Integrating statistical and geospatial data from two organisations with linked data methods

Jennika Leino and Essi Kaukonen (Statistics Finland)

The business environment of National Statistical Offices is changing: in a more disruptive environment than before, our customers require timely data combined in a new way and delivered also as open data. Moreover, we can no longer see our customers as being only our customers: we operate in information ecosystems where we must consider the other actors as well, in order to create a satisfying experience for the users of the data products we disseminate. Different kind of techniques and technologies can actually deliver various possibilities in serving our customers. They can also affect and reform the responsibilities and distribution of work between different organisations.

At Statistics Finland, we have experimented with linked data technologies in a couple of projects. In a Eurostat Grant project called IGALOD, our case was to unite statistical and geospatial data produced in two different organizations with these technologies. The project has been carried out together with the National Land Survey of Finland (NLS).

The practical aim was to integrate the geospatial classifications provided by Statistics Finland with the geographical data created by NLS Finland. In our solution the idea is to transform the geospatial classifications and corresponding geometries into RDF format and unite this data produced by two different organisations with their identifiers. We acknowledged the important international frameworks and standards (GSBPM, GSIM, INSPIRE, XKOS) in this work. We publish the data as Linked Open Data to give external users possibilities to utilise it freely.