National Land Survey of Finland

The National Land Survey of Finland performs cadastral surveys, maintains property information, produces geospatial information, handles registrations of title and mortgages, develops ICT systems, and promotes the research of spatial data.

The Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI) acts as a research unit in the National Land Survey of Finland, and it conducts research and expert work within the field of spatial data. The esteemed international research institute offers reliable information for the benefit of society. More information:


Recent Submissions

  • Bennett, Rohan Mark; Donovan, Jerome; Masli, Eryadi; Riekkinen, Kirsikka (MDPI AG, 2023)
    The ‘as-a-Service’ (aaS) concept of the IT sector is suggested to reduce upfront and ongoing costs, enable easier scaling, and make for simpler system upgrades. The concept is explored in relation to the domain of land administration, with a view to examining its relevance, application, and potential adaptation. Specifically, these aspects are analysed against the long-standing problem of land administration system maintenance. Two discrete literature reviews, a comparative analysis, and final modelling work constitute the research design. Of the 35 underlying land administration maintenance issues identified, aaS is found to directly respond to 15, indirectly support another 15, and provide no immediate benefit to 5. Most prominent are the ability of aaS to support issues relating to financial sustainability, continuous innovation, and human capacity provision. The approach is found to be already in use in various country contexts. It is articulated by the UNECE as one of four scenarios for future land administration development. In terms of adaptation, the 4-tier framework from Enterprise Architecture—consisting of Business, Application, Information, and Technology layers—is used to model and describe five specific aaS approaches: (i) On Premises; (ii) Basic Outsourcing; (iii) Public Private Partnership; (iv) Fully Privatised; and (v) Subscription. Several are more theoretical in nature but may see future adoption. Each requires further development, including case analyses, to support more detailed definitions of the required underlying legal frameworks, financial models, partnerships arrangements, data responsibilities, and so on. Decisions on the appropriate aaS model, and the application of aaS more generally, are entirely dependent on the specific country context. Overall, this work provides a platform for land administration researchers and practitioners to analyse the relevance and implementation options of the aaS concept.
  • Yang, Zhirong; Chen, Yuwei; Sedov, Denis; Kaski, Samuel; Corander, Jukka (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2023)
    Statistics and Computing
    Neighbor embedding (NE) aims to preserve pairwise similarities between data items and has been shown to yield an effective principle for data visualization. However, even the best existing NE methods such as stochastic neighbor embedding (SNE) may leave large-scale patterns hidden, for example clusters, despite strong signals being present in the data. To address this, we propose a new cluster visualization method based on the Neighbor Embedding principle. We first present a family of Neighbor Embedding methods that generalizes SNE by using non-normalized Kullback–Leibler divergence with a scale parameter. In this family, much better cluster visualizations often appear with a parameter value different from the one corresponding to SNE. We also develop an efficient software that employs asynchronous stochastic block coordinate descent to optimize the new family of objective functions. Our experimental results demonstrate that the method consistently and substantially improves the visualization of data clusters compared with the state-of-the-art NE approaches. The code of our method is publicly available at
  • Moilanen, Jarmo; Gritsevich, Maria (Elsevier, 2022)
    Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer
    Atmospheric halos are a light scattering phenomenon caused by airborne ice crystals in the atmosphere. Halos can be seen by the naked eye. They provide the observer the information on the kinds of ice crystals present in the sky during a halo display. A combination of ice crystals’ shape, their orientation, and light ray paths through the crystals dictates what halos will be observable. All well-known halos are produced by the interaction of light with crystals of hexagonal water ice. However, some of the documented halos cannot be explained using common hexagonal ice crystals. It might be required to consider such factors as abnormal crystal shape, crystals of cubic water ice, or airborne crystals of other minerals to explain the nature of some exotic halos. Halos can be also observed in the atmospheres of other planets or their moons, which provides information on airborne ice crystals or crystals of other minerals. Ice crystal halos have been already photographed in the Martian atmosphere. In this article, we summarize the current knowledge of atmospheric halos and show which halo forms cannot be explained by ordinary hexagonal ice crystals. We list here 119 different identifiable halo forms known by today.
