Maps updated through crowdsourcing this summer

The National Land Survey is testing crowdsourcing as a means of collecting map data. The pilot project is an attempt to test whether the observations of individual users can be used to improve the updating frequency of topographic data.

Information is collected using a test version of the social mapping service Karttakerttu.

– The service is open to all and imported data can be viewed by anyone. Registered users can also place new objects on to the map, says Senior Research Scientist Mari Laakso from the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute at the National Land Survey.

Paths in the local forest on the map

Karttakerttu went online at the end of March and it has quickly attracted hundreds of users. More than 500 new map objects have been imported into the service. The greatest number of additions concern footpaths, which are not included in the National Land Survey's map data.

– Often local people know their familiar surroundings best, says Mari Laakso.

In Karttakerttu, you can put many kinds of objects on the map that are not there already, such as campfire sites or footpaths. You can add objects on the map by marking the base map or aerial photograph directly. You can also upload route information from your mobile phone and show it in Karttakarttu.

In the pilot stage, only a Finnish version of Karttakerttu is available.

Karttakerttu tested in Hanko

The city of Hanko and the National Land Survey are cooperating to implement a part of the pilot project. In Hanko the hope is that users put objects in the archipelago on the map. For this reason, four new object types have been added into Karttakerttu. These are: private dock, public dock, boat ramp and landing site for boats.

Particularly during the summer months, many people live in the Hanko archipelago. Information concerning docs and boat ramps is incomplete at the moment, which can cause problems in emergencies. Emergency services may waste time when they are forced to look for a dock or another suitable landing site, which means delays in getting help to the location where it is needed.

Crowdsourcing data checked in the autumn

Data collected through crowdsourcing will be checked and added to other maps later. All collected data is available immediately in Karttakerttu. During the summer, the National Land Survey will perform aerial photography and laser scanning in the Hanko area. Data from these flights can be used to check the data that has been stored in Karttakerttu.

The Karttakerttu pilot project and the National Topographic Database programme are a part of the project for the Public administration's common spatial data platform. The ministry responsible for this project is the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Watch a short video about the project (in Finnish)

More information

Senior Research Scientist Mari Laakso, phone +358 50 369 5390 (can be reached from 10 August)

Communications Assistant Jade Lehtinen, phone +358 50 320 4555

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