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New topographic data production tool to be based on open source code

The new topographic data production system of the National Land Survey of Finland (NLS) will be based on open source technologies. The NLS decided to modernise the production system, because the needs to change topographic data have changed, and the current system no longer meets the demands. The current topographic data production system has served the NLS for 20 years now, and it has worked well so far.

“The open source platform helps us to develop the system in broad cooperation with companies and other public organisations. The NLS has been one of the first public organisations to give open access to their data, and we will also continue on this path in terms of app development”, said Jani Kylmäaho, director of development and digitalisation. 

With this decision, the NLS is also promoting the goal set in the Government programme to give open source code a priority in public data systems. 

This system modernisation is very significant for the NLS. The new system will collect and update data in the National Topographic Database and produce general map products. New requirements for the production of topographic data include the processing of 3D data, the lifecycle management of topographic objects and the use of analytics tools that make data updates more effective. It would not be cost-effective to add these features to the current system.

Flexibly and effectively towards the new system

The NLS aims to build a supplier-independent technological environment as the platform of the new topographic data production system. The goal is to build a modular system architecture. This means that the NLS can select the most optimal tool for each work phase. Technological solutions can also be changed or entered into bidding processes flexibly. The system architecture may include both open source components and closed solutions.

“When we were planning the system update, we noticed that we could effectively fulfil the current needs of our topographic data production process using an open source solution. According to our strategy, we work actively in networks and as part of different ecosystems. This system solution also supports this goal,” Kylmäaho said. 

During the first phase, the NLS will prepare a procurement and deployment plan for the new topographic data production system.

More information

Jani Kylmäaho, director of development and digitalisation, +358 40 489 0307,

Questions related to topographic data production:
Juha Vilhomaa, director, +358 40 500 3905,

Cooperation with system suppliers:
Kimmo Perttilä, senior specialist, +358 40 521 9495,

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