The Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry issued a decree on 21 December 2011 on the fees of the National Land Survey of Finland (NLS). The decree prescribes that the NLS will open its topographic datasets to the public on 1 May 2012 to be used freely and free of charge.
"From 1 of May 2012, digital maps portraying the terrain and topography can be used free of charge even for commercial purposes. It is important for us that our high-quality datasets are widely used," says Antti Kosonen, Director of the Information Service Centre at the NLS.
Basic maps and laser scanning data for free
The most important data to be opened is the Topographic Database that includes information on roads, addresses, buildings and waterways in Finland.
"We think that the aerial and orthophotos, digital basic and topographic maps as well as the Background Map Series will be in great demand", Antti Kosonen predicts.
The NLS is prepared for an increasing demand of the datasets. "We are improving our services in such a way that the free datasets will be accessible as easily as possible", explains Kosonen.
Paper maps remain chargeable
A fee will still be charged for other datasets produced by the NLS, such as data in the land information system, printed maps and map printouts, after May 2012.
Since the beginning of 2011 the place name register and the general map products in scales 1:1 000 000 and 1:4 500 000 have been free of charge. The Municipal Boundary Map was opened for free use in autumn 2011.
Director Antti Kosonen, 040 522 5812, antti.kosonen[at]nls.fi
Product Group Manager Kari-Pekka Karlsson, 040 536 7080, kari-pekka.karlsson[at]nls.fi
Figure 1: Visualisation of an elevation model based on laser scanning data.
Figure 2: A digital basic map dataset based on NLS Topographic database.