Standards for geodata

In order for different geodata actors to be able to exchange data smoothly, standards, rules and guidelines are needed. Here we describe what a standard is and the benefits it can provide. We provide an overview of existing geodata standards and how they can be used. We also describe terms and concepts and put the geodata standards into context.

What is a standard?

A standard is an agreement to solve common and recurring needs. The purpose of a standard can for example be to:

  • speak the same language, to understand each other
  • make things "fit together"
  • be able to exchange information with each other

There are:

  • Formal standards as well as technical specifications and technical reports from SIS (Swedish Institute for Standards) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization). These standards are developed through broad stakeholder participation, consensus and influence in an open process. Laws may refer to formal standards.
  • Informal standards e.g. from the OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium), as well as more specific standards developed by various stakeholders.
  • Specifications which are documents that state requirements (according to ISO 9000). Specifications are used in various contexts and describe how, for example, information, products, services and processes should be designed.

It is possible to standardize everything: terms, information, processes, criteria, etc. For geodata, it is almost exclusively terms and information that are standardized.

What is the use of standards?

Standards can contribute to a more efficient way of working by avoiding misunderstandings, increasing quality and safety, and avoiding repeatedly reinventing the wheel.

Within the geodata domain, the benefit is above all being able to exchange information in a uniform way where all parties agree on content and structure, to receive information about what a data set contains and what it can be used for, and to be of support in various procurements. This means that society gets a more efficient handling of geodata, which is also beneficial for the citizens.

Lantmäteriet’s coordination responsibility

Lantmäteriet leads the national coordination of standardization in the geodata domain. The work includes being chairperson and participating in the technical committee SIS/TK 323 Geodata.

TK 323 is responsible for:

  • capture requirements for standardized geodata
  • influence international standardization
  • influence national standardization and development of Swedish guidelines
  • promote the use of standards by making available, simplify, educate and support

Lantmäteriet, in its role as coordinator, must:

  • ensure the participation of various geodata actors
  • be the point of contact for SIS
  • participate in the technical committee ISO/TC 211 Geographic information/Geomatics
  • be the point of contact for the Swedish Armed Forces regarding standardization

Who do we address?

We address people and organizations in the geodata domain who:

  • wants to exchange data with other organizations
  • wants to understand the benefits of standards
  • uses geodata standards
  • participates in national standardization work.

Related information

Here is a collection of links relevant to this site.

Access to standards and lists

Terms and concepts


Other relevant tutorials and the like

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