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From outer space to the deepest ocean floors

From ocean to land, and from outer space to the deepest ocean floors. The Norwegian Mapping Authority’s field of work is extensive and diverse.

Geographical and ratified information are the common denominators when it comes to the tasks performed by the Norwegian Mapping Authority. This might include datasets that provide the basis for a map, place names, property boundaries or registered rights associated with a specific place.

We collate, systemise, manage and communicate public geographical information.

Our services

The Norwegian Mapping Authority is responsible for and provides the following:

  • National geodetic frame: The Norwegian Mapping Authority is responsible for the ratified framework on which mapping and measuring work in Norway is based.
  • Digital maps: The Norwegian Mapping Authority produces and manages national digital map series (land maps and nautical charts).
  • Land registry: Property rights registration for fixed property and flats in cooperative housing.
  • Property information: The Norwegian Mapping Authority operates the national registry for public property information (the New Cadastre and the land registry).
  • Place names: Administers the National Place Name Register (SSR)
    Standards: National standards for maps and geographical information.
  • Positioning services: Services for determining accurate, satellite-based positions.
  • Electronic nautical chart service: Has operational responsibility for Primar, the international electronic navigational chart service.

Geodata coordinator

The Norwegian Mapping Authority also plays an important role as the nationwide coordinator of geodata. This involves establishing and coordinating work with the national geographical infrastructure within Norway.

This involves close collaboration with municipalities and other public sector suppliers and users of geographical information via Norway Digital.

Four divisions

The Norwegian Mapping Authority is organised into four divisions: Cadastre and Land Registry, the Geodetic Institute, the Land Mapping Division and the Norwegian Hydrographic Service. We also have a large IT department. Read more about the organisational chart and the management team.

The Land Mapping Division

The Land Mapping Division is responsible for determining and administering map data and geographical information for the Norwegian mainland. This takes place in collaboration with municipalities, other public agencies and private operators. The division is responsible for updating and administering the national map databases N50-N5000 Map Data, the topographical national map series Norway 1:50 000, nationwide terrain models and contour elevation data, the Vbase and Elveg road databases, as well as coordinating and operating the National Programme for Orthophotography.

The division also manages historical mapping, aerial photography materials and operates a registry of air traffic obstacles. The Land Mapping Division is based at the Norwegian Mapping Authority’s headquarters in Hønefoss, but also has ten regional offices, ranging from Kristiansand in the south to Tromsø in the north.

Norwegian Hydrographic Service

The Norwegian Mapping Authority’s Hydrographic Service is responsible for preparing and updating nautical charts, and covers all marine and coastal waters in Norway and around Svalbard, as well as Norwegian areas in the Antarctic. The Norwegian Hydrographic Service was established in 1932 and has operated as a division of the Norwegian Mapping Authority since 1986. The division has 120 employees and is based in Stavanger.

The Norwegian Hydrographic Service is the only authorised producer of official nautical charts and electronic navigational charts (ENC) in Norway, and vessels over a certain size are obligated to use these charts. The division is also responsible for information about navigable waterways, tidal waters and currents. It is also responsible for the deep water database and is a supplier of deep water data.

The Norwegian Hydrographic Service has operational responsibility for Primar, the international electronic navigational chart service. It provides official electronic navigational charts (ENC) to international shipping on behalf nations across the entire globe.

Cadastre and Land Registry

The Norwegian Mapping Authority’s Cadastre and Land Registry is the national agency for property rights registration and the central cadastral authority. The division administers data from the Land Registry and the New Cadastre, and handles administrative tasks relating to the Norwegian Place Names Act and administrative borders.

As the national agency for property rights registration, the division is responsible for the management and dissemination of data from the Land Registry for property rights registration of fixed property and flats in cooperative housing. The Cadastre and Land Registry is also responsible for the New Cadastre, the national property registry, which is continually updated in partnership with the municipalities.

The Cadastre and Land Registry determine the spelling of place names, and operate the central place name registry. In addition, the division handles administrative tasks related to administrative boundaries, such as municipal and national borders.

Geodetic Institute

The Geodetic Institute is responsible for national geodetic information on which all positioning, measuring, mapping and earth observation is based. The Institute also measures and establishes a national reference frame for coordinates, geoid reference, height reference and post-glacial rebound.

The Geodetic Institute operates a nationwide system of accurate, satellite-based GNSS positioning. The positioning services can determine a position down to the nearest centimetre (Cpos) and are useful in areas such as the construction industry in order to accurately define where to excavate.  These services are also useful in determining property boundaries.

The Norwegian Mapping Authority’s geodetic observatory at Ny-Ålesund on Svalbard plays a key role in work on reference frames and global collaboration on monitoring the planet.