Metadata and INSPIRE compliance in Statistics Finland

by | Jan 21, 2022


Principle 4, interoperability, metadata, INSPIRE, geospatial, Geoserver, WMS, WFS, OGC API – Features


This use case briefly demonstrates how technical interoperability is achieved in practice, in particular with regards to INSPIRE.

Statistics Finland publishes geospatial data through Geoserver, both as view services (WMS, Web Map Service) and download services (WFS, Web Feature Service). Data are published in the National Geoportal according to INSPIRE specifications for services and INSPIRE themes. At the moment, there are more than 100 datasets provided by Statistics Finland in the National Geoportal and the data are published using the WMS and WFS services that Statistics Finland provides.

Statistics Finland has been asked by customers to open geospatial data also on smaller scale than municipalities. Statistics Finland has embraced Open data policies and after receiving governmental funding for opening data, Statistics Finland could respond to these wishes. Since January 2015, Statistics Finland has provided postal code data and geospatial data as open data through geospatial interface services, both view services (WMS) and download services (WFS).

INSPIRE has been a driving force for implementing new technologies at Statistics Finland, especially open source tools. We’ve adapted open source technologies, for example Geoserver, that can provide data through OGC-standard download services (WFS) and view services (WMS). The database used for open data is also open source technology, PostgreSQL.

Metadata of the geospatial data that is provided through interface services have been published accordant to INSPIRE requirements in the National Metadata Portal for Geospatial Data. The National Metadata Portal for Geospatial Data is linked to the National Geoportal, so Metadata of the geospatial data can be accessed also that way. Metadata provided in the National Metadata Portal for Geospatial Data, is also linked to the geospatial data provided through WMS and WFS services.

INSPIRE has brought a number of new prospects for Statistics Finland. At the first stage the data were provided through Geoserver as WFS and WMS services, but the actual data were not yet fully INSPIRE compliant. The latest development is that in 2020 Statistics Finland opened the OGC API – Features -service and the WMS service where the INSPIRE data are provided in accordance with the INSPIRE requirements as INSPIRE compliant data products.