International activities and commitments

The Norwegian Mapping Authority is involved in many international activities and commitments. These include:

  • Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure (Arctic SDI): a collaboration between all the arctic countries to establish a seamless application for viewing maps of the arctic area. The Norwegian Mapping authority is a Board member, National Contact Point for Norway and participates in the working groups for Communication, Strategy, Technical issues, Geoportal, and Cloud and Cascading Services.
  • European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS): The Norwegian Mapping Authority's Geodetic Institute contributes to the project whose aim is to develop the first pan-European satellite navigation system.
  • European Space Agency (ESA): The Norwegian Mapping Authority's Geodetic Institute is involved in and contributes to several projects, among others as partner in the project "Arctic Test Bed", whose aim is to contribute to extending secure satellite navigation in the Arctic. The Institute has a research group which monitors a large network of ground sensors for measuring conditions in the ionosphere, the outermost layer of the atmosphere. Solar storms and events on the sun can give unstable weather in space and disturbances in the ionosphere.
  • EuroGeographics:  We participate actively in working parties and knowledge networks for Business Interoperability, Cadastre and Land Registry, Emergency Mapping, Policy, Quality and INSPIRE.
  • European Spatial Data Research (EuroSDR): Norway is a member delegate of EuroSDR, a collaboration between the mapping authorities in Europe on research and development in the area of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI). Research results are disseminated through publications, workshops and courses.
  • Galileo: The global navigation satellite system (GNSS) created by the EU and ESA in order to provide an alternative high-precision positioning system upon which European nations can rely, independently from the Russian GLONASS and US GPS systems. Norway joined the programme in 2009 and it is one of the Norwegian Mapping Authority's main goals that our contributions (both to EGNOS and Galileo) always meet the standard Norwegian requirements for performance, and assist public and private authorities with quality assurance of GNSS-based navigation services.
  • International Association of Geodesy (IAG)
  • International Cartographic Association (ICA): ICA is the world's leading body for cartography; a discipline that deals with the understanding, production, dissemination and study of maps. ICA's mission is to work for cartography as both a subject and profession in the international context. ICA hosts a biannual cartography conference which is the largest cartographic event where you can keep abreast of developments within the discipline. The Norwegian Mapping Authority has represented ICA Norway since 1998, and also leads the board of directors for Geoforum, which has a national membership in ICA.
  • International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
  • The Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS): IAG and GGOS together form a Consortium which is responsible for developing and promoting a global geodetic reference frame. While the Norwegian Mapping Authority is responsible for compiling data for the whole of Norway, we also contribute Norwegian data towards this international consortium, so that actors in need of cross-border, international data can make use of seamless data. The Norwegian Mapping authority is approved by GGOS internationally as a centre of competence for VLBI, SLR and IVS.
  • International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO): 81 countries are members, and Norway is represented by the Norwegian Mapping Authority, through participation and capacity building in 15 committees, working groups and regional Hydrographic Commissions working on the development of international policies and standards.
  • Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA): is an important part of the European eGovernment programme. The work is divided into several parts and actions. The Norwegian Mapping Authority follows with interest some of the programme, and is active in the working group on spatial information and services.
  • International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)
  • ISO/TC 211 Geographic information/Geomatics: is the technical committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) responsible for developing International Standards in the field of geographic information and geomatics. The work aims to establish a structured set of standards for information concerning objects or phenomena that are directly or indirectly associated with a location relative to the Earth. More than 60 standards are published in this domain. The Norwegian Mapping Authority has the chair of the committee, and is also convening one of the working groups, WG4 Geospatial services. The secretariat of the committee is with Standards Norway.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): The Norwegian Mapping Authority's Geodetic Institute has a long history of cooperation with NASA, not least with knowledge exchange for our geodetic earth observatory in Ny-Ålesund on Svalbard, which is part of the international network of earth observatories playing a key role in the frames of reference and global cooperation on monitoring of the globe.
  • Nordic Network for International Services: The Norwegian Mapping Authority coordinates the network, which is a working group involving Registers Iceland, The Government of Greenland, the Faroe Islands Environment Agency, the Norwegian Mapping Authority,  the National Land Survey of Sweden and the National Land Survey of Finland, whose purpose is coordination of development cooperation for the international services in the Nordic countries' National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies. Read more about the network here.
  • PRIMAR: The Norwegian Mapping Authority coordinates a regional cooperation for the delivery of official electronic navigational charts (ENC) of Norwegian and several other European countries' waters. Cooperating countries include 12 National Hydrographic Offices (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Norway, Russia, Mozambique and Sweden) and other countries which participate in distribution agreements: Canada, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Ukraine and the United States. PRIMAR also distributes data from countries that are members of the English Regional ENC Coordinating Center (RENC).The charts meet the requirements set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and in accordance with specifications given by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). 
  • Registers for Development: Statistics Norway, The Norwegian Tax Administration, the Brønnøysund Register Centre and the Norwegian Mapping Authority are working together on developing a joint approach in their effort of sharing experiences and offering support to developing countries in improving their core administrative registers and making better use of administrative data for statistics. The cooperation officially began in February 2017 with an agreement on cooperation, and the first activities have included cooperation in development projects in Sudan.

United Nations

The Norwegian Mapping Authority contributes actively to several UN initiatives, including:

  1. The United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM): UNGGIM has a working group for a global geodetic reference frame (GGRF) which initiated the UN Resolution on the importance of a global geodetic reference framework. This workgroup is co-chaired by Norway and Australia, and when the resolution is passed in 2015 Norway will continue to work on the roadmap for implementing it. The Norwegian Mapping Authority is represented in this working group with two representatives.
  2. UN-GGIM:Europe - The regional committee of UN-GGIM where we contribute to work groups on core data and data integration.
  3. UN-Habitat: The Norwegian Mapping Authority collaborates with UN-Habitat through The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), an alliance of global regional and national partners contributing to poverty alleviation through land reform, improved land management and security of tenure particularly through the development and dissemination of pro-poor and gender-sensitive land tools. The Norwegian Mapping Authority is a member of the International Advisory board which advises the GLTN steering committee on strategic and technical issues with regards to programme implementation, and provides political leadership to champion the land agenda in urban sustainable development goals.
  4. UNGEGN: The Norwegian Mapping Authority contributes in the work of United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names together with The Sami Parliament and The Language Council of Norway. The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) is one of the seven expert groups of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and deals with the national and international standardization of geographical names. UNGEGN follows up the implementation of resolutions from the UNCSGN (the United Nations Conferences on the Standardization of Geographical Names). We also participate in the Norden division of UNGEGN and in the working group on Toponymic Data Files and Gazetteers.
  5. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO): The Norwegian Mapping Authority advocates the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure for all forms of tenure: public, private, communal, indigenous, customary, and informal. We take these into account during the implementation of our international projects.
  6. The World Bank: It is necessary for the Norwegian Mapping Authority to coordinate donor activities together with the World Bank since several of our projects are implemented in the same countries or have an overlapping focus.
  7. International Maritime Organization (IMO): The United Nations' specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
  8. WPLA: The Norwegian Mapping Authority represents Norway in the UNECE's Working Party on Land Administration's (WPLA) Steering Committee for the period 2017-2019 and 2019-2021. The overall goals of are the promotion and improvement of land administration and land management in the UNECE region.

The Norwegian Mapping Authority also assists in the implementation of Norwegian foreign aid through projects related to mapping, property registration and capacity building. Read about our development work.