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Baltic Sea Data and Map Services


The HELCOM Data and Map service is a Baltic Sea oriented online mapping tool combining spatial data from different HELCOM thematic map portals.

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer

  • Where can I find spatial data on the Baltic sea relevant for MSP?
  • What is the current status of different environmental aspects in the Baltic Sea?
  • How can one develop a tool which includes spatial data on maritime issues?

Implementation Context

According to the HELCOM data and information strategy, all HELCOM monitoