Geological Survey of Norway

The Geological Survey of Norway is the country’s central organisation for the collection, processing and distribution of information on the bedrock geology, superficial deposits, mineral resources and groundwater of Norway. NGU is a government agency under the administration of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. NGU currently has 200 employees. Over half of them are using GIS in their work covering the whole cartographic process from collecting information to delivering user-oriented maps, often as Internet map services in addition to some sort of printed product. NGU makes at this moment 27 datasets and 17 WMS-services accessible through the national SDI “Norway Digital”. The Geomatics and IT group at NGU has 22 employees. The group works on all cartographic activities, with a special focus on developing and managing the geographic databases and map services. The use of Open Source Geospatial Software for Map Services and Web Maps are dominant, but ArcGIS Software is mostly used in data, Map production and selected ArcGIS Online Services.

Production of printed Maps are toned down resent years. Our Web Map Applications are now device independent with the “Mobile First” philosophy. Stronger prioritization of what is shown and downloaded to the user is therefore more important than earlier years. We are still working to complete a mobile friendly display of Map Object properties (“Fact Sheets”). We have developed more user-oriented maps to be used in planning through complex classifications computed from multiple geological values and properties, but we have still a way to go. The Web Map applications are available at

Two examples of Web Map Applications with underlying Map Services are shown below. The first example is collected and edited by the Survey. The second example is from a ground surveys database (with geotechnical borehole) where all the data are delivered from several partners. NGU presents the data with different filter options and in combination with several other services, as well as making them available for downloading.

NGU Example 1 – Unstable Rock Slopes:

“NGU Example 1” from left: Map & Menu (a), 3D Map (b) and Fact Sheet (c).
“NGU Example 2” – National database of ground surveys (NADAG): left a “heat map” showing surveys and right with a filter identifying boreholes with bore depth from 20-40m.

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