administration

Matti Hyytinen, Administrative Director
Tuula Manninen, Director of Human Resources

Centre for ICT Services

Marja Rantala, Deputy Director General

Directors of the Result Units

Ari Huvinen, ICT Production Services
Päivä Kasurinen, Customer Solutions
Jenni Mielikäinen, Technology Solutions
Juha Tuomaala, Application Services

Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI)

Jarkko Koskinen, Deputy Director General

Heads of Department

Juha Hyyppä, Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry
Heidi Kuusniemi, Navigation and Positioning
Markku Poutanen, Geodesy and Geodynamics
Jari Reini, SDI Services
Tapani Sarjakoski, Geoinformatics and Cartography

National Land Survey Advisory Board

The National Land Survey Advisory Board provides its expertise in strategic management and to support the development of operations. The Advisory Board consisting of specialists supports the Director-General and other directors of the National Land Survey. The Advisory Board only acts in a counselling capacity and as a forum for discussion.

Director-General Arvo Kokkonen acts as chairman and Director of Communications Pirkko Yliselä is a permanent specialist member and secretary of the Advisory Board.

Kaisa Aalto, Manager of the HS.fi development team, Helsingin Sanomat
Ilkka Laitinen, Deputy Chief, Major General, The Finnish Border Guard
Pentti Lähteenoja, Director-General, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Timo Reina, Deputy Managing Director, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities
Petteri Tiippana, Director General, STUK - Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority
Mari Vaattovaara, Professor, University of Helsinki

History

The roots of Finnish land surveying go back to the 17th century. The Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus (1594–1632) assigned Andreas Bure (1571–1646, before ennoblement Bureus) the task of drawing up geographical maps of the area of current Finland. Surveyors trained by Bure mapped among others trade routes, the tax-paying ability of farms as well as natural resources.

After having been under Swedish rule for hundreds of years, Finland became a part of Russia in 1809, and a Survey Office was established in the Grand Duchy of Finland in 1812. In 1848, the name of the Head Survey Office changed to the National Board of Land Survey. In the 1850s, the Finnish forest resources became an object of commercial interest, and the administration of forests was combined with surveying. The result was the Board of Land Survey and Forestry, whose main task was to map state-owned forests and to investigate the quality and extent of forests. The union between the administration of forests and surveying ended when Metsähallitus (forest administration agency) was founded in 1859.

After Finland had gained independence, land surveying tasks were separated and distributed to different departments. The technological development clarified the geographical image of Finland. Basic maps covering the entire country were completed in the 1970s. In the 1990s, Finland transferred from a planned society into an information society. The Board of Land Survey became the National Land Survey of Finland and its activities became more customer-oriented. As the use of the Internet has become more widespread, the National Land Survey has started to offer more services online. The conventional way of filing cadastral survey documents and maps in paper form for centuries has become exclusively electronic in the 2000s.

The Finnish Geodetic Institute (FGI) – a top research institute with a focus on geographic information – and the ICT development functions of the Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Tike) were merged with the National Land Survey at the start of 2015.