A European undertaking for the effective use of geospatial data

  • Share on Pinterest

Launched at the end of 2020, the Geospatially Enabled Ecosystem for Europe (GoeE3) project aims to improve the accessibility and interoperability of geospatial data. The project will cover various areas that have not previously been tested in the geospatial data sector. 

One of the goals of the GeoE3 project is to develop new service interfaces in accordance with the OGC API standard family across the boundaries of countries and operating areas. 

Another key goal is the integration of other data with geospatial data. The aim is to solve challenges related to the interoperability of data using the practical “bottom up” method. Services are developed based on concrete use cases and related needs. The use cases studied in the project are associated with renewable energy, smart transport and urbanisation.

The project’s leading idea is that interoperability can be achieved using a data ecosystem based on national platforms. A challenge in many previous implementations has been that they may not have worked at a national level, due to which there has been no motivation to develop them. A well-functioning ecosystem cannot be built without motivated users.

Finland leading the way

The GeoE3 project involves the national land survey organisations of five European countries and a large group of other operators in the geospatial data sector. 

Finland is the project’s coordinator and the driver of its technical implementation. Finnish organisations involved in the project include the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Statistics Finland, as the integration of climate and statistical data with geospatial data is an interesting perspective.

The project’s technical implementation is based on the Open Geospatial Consortium’s (OGC) interfaces. New OGC API Features and OGC API Coverages interfaces enable cross-boundary services. Their use and opportunities have not previously been studied on this scale.

Geospatial data and other datasets will be integrated using procedures in accordance with the OGC’s Table Joining Service (TJS) standard.

What has been achieved?

The first services implemented in the project have already seen the light of day. The 2D building data of four countries (Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, and Spain) is available in the form of datasets through a single OGC API Features interface. National WFS background services have been linked to the service using adaptation modules developed in the project. The schema conversions required are carried out dynamically at a GeoE3 service level. 

In addition, surface models for Finland, Norway and the Netherlands have been made available as datasets through the OGC API Coverages interface. 

When various data, such as building data, surface models and climate data, is easily accessible and available for integration, it can be used in different visualisations, as shown in the following example.

The image shows buildings retrieved from the OGC API Features interface on a background map. A more detailed presentation of the selected building has been created, which also includes a visualisation of the area’s surface model and information about the average wind speed in the area. This data helps to assess how easily solar and wind power could be used in the area, for example


Use cases in the GeoE3 project

Renewable energy

The use case of renewable energy focuses especially on the generation of solar energy and the optimisation of heating and cooling systems in buildings. From the perspective of this use case, key datasets include building and elevation data. 

Special focus has been placed on the processing of 3D building data and surface models. The positioning of solar panels can be optimised using roof shapes obtained from the LoD2 geometries of buildings. The local environment’s surface model can be used to assess the amount of solar energy available in the area. The assessment also addresses climate conditions and any changes in them based on local climate change scenarios.


The use case of urbanisation examines the potential of new areas to be built from the perspective of the use of solar and wind energy. In addition, the effective expansion of residential areas will be assessed. Here, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal on land requirements for residential areas will be used as an indicator. 

Key datasets include building, planning and population data. Other important datasets include elevation and surface models that help to assess the potential of using renewable energy in planned residential areas.

Smart transport

The use case of smart transport serves to produce data services that enable the better assessment of the energy consumption of electric vehicles. It can also support driver assistance systems of heavy vehicles that, for example, help the driver to change gears and define the most optimal driving speed. Another goal of the service is to provide traffic sign and speed limit data, as well as traffic and weather reports. 

Key datasets include road networks, elevation models and weather and traffic data.

GeoE3 – Geospatially Enabled Ecosystem for Europe

  • A three-year project funded by the EU.
  • Coordinated by the National Land Survey of Finland. Other Finnish project parties are the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Statistics Finland and Spatineo.
  • The project also involves the national land survey organisations of Estonia, Norway, the Netherlands and Spain, and other significant operators in the geospatial data sector, such as OGC.
  • The project’s goal is to improve the accessibility and interoperability of geospatial data, advance the harmonisation of geospatial data, and build an ecosystem based on national platforms.
  • Another goal is to build a network of operators to continue the development and advancement of interoperability.
  • As a concrete result, the project will build a test platform for demonstrating the benefits of interoperability. The project will also produce instructions, online courses and other support material related to the theme. 
  • Further information: geoe3.eu 


Antti Jakobsson works as a chief engineer in production at the National Land Survey of Finland. He has coordinated projects related to the development of geospatial data in Finland and Europe. Jakobsson is the coordinator of the GeoE3 project. 

Lassi Lehto works as a research manager in the Geoinformatics and Cartography department of the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute. His main research areas include geospatial data services, the standardisation and interoperability of service interfaces, the harmonisation of geospatial data, and real-time data conversions in network service environments. Lehto has participated in a number of European harmonisation and development projects for geospatial data services of national land survey organisations.