  • Keskin, Merve; Krassanakis, Vassilios; Çöltekin, Arzu (MDPI AG, 2023)
    ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
    This study investigates how expert and novice map users’ attention is influenced by the map design characteristics of 2D web maps by building and sharing a framework to analyze large volumes of eye tracking data. Our goal is to respond to the following research questions: (i) which map landmarks are easily remembered? (memorability), (ii) how are task difficulty and recognition performance associated? (task difficulty), and (iii) how do experts and novices differ in terms of recognition performance? (expertise). In this context, we developed an automated area-of-interest (AOI) analysis framework to evaluate participants’ fixation durations, and to assess the influence of linear and polygonal map features on spatial memory. Our results demonstrate task-relevant attention patterns by all participants, and better selective attention allocation by experts. However, overall, we observe that task type and map feature type mattered more than expertise when remembering the map content. Predominantly polygonal map features such as hydrographic areas and road junctions serve as attentive features in terms of map reading and memorability. We make our dataset entitled CartoGAZE publicly available.
  • Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Junttila, Samuli; Luoma, Ville; Calders, Kim; Kankare, Ville; Saarinen, Ninni; Kukko, Antero; Holopainen, Markus; Hyyppä, Juha; Vastaranta, Mikko (Elsevier BV, 2023)
    Forest Ecology and Management
    Detailed observation techniques are needed to reveal the underlying eco-physiological mechanisms driving tree growth processes. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) has proven to be a feasible technique for characterizing trees, but it has still remained unclear whether TLS point clouds and the existing point cloud processing methods can be used for capturing even the smallest signs of the growth process of individual trees. The aim of this study was to investigate the capacity of TLS in observing seasonal radial growth of boreal trees. The experimental setup included 91 sample trees from 20 sample plots characterized with multi-scan TLS point clouds pre- and post-growing season. The sample trees were equipped with dendrometers that provided reference measurements for the increment in diameter at the breast height (Δdbh) that varied from −1.4 mm to 4.0 mm with a mean of 1.0 mm. The experiment confirmed challenges related to quantification of millimeter-level increments in dbh using TLS but cautiously highlighted its feasibility for radial tree growth monitoring when the magnitude of Δdbh exceeds several millimeters and when the aim is to characterize sample plot mean rather than individual tree growth. While the capacity of TLS to characterize Δdbh of individual trees remained rather low (r = 0.17, p = 0.07), the TLS-based estimates for sample plot mean Δdbh were slightly better in line with dendrometer measurements (r = 0.46, p = 0.04). At an individual tree level, the capacity of TLS to determine the occurrence of radial tree growth seemed to be dependent on the magnitude of observed Δdbh and benefit from the analysis of paired diameter measurements along the stem for determining individual tree growth. The results showed overall classification accuracies of a) 60.7 % and b) 70.6 % for the use of TLS in determining whether radial growth had occurred or not when the analysis was based on a) Δdbh measurements only or b) statistically significant mean increment in paired diameter measurements along the stem, respectively. Using the Δdbh-based method, the overall accuracy improved from 56.3 % to 73.0 % when the magnitude of observed Δdbh increased from ≤ 1 mm to > 1 mm, as was expected. Altogether, this study contributes by demonstrating that with TLS data acquisition and existing point cloud processing methods, it is possible to observe seasonal increments in tree structures, which emphasizes the feasibility of TLS in regular monitoring of structural changes even in boreal forest ecosystems.
  • Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Luoma, Ville; Saarinen, Ninni; Kankare, Ville; Junttila, Samuli; Holopainen, Markus; Hyyppä, Juha; Vastaranta, Mikko (Elsevier BV, 2022)
    Forest Ecology and Management
    Tree growth is a physio-ecological phenomena of high interest among researchers across disciplines. Observing changes in tree characteristics has conventionally required either repeated measurements of the characteristics of living trees, retrospective measurements of destructively sampled trees, or modelling. The use of close-range sensing techniques such as terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) has enabled non-destructive approaches to reconstruct the three-dimensional (3D) structure of trees and tree communities in space and time. This study aims at improving the understanding of tree allometry in general and interactions between tree growth and its neighbourhood in particular by using two-date point clouds. We investigated how variation in the increments in basal area at the breast height (Δg1.3), basal area at height corresponding to 60% of tree height (Δg06h), and volume of the stem section below 50% of tree height (Δv05h) can be explained with TLS point cloud-based attributes characterizing the spatiotemporal structure of a tree crown and crown neighbourhood, entailing the competitive status of a tree. The analyses were based on 218 trees on 16 sample plots whose 3D characteristics were obtained at the beginning (2014, T1) and at the end of the monitoring period (2019, T2) from multi-scan TLS point clouds using automatic point cloud processing methods. The results of this study showed that, within certain tree communities, strong relationships (|r| > 0.8) were observed between increments in the stem dimensions and the attributes characterizing crown structure and competition. Most often, attributes characterizing the competitive status of a tree, and the crown structure at T1, were the most important attributes to explain variation in the increments of stem dimensions. Linear mixed-effect modelling showed that single attributes could explain up to 35–60% of the observed variation in Δg1.3, Δg06h and Δv05h, depending on the tree species. This tree-level evidence of the allometric relationship between stem growth and crown dynamics can further be used to justify landscape-level analyses based on airborne remote sensing technologies to monitor stem growth through the structure and development of crown structure. This study contributes to the existing knowledge by showing that laser-based close-range sensing is a feasible technology to provide 3D characterization of stem and crown structure, enabling one to quantify structural changes and the competitive status of trees for improved understanding of the underlying growth processes.
