Sweden’s National Geodata Strategy is based around five societal challenges that geodata – geographic data and information – will help to solve. Key elements of the strategy are: increasing collaboration; harmonising geodata standards; and making them open and available for both the public and private sectors. In consultation with the Swedish Geodata Council, Lantmäteriet (the Swedish cadastral survey) drew up a new Swedish geodata strategy for 2016–2020 and this has now been updated for 2021–2025. The strategy is based on five challenges for Swedish society to which geodata is expected to contribute solutions:
• innovation and business growth;
• digitalisation of public administration;
• streamlining of the urban planning process;
• climate adaptation and environmental threats; and
• defence and civil contingencies.
<h2> Benefits of open data </h2>
What all these challenges have in common is that the solutions depend on open geodata. This is an important shift, since public-sector geodata in Sweden has traditionally been largely financed by users. This has a negative effect on data-driven innovation and business growth and also hampers the digitalisation of public-sector administration. What is more, it impacts society’s ability to act efficiently in areas where it is important to share updated and reliable real-world models.
<h2> Harmonisation and coordination </h2>
The afore mentioned challenges also require harmonisation of geodata between national, regional and local public-sector actors. Not least because a number of different geodata standards are still used in different Swedish municipalities. Furthermore, the social planning process and civil contingencies, including emergency response activities, will benefit from more unified basic geodata supporting the coordination of activities.
<h2> The importance of reliable geodata services </h2>
Finally, all of these challenges will benefit from reliable, well-known API (application programming interface) services with clearly stated service level commitments. Lantmäteriet expects development to take a great leap forward when such APIs offering high quality authoritative geodata become widely available for use in public- and private-sector applications.
Public-sector geodata entities in Sweden are endeavouring to collaborate more closely to implement this strategy and support Swedish society in solving its challenges through the use of geodata. This work is based on the conviction that access to correct, up-to-date and open geodata contributes to more equal living conditions, enables digitalisation, and helps create a safe, sustainable environment and robust society.
Lantmäterigatan 2 C 801 82 Gävle Gävleborgs län