(Legal) Aerial data over Sweden

Posted by Thavox on 8 August 2011 in English (English)

There is no legally available aerial photography that I know of over my home town of Lindesberg in Sweden (I was born there but don't live there anymore). After endlessly trying to find a good way to map the town without being able to properly GPS-track streets etc. I'm progressing extremly slowly. I'm starting to get frustrated. I know I'm not alone in this, I just read TripleBees diary (

I now call out to anyone:
-Do you know of any free areal photograpy of Sweden?
(Bing and Yahoo! does not cover the area)

-Anyone knows if there is any free geographical data that is available for Sweden?
(Perhaps the local "kommunen" can provide something?)
(Lantmäteriet ( is copyrighted. Historical maps (+70 years old) are not copyrighted, but not very useful.)
(Trafikverket ( is copyrighted.)

-Any help at all is appreciated!
("How to make your own areal photography" perhaps?)

Happy Mapping!
/Johan (Sweden)

Comment from Sanderd17 on 8 August 2011 at 16:15

About the thing TripleBee mentioned, there is good Bing imagery there, just not as recent like the Google images. But enough to draw buildings if you have local knowledge.

I've also used out-of-copyright maps, but mainly for drawing village and city borders. They haven't changed a lot since the foundation of Belgium.

Just remember that you are here to have fun. If you like to make aerial images with a kite, people will be grateful for it, but if you just want to walk around and note what you see, than people will also appreciate it.

OSM is a DoOcracy:

Comment from Sanderd17 on 8 August 2011 at 16:23

Oh, and be sure, unless you find some politician that really likes the idea of OSM, you won't get anything from the government.

Comment from durian on 8 August 2011 at 18:12

I share you frustration - I'm mapping in NV-Skåne, no workable areal images :(

As a non-Swede I don't understand that the government Landmäteriet data is copyrighted the way it is - isn't it funded by taxmoney? (I could be wrong). Especially since I see on their homesite that they have an App where people can enter names for places for them around Gä they get the copyright?

Comment from Thavox on 8 August 2011 at 19:29

As I have understood the goverment (regeringen) a long time ago decided that Lantmäteriet should be financed both by taxes and by selling the geographic data. It really mess things up when it comes to using the data that we partly have payed for already, but "cheap" from a financial point of view.

About the naming thing... I reacted the same way when I saw it! User generated content where Lantmäteriet probobly get all rights to the data. Really ugly behaviour!

Comment from Thavox on 8 August 2011 at 19:45

Well I got so worked up I sent an e-mail asking what kind of copyright the user generated data will be released under. I hope they answer... :)

Comment from durian on 9 August 2011 at 05:42

Thavox, let us know what their answer is! I am also curious!

Comment from marscot on 9 August 2011 at 20:53

you could use and take your own over head pictures

Comment from Thavox on 10 August 2011 at 12:19

Thanks for all the comments. I will probably not make my own aerial photos, even though it seems fun :)

Regarding the project that Lantmäteriet is testing, I got an answer today. Here it is:

My letter (in swedish):

Jag blev mycket intresserad av ert test med användargenererad geografisk data som ni anonserar om på er hemsida just nu. Jag bor själv inte i Gälve och har heller ingen iPhone så jag kan inte vara med i projektet.

Vad jag däremot är mycket intresserad av är hur ni kommer hantera tillgängligheten till datat som genereras, kopieringsrättigheterna alltså. Kommer användarna få behålla kopieringsrättigheterna eller kommer det bli fritt tillgängligt eller "creative commons" eller kommer ni kräva att användarna överlåter kopieringsrättigheterna till er (så det matchar er övriga data)?

Min förhoppning är självklart att datat blir fritt tillgängligt ("public domain") för oss alla att använda, jag skulle bli mycket glad om så är fallet.


Their response (in swedish):

Tack för ditt mail.
Intressant fråga som vi ännu inte diskuterat.
Just nu testar vi bara metoden att med hjälp av allmänheten via en app fånga information.
Testet kan innebära att metoden är bra men att det kanske inte är namn vi skall fånga.
Testet avslutas med en intern workshop och efter den kommer beslut tas hur och om vi går vidare med apputveckling.
Hoppas detta är tillräckligt svar nu och återkom gärna om du vill ha mer information.


Comment from durian on 11 August 2011 at 08:50

Thanks or the reply. But I don't believe for one moment they have not discussed this :)

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