  • Klioner, S. A.; Lindegren, L.; Mignard, F.; Hernández, J.; Ramos-Lerate, M.; Bastian, U.; Biermann, M.; Bombrun, A.; de Torres, A.; Gerlach, E.; Geyer, R.; Hilger, T.; Hobbs, D.; Lammers, U. L.; McMillan, P. J.; Steidelmüller, H.; Teyssier, D.; Raiteri, C. M.; Bartolomé, S.; Muinonen, K. (EDP Sciences, 2022)
    Astronomy and astrophysics
    Context. Gaia-CRF3 is the celestial reference frame for positions and proper motions in the third release of data from the Gaia mission, Gaia DR3 (and for the early third release, Gaia EDR3, which contains identical astrometric results). The reference frame is defined by the positions and proper motions at epoch 2016.0 for a specific set of extragalactic sources in the (E)DR3 catalogue. Aims. We describe the construction of Gaia-CRF3 and its properties in terms of the distributions in magnitude, colour, and astrometric quality. Methods. Compact extragalactic sources in Gaia DR3 were identified by positional cross-matching with 17 external catalogues of quasi-stellar objects (QSO) and active galactic nuclei (AGN), followed by astrometric filtering designed to remove stellar contaminants. Selecting a clean sample was favoured over including a higher number of extragalactic sources. For the final sample, the random and systematic errors in the proper motions are analysed, as well as the radio-optical offsets in position for sources in the third realisation of the International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF3). Results. Gaia-CRF3 comprises about 1.6 million QSO-like sources, of which 1.2 million have five-parameter astrometric solutions in Gaia DR3 and 0.4 million have six-parameter solutions. The sources span the magnitude range G = 13–21 with a peak density at 20.6 mag, at which the typical positional uncertainty is about 1 mas. The proper motions show systematic errors on the level of 12 µas yr–1 on angular scales greater than 15 deg. For the 3142 optical counterparts of ICRF3 sources in the S/X frequency bands, the median offset from the radio positions is about 0.5 mas, but it exceeds 4 mas in either coordinate for 127 sources. We outline the future of Gaia-CRF in the next Gaia data releases. Appendices give further details on the external catalogues used, how to extract information about the Gaia-CRF3 sources, potential (Galactic) confusion sources, and the estimation of the spin and orientation of an astrometric solution.
  • Yang, Zhiyuan; Li, Jing; Hyyppä, Juha; Gong, Jianhua; Liu, Jingbin; Yang, Banghui (Informa UK Limited, 2023)
    Big Earth Data
    As with the fast advances in the technologies of big Earth data and information communication, Web-based 3D GIS system has come a long way from a few years ago. These advances reflect in many aspects of 3D GIS such as higher real-time performance, enhanced interactivity, more realistic 3D visualization effect and improved user interface. This paper aims to present a comprehensive and up-to-date 3D Web GIS for Emergency Response using the current vue.js web application framework and the well-known Cesium API, taking landslide disaster as an example. Building upon recent advances in WebGL technology, we developed a suite of enhanced 3D spatial analysis functions, including interactive route planning, instant text/image/video messaging being incorporated into both 3D WebGL page and mobile GIS applications, and progressive 3D construction and AR visualization using LiDAR and camera over local emergency network or internet. Moreover, professional functions such as landslide susceptibility mapping, landslide monitoring, spatial temporal contingency plan management, landslide information management, personnel and equipment management, and communication are all implemented and integrated in the 3D GIS system. Most of the functions of the system are implemented using open-source projects, which is beneficial to the development of the 3D GIS research community.
  • Pollinger, Florian; Baselga, Sergio; Courde, Clément; Eschelbach, Cornelia; García-Asenjo, Luis; Garrigues, Pascual; Guillory, Joffray; Hedekvist, Per Olof; Helojärvi, Tuomas; Jokela, Jorma; Kallio, Ulla; Klügel, Thomas; Köchert, Paul; Lösler, Michael; Luján, Raquel; Meyer, Tobias; Neyezhmakov, Pavel; Pesce, Damien; Pisani, Marco; Poutanen, Markku; Prellinger, Günther; Sauthoff, Anni; Seppä, Jeremias; Truong, Daniel; Underwood, Robin; Wezka, Kinga; Wallerand, Jean-Pierre; Wiśniewski, Mariusz (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2023)
    Applied Geomatics
    We provide a survey on the joint European research project “GeoMetre”, which explores novel technologies and their inclusion to existing surveying strategies to improve the traceability of geodetic reference frames to the SI definition of the metre. This work includes the development of novel distance meters with a range of up to 5 km, the realisation of optical multilateration systems for large structure monitoring at an operation distance of 50 m and beyond, and a novel strategy for GNSS-based distance determination. Different methods for refractivity compensation, based on classical sensors, on dispersion, on spectroscopic thermometry, and on the speed of sound to reduce the meteorological uncertainties in precise distance measurements, are developed further and characterised. These systems are validated at and applied to the novel European standard baseline EURO5000 at the Pieniny Kippen Belt, Poland, which was completely refurbished and intensely studied in this project. We use our novel instruments for a reduced uncertainty of the scale in the surveillance networks solutions for local tie measurements at space-geodetic co-location stations. We also investigate novel approaches like close-range photogrammetry to reference point determination of space-geodetic telescopes. Finally, we also investigate the inclusion of the local gravity field to consider the deviations of the vertical in the data analysis and to reduce the uncertainty of coordinate transformations in this complex problem.
  • Isomäki, Harri (Lantmäteriverket, 2019)
    Lantmäteriverkets publikationer nr 117
  • Peltola, Risto; Väänänen, Juhani (Maanmittauslaitos, 2014)
    Maanmittauslaitoksen selvityksiä 1/2014
  • Peltola, Risto (Maanmittauslaitos, 2011)
    Maanmittauslaitoksen selvityksiä 1/2011
  • Uimonen, Mikko (Maanmittauslaitos, 2010)
    Maanmittauslaitoksen selvityksiä 3/2010
  • Peltola, Risto; Hokkanen, Jani; Mattila, Päivi; Väänänen, Juhani (Maanmittauslaitos, 2010)
    Maanmittauslaitoksen selvityksiä 2/2010
  • Peltola, Risto; Väänänen, Juhani (Maanmittauslaitos, 2010)
    Maanmittauslaitoksen selvityksiä 1/2010
  • Heinaro, Einari; Tanhuanpää, Topi; Vastaranta, Mikko; Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Kukko, Antero; Hakala, Teemu; Mattsson, Teppo; Holopainen, Markus (MDPI AG, 2023)
    Remote Sensing
    Fallen tree mapping provides valuable information regarding the ecological value of boreal forests. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) enables mapping fallen trees on a large scale. We compared the performance of line-detection-based individual fallen tree detection when using moderate point density ALS data (15 points/m2) and high-point-density unmanned aerial vehiclebased laser scanning (ULS) data (285 points/m2). Furthermore, we inspected the dataset and detection methodology-related factors impacting performance in each case. The results of this study showed that increasing the point density of the laser scanning dataset enables the detection of a larger proportion of fallen trees. However, based on our experiment, a line-detection-based fallen tree detection approach is sensitive to noise, thus generating a large number of false detections, especially with high-point-density data. Different types of filters, such as a simple height-based filter and machine-learning-based filters, can be used for reducing noise. However, using such filters is always a compromise, as in addition to reducing noise and thus false detections, they also reduce the number of true detections. Hence, a less noise-sensitive fallen tree detection method utilizing the finer details visible in high-density point clouds could be more suitable for high-point-density laser scanning data.
  • Mäkelä, Maija; Kirkko-Jaakkola, Martti; Hammarberg, Toni; Malkamäki, Tuomo; Rantanen, Jesperi; Kaasalainen, Sanna (IEEE, 2022)
    2022 25th International Conference on Information Fusion (FUSION)
  • Cui, Haodong; Qiu, Shi; Wang, Yicheng; Zhang, Yu; Liu, Zhaoyan; Karila, Kirsi; Jia, Jianxin; Chen, Yuwei (MDPI AG, 2023)
    Remote Sensing
    Rapid disaster assessment is critical for public security and rescue. As a secondary dis‑ aster of large‑scale meteorological disasters, power outages cause severe outcomes and thus need to be monitored efficiently and without being costly. Power outage detection from space‑borne re‑ mote sensing imagery offers a broader coverage and is more temporally sensitive than ground‑based surveys are. However, it is challenging to determine the affected area accurately and quantitatively evaluate its severity. Therefore, a new method is proposed to solve the above problems by build‑ ing a power outage detection model (PODM) and drawing a power outage spatial distribution map (POSDM). This paper takes the winter storm Uri, of 2021, as the meteorological disaster background and Harris County, Texas, which was seriously affected, as the research object. The proposed method utilises the cloud‑free VIIRS DNB nadir and close nadir images (<60 degrees) collected during the 3 months before and 15 days after Uri. The core idea beneath the proposed method is to compare the radiance difference in the affected area before and after the disaster, and a large difference in radiance indicates the happening of power outages. The raw radiance of night light measurement is first corrected to remove lunar and atmospheric effects to improve accuracy. Then, the maximum and minimum pixels in the target area of the image are considered outliers and iteratively eliminated until the standard deviation change before and after elimination is less than 1% to finalize the outlier removals. The case study results in Harris show that the PODM detects 28% of outages (including traffic area) compared to 17% of outages (living area only) reported by ground truth data, indicating general agreement with the proposed method.
  • Jerez, Gabriel O.; Hernández‐Pajares, Manuel; Goss, Andreas; Prol, Fabricio S.; Alves, Daniele B. M.; Monico, João F. G.; Schmidt, Michael (American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2022)
    Space Weather
    Vertical total electron content (VTEC) has great importance in describing the ionosphere. VTEC values are commonly distributed in regular grids by means of so-called global ionospheric maps (GIMs) and regional ionospheric maps (RIMs). Although considerable research has been conducted to develop regional and global models, there is no clear understanding of the benefits of using RIMs over GIMs. Aiming to contribute to this discussion, our investigation presents a comparison between seven global and regional ionospheric maps considering two approaches: (a) ionosonde data-based assessment and (b) global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) positioning assessment. A challenging low latitude ionosphere scenario, the Brazilian region, was selected during a week with an active geomagnetic storm. The assessment results with ionosonde data have shown better performance of the RIM products named OTHR and OTRG. Among the global products, CODG and UQRG have shown the best performances. The worst results were obtained with the RIM named Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais. The assessment with GNSS positioning led to larger and noisier errors close to the equatorial anomaly. Two of the analyzed RIMs presented expected large errors in stations at the edges of the coverage area. To overcome this issue, a hybrid product was proposed to extend the RIM covered region. The proposed hybrid product (OTRG) presented the best results in the GNSS positioning domain
  • Adekola, Oluwafemi; Krigsholm, Pauliina; Riekkinen, Kirsikka (MDPI AG, 2022)
    Social media have opened interesting avenues for accessing active citizenry’s perceptions, providing an important tool for the promotion of the successful implementation of policy. Although social media data have been used to access citizens’ perceptions in various fields of study, they have yet to be adequately examined in the area of land-related policies. This study showcases the potential of the use of social media data to access citizens’ perceptions of land-related policies in the context of a developing country. We systematically selected YouTube videos with expressions of citizens’ perceptions of the Rural Grazing Area settlement programme in Nigeria. The findings from the social media data indicate that whilst some people perceived the policy’s potential benefits, most expressed dissatisfaction with it, and some suggested alternative policy approaches. The results suggest that social media data may be a promising avenue for accessing citizens’ opinions even in the case of land-related policies. Social media data must be accessed and used with caution, however, taking into consideration their limitations. This study’s main contribution lies in the demonstration that social media data can provide valuable insights into citizens’ perceptions of sensitive interventions, including land-related policies.

View more