Last week I reported about at the time ongoing “to open or not to open” -battle about the Finnish National Land Survey (NLS) data. NLS wanted to mage a huge data opening, but the ministry of Finance oppsed it.
Today the story got positive ending, the mapping data will be free of charge!
The ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has issued a new regulation today 21/12/2011 about the National Land Survey charges for the year 2012. Aerial photographs and laser scanning data, as well as the terrain database becomes free of charge next year. The new regulation is expected to significantly boost the use of map data, and it will come into force on first of May 2012.
The most important datasets in this opening are the terrain database and the aerial photos and elevation models which are used to maintain the terrain database. The Terrain Database is comprehensive data describing the Finnish terrain. It includes information such as transport corridors, buildings, administrative boundaries, name data (places), hydrology and topography.
The biggest national newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported the case immediately. According to the newspaper: “The case was greatly influenced by the fact that open data advocates made big noise about the issue.”. I agree that without publicity the end result might have been totally different. Big thanks for all who participated in “making the big noise”.