Norway Digital – An agreement for access to fundamental geospatial data

by | Jan 20, 2022


data access, NGIA, Geodata Act, INSPIRE, web services


Access to data (including geospatial data) for Statistics Norway is regulated by the Statistics Act. The act provides access to all relevant registers free of charge. However, data providers may charge for the time consumed when extracting data from their databases and preparing the delivery.

Regarding geospatial data in particular, there is an agreement for exchange of data with all public providers. “Norway Digital” is the name of the national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI). The Norway Digital collaboration is a formalised agreement based on cooperation between municipal, regional and national organisations responsible for producing geospatial data or being substantial users of geospatial data. The partnership was established to build and operate a national spatial data infrastructure to ensure the whole community good access to geospatial data. Data are shared via the data hub

The legislation on infrastructure for geographical information (the Geodata Act) was adopted in 2010 and is also an implementation of the INSPIRE directive establishing an infrastructure for spatial information in the European Community and countries in the EEA-agreement. The Geodata Act aims to promote good and effective access to geospatial data for public and private purposes and assumes that this will be achieved by strengthening and continuing the voluntary collaboration in Norway Digital. The agreement grants access to geospatial data as well as participation in different specialist committees. There is an annual fee for being part of the collaboration (NSDI).

Besides the Norway Digital agreement, Statistics Norway has additional “agreements of data quality” with the main data providers (register owners). These agreements secure regular delivery and provide a formalised way of exchanging information about data quality. Regarding geospatial data, the quality agreement with the National Geospatial Agency (NGIA), Kartverket, is most important. A huge amount of geospatial data is transferred from the NGIA to Statistics Norway each year. Data are provided both as download services and as web services. Given the amount of data, and the need to access “historical” data, relying solely on web services, has not been an option so far.

Regarding cadastre data on buildings and addresses, a statistical copy of the National Cadastre is updated daily at Statistics Norway. From this database, “situation extracts” are created regularly. From some of these “situation extracts” ready-to-use geospatial data are prepared in the Statistics Norway internal common geodata base (address points with population, building points with core information, enterprise points with core information).

More information

Learn more about Geonorge and find out more about the content in the data catalogue: