About framework for geodata

This section provides a background and in-depth study of standardization. An introduction to ISO, SIS and technical committees, as well as a little about the benefits and use of standards.

A framework based on standards

A spatial data framework is a set of rules and guidelines for spatial data and spatial data services. The framework is common for all types of spatial data. The framework for geodata is based on standards and INSPIRE requirements (in the same way that environmental work, project management and much more in activities are based on standards and legislation.)

The framework gives geodata a structure: how should properties and quality be described in a uniform way, how should identification be done to keep order and how should users get The framework thus shows what is required for a data exchange between actors in order to achieve interoperability: how geodata should be documented and identified in a systematic and uniform manner, and what functionality should be available in geodata services for accessing data. for handling geodata in general, eg principles for geometry and data structure.

Although the framework and standards are required for certain purposes, additional instruments are needed in the form of agreements, government regulations or other laws that point to frameworks and standards.

Link to the National Geodata Strategy

In its role as national coordinator in the field of spatial data, Lantmäteriet has led the work of developing the national spatial data strategy for 2016-2020, in consultation with the organizations included in the Geodata Council. 

Lantmäteriet also leads the national coordination of standardization and framework work. Standardization is an important factor in the success of the implementation of the strategy.

Read more about the National Geodata Strategy (new window)

The concept of standards and responsibility

Standards are agreements on standards for solving common and recurring problems. This is to:

  • Speak the same language
  • Things should "fit together"
  • Be able to exchange information with each other

A way to share standards are:

  • Formal standards and other documents (technical specifications TS, technical reports TR etc. reports) from the Swedish Institute for Standards, SIS, and ISO (International Organization for Standardization), developed through broad stakeholder participation, consensus and influence in open process. References in laws can be made to formal standards. Standards are a good complement to legislation.
  • Other: partly informal standards eg from the Open Geospatial Consortium OGC, partly more specific standards that are developed in a narrower circle of stakeholders.

Specifications are required documents. If specifications are agreed to be used, they are of course also standards.

It is possible to standardize everything: terms, information, processes, criteria, etc. For geodata, it is almost exclusively terms and information which is standardized. Through various national initiatives, the issue of standardizing processes is also raised, e.g. in the public construction sector.

The benefits and work of a national coordination of standardization

Lantmäteriet leads the national coordination of standardization and framework work.

The benefit is to support actors by developing, and promoting the use of, standards for spatial data. This facilitates data exchange and collaboration between actors. Society gets a more efficient handling of geodata, and ultimately benefits the citizens.

The work means that through the chairmanship and participation in the technical committee SIS/TK 323 Geodata:

  • capture the demands of a framework for geodata
  • influence international standardization
  • maintain a framework - which is anchored and possible to implement -
  • by influencing national standardization and the development of Swedish guidelines 
  • promote the use of the framework by
  • making it available, simplifying, educating and supporting in other ways


  • ensure participation from geodata actors
  • be a contact point for SIS
  • be a contact point for the Armed Forces regarding standardization

Read more att www.sis.se (in swedish, new window)

Relationship with international and national initiatives 

An example is the Swedish Geoprocess.

The national standardization within the framework of SIS needs to be seen in its context.

  • SIS/TK 323 Geodata is the channel towards ISO/TC 211 Geographic information/Geomatics, which is responsible for the international formal standardization within geodata. Since 2017, Sweden holds the presidency of ISO/TC 211 through SIS and Lantmäteriet .
  • SIS theme standards take into account framework standards in their specific applications
  • Other standards and specifications:
    - OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) and W3C (Www Consortium) develops standards relevant to web services, and collaborates with ISO
    - Swedish geoprocess specifications (collaboration between Swedish municipalities, SKR and Lantmäteriet) are related to theme standards and consider the framework 
  • Near and outside the geodata area, for example, the BIM (Building Information Modeling) area is relevant in terms of understanding the exchange between the GIS domain on the one hand and the building and construction domain on the other.
  • The EU's Inspire directive is legislation that affects the area of spatial data. With regard to the framework, the Inspire legislation refers to ISO standards, and with regard to themes, it is instead the case that Swedish initiatives have had to adapt to Inspire.

The SIS and ISO technical committees are open to all

The Swedish Institute for Standards, SIS, is one of three Swedish standardization organizations within the Swedish Standardization Association and the one responsible for the geodata area.

SIS represents Sweden in the European standardization organization CEN and the global organization ISO. SIS is a non-profit association and open to all organizations.

The practical standardization work is conducted within technical committees (TK) which consist of representatives from the participants' organizations. The aim is to get as wide participation from the industry as possible from both the public and private sectors, and in the field of geodata this means both data and service providers and system providers.

The chairman of the committees in the field of geodata is elected in several cases from the organization that has a designated responsibility in its authority assignment, e.g. a coordination or information responsibility.

Links to some of the geodata committees

The EU directive INSPIRE and the common thread

Regardless of the purpose of developing legislation, standards or similar work, the existing one is taken into account. Things develop at different rates, and certain contradictions between existing and new are inevitable (and sometimes intentional).

INSPIRE, Swedish standards resp. The Swedish geoprocess fulfills different purposes and can be said to be a gradual refinement of European needs towards different national needs. Between INSPIRE themes, theme standards and themes in the Swedish geoprocess, many connections have been mapped, taken into account and there is a common thread. Adaptations to new can still involve extensive work for seemingly small changes.

Use of standards

SIS/TK 323 Geodata will regularly monitor the use of standards. In 2017, a survey was conducted against data and service providers and system providers to capture the use of these standards that are important in data exchange:

  • ISO 19157: 2013 Geographic information - Data quality
  • ISO 19115-1: 2014 Geographic information - Metadata - Part 1: Basics
  • ISO 19131: 2008 Geographic information - Specification of data sets
  • ISO 19128: 2008 Geographic information - Interface to map server (WMS)
  • ISO 19142: 2011 Geographic Information - Geographic Object Service Interface (WFS)
  • OGC Web Coverage Service (WCS)

It does not It is always known that standards are used because these are usually built into the business's IT tools. The result has nevertheless provided valuable information, which will be used in efforts to promote its use. In general, the use of these priority standards (see other section) needs to increase in order to live up to the objectives of the spatial data strategy.

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