“Only about 22% of the annual potential economic benefits from the use of spatial data has been realised in Finland. The annual economic benefits are about EUR 13 billion but only about EUR 3 billion of the potential has so far been realised. The estimated value of the economic benefits of the national Geospatial Platform that is developed at the moment is about EUR 550 million per annum starting in 2025 when the services of the platform are operating in full extent.”
That is the key result of Spatineo’s study “The economic value of spatially enabled services in Finland – Including the impact of the Geospatial platform”. The study is a meta-analysis of international and Finnish studies that have been done in the recent years. We read and analysed tens of studies in which the impact of geospatial services had been assessed, interviewed Finnish experts, and applied the results to the Finnish society.
Focus on four ecosystems
In the study we focused on four ecosystems: bioeconomy, built environment, social and health care, and traffic. There were few main reasons for that. Firstly, bioeconomy and traffic ecosystems have good examples of beneficial use of spatial data, since the first digital data bases were available, but all the time bigger potential arise because of new technologies. Secondly, the economic goals of the new health and social services reform are ambitious and the use of spatial data and technologies play an important role in planning and executing the services and meeting the goals. Thirdly, the maturity of the use of spatial data and technologies in built environment is still very low and huge potential exists. Fourthly, the Geospatial Platform will provide spatial data and services that are essential for these four ecosystems. The estimated economic benefits of the use of spatial data in each of these four ecosystems can be read from our report.
National Geospatial Platform
Part of our research was to assess the impact of the new Finnish Geospatial Platform that is currently developed, and the test and training environment is already available for use. We estimated that the share of the economic benefits provided by the Geospatial Platform is at least EUR 550 million.
Directly quoting their own webpage on what the geospatial platform is:
“The Geospatial Platform (Paikkatietoalusta [PTA] in Finnish) consists of a number of packaged digital services. The platform collects spatial data from various providers and makes them available to users. The aim of the platform is to harmonise and extensively improve e-services provided by the public administration, to improve data-based decision-making and increase transparency, as well as to save public administration costs, e.g. by enabling the efficient maintenance of data resources, removing overlapping activities and harmonising datasets. Finland is one of the top countries in Europe where such a project has been launched.”
Impact Analyses prove current and future possibilities
Impact assessment projects are needed to prove the possibilities and value of the use of spatial data and technologies to politicians and people that make decisions on development and innovations in municipalities, state organisations and private companies. We wanted to give a comprehensive understanding of the importance and value of the use of spatial data especially in the four ecosystems that created about 60% of the GDP of Finland in 2017.