Research and Education


In Aalto University geospatial topics are relevant especially in the Geoinformatics Research Group which is part pf the Department of Built Environment at School of Engineering.

Geoinformatics MSC programme consists introductory and advanced courses on Geodesy and positioning, Photogrammtery, Remote sensing and Laser scanning as well as Geoinformation Technology. Our Geoinformatics curriculum is technology and method oriented and our focus is in development of novel methods and processes in geospatial data collection, referencing, processing, analysis. modeling and visualization. 3d-modeling, virtual realities, processing of point clouds, geospatial big data and data mining as well as GIS-application development are some of the topics in our research and education.

At Åbo Akademi University geospatial topics are relevant for research and education mainly within the fields of Environmental and Marine Biology and Geology, as well as within the research entity The Sea – a Living Lab focused on interdisciplinary marine and maritime research.

Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology approaches the field of geospatial research and education from a technology and logistics oriented perspective.

In the Tampere University geospatial research and education is present in both applied and technology oriented disciplines.

University of Eastern Finland has a strong expertise in multidisciplinary research and education in GeographyBiologyForest Sciences and many other disciplines.

Our Geoinformatics research community unites a multidisciplinary group of researchers focusing on a better understanding and interpretation of human-nature interactions and relations.

University of Helsinki do geospatial, remote sensing and GIS research and teaching mainly in the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Agriculture and Forest Sciences, and the Faculty of Biological and Environmental SciencesRead Less

Yet, many other disciplines use geospatial and GIS data and analyses as well. In our university, geospatial, remote sensing , and GIS research topics vary from the remote sensing of natural resources to human-environment interaction, to urban studies and planning, to human activities, and to atmospheric science.

At the University of Jyväskylä, geospatial research and education are carried out mainly in the fields of Biological and Environmental Sciences, and Sports and Health Sciences.

Teaching of geospatial issues is organized on the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, but research disciplines are more diverse, including

  • Environmental science: Analyses of remote sensing data, Land-use planning, Hydrology of catchment basins, Environmental impact assessment
  • Aquatic sciences: Nature values of boreal lakes, Spawning sites of freshwater fish, Migration of Baltic Sea salmon
  • Ecology: Conservation and management of forests, Natural resources planning of mires
  • Education: Regional studies of learning achievements
  • Health sciences – Gerontology and Public Health: Relationships between nature, infrastructure and active aging
  • Sports sciences: Sports sites GIS database,

University of Lapland is focused on research and education in Social sciences and the arctic region at the Arctic Center.

At the University of Oulu, geospatial research and education are carried out mainly in the field of Geography.

The research group of Geoinformatics, part of the Geography Research Unit, is specialized in geography of health and well-being, accessibility and northern environment. Geospatial research is also performed at Oulu Mining School, related to geological processes and the use of natural resources, and Kerttu Saalasti Institute, focusing on regional resilience, smart specialization, entrepreneurship and structural changes in society.

Geospatial activities in university of Turku are organized around UTU geospatial, which gathers information about geospatial research, education and cooperation activities under one place.

University of Turku research and/or teaching in geospatial issues is done  in the following disciplines.

  • Geography and geology
  • Biology
  • Future Technologies (IT)
  • Landscape Studies
  • Archaeology
  • Business School

For more information visit the UTU geospatial web page.

In the University of Vaasa geospatial topics are included in the education programmes of regional studies and in research projects related to spatial data utilization.

Geospatial information are taught for students both on candidate and master levels in the context of regional development work, social innovations and regional studies. Spatial data and location utilization, on the other hand, are relevant research topics in the Digital Economy research platform of the university, focusing on deriving value and new business opportunities out of geospatial data, as well as in research related to supply chain management and logistics.

Research Institutes and others


The IT Center for Science Ltd (CSC) is a center of expertise in information technology owned by the Finnish sate and higher education institutions.

CSC aids universities and research institutions by providing access to high-performance geocomputing, organizing webinars and face-to-face trainings and by managing data services, for example Paituli. More info about CSC services for GIS


Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI) that is a research and expert unit of the National Land Survey of Finland (NLS).

FGI conducts innovative research and expert work within the field of spatial data. FGI provides a scientific basis for Finnish maps, geospatial information and positioning, carries out research and development on methods for the measurements, data acquisition, processing and exploiting of geospatial information, and co-operates with industry, universities and governmental organisations nationally and internationally. FGI’s core competencies are a) spatial data solutions supporting digitalisation, b) dynamic Earth, c) smart environments and interaction, and d) robotics and intelligent transportation systems.

The Finnish Heritage Agency is responsible for the protection of and provides spatial data on the cultural environment.

The geospatial data is used to protect the important environments with cultural history value, archaeological culture heritage and architectural heritage in for example planning, construction and mining among. It operates under the Ministry of Education and Culture.


The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) produce observation and research data on the atmosphere and seas.

It works under the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA) is responsible for Finland’s roads, railways and waterways and for the development of Finland’s transport system.

FTIA produces the Digiroad, the national road and street network database. This database is used by multiple organizations for planning and research in Finland.

More information on the data products of the FTIA can be found from their website. FTIA works under the Ministry of Transport and Communications.


The Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) is internationally oriented geoscience research agency operating under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

The GTK provides solutions for more sustainable growth. We provide expertise that serves the interests of our clients, stakeholders and society as a whole. We are a leading European competence centre on assessment and sustainable use of geological resources. We are focusing the survey and research of Earth’s resources and their sustainable use, management and delivery of national geoscience data. We have an active role in the mineral policy in Finland and the EU. GTK offer specialist services for community and commercial customers and have active collaboration in international projects.

The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) is a research and expert organization with expertise in renewable natural resources and sustainable food production.

Elements of bio-economy such as forests and forestry, agriculture and food systems, and game and fish are the main topics of research.

Luke’s statutory and expert services take care of the Finnish game and fish population monitoring, forest inventory, conservation of genetic resources, GHG calculations, statistics related to food and natural resources, and other important tasks.

Many of the research themes are inherently spatial. Spatial modeling is used in variety of fields including animal populations research, logistics, food security, and modeling of forest development. Remote sensing plays an essential role in forest applications, and applications in crop production and game research are important as well.


NLS performs cadastral surveys, maintains information about properties and dwellings, handles registrations of title and mortgages, produces map data and promotes the research of spatial data.

The over 200-year-old National Land Survey of Finland performs various kinds of cadastral surveys such as parcellings and reallocations of pieces of land, produces map data and promotes the use of such data. NLS safeguards the land ownership and credit system by maintaining information about properties and housing company shares in its registers and takes care of the registration of ownership and mortgages. Other tasks of the agency include spatial data research and application.

The Population Register Center upkeeps the Finnish population register system that contains information on Finnish citizens and people residing permanently in Finland. In addition, information is provided on buildings, addresses, construction projects, residences and real estate.

In order to gain access to most of the data resources, a permit from the Population Register Centre or Local Register Office is required. To learn more visit the information page on gaining access for research purposes (only in Finnish) ( Open data produced by the Population Register Center is found from ( service.


The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) studies and monitors the welfare and health of the population in Finland.

The Sotkanet Statistics and Indicator Bank is the main access point to data on for example municipality, health-care districts and NUTS scales. The data products are used for health research and reviews, and for news and articles by media companies in Finland.

Outside the open data products THL can offer researchers generalized spatial data on more specific scales. For more information visit their website for researchers.

THL is an expert agency working under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

The Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) is a governmental research and development institute. The focus is in seeking out the best solutions for building a sustainable society.

SYKE employs currently some 580 experts and researchers that work in close co-operation with both Finnish and international partners. The activities in SYKE are focusing on major environmental themes: water resources, sustainable production and consumption, biodiversity, environmental policy and marine research. 

SYKE develops and maintains environmental information systems and spatial data infrastructure. SYKE is in charge for promoting and supporting the usage and sharing of environmental geographic data and services. SYKE has also an active role in the development of national spatial data infrastructure in Finland. More information and access to SYKE’s data can be found from SYKE’s Open Information web page


VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is a research and expert unit where spatial data is used in several areas.

 The main area is earth observation where VTT has developed methods and platforms for the exploitation of satellite imagery in forestry, land cover, maritime, security and health areas. Topographic and thematic data from other sources is used mainly as training and validation data in the analysis of satellite images. Also autonomous navigation, virtual and augmented reality and telecommunication research at VTT exploits topographic and thematic spatial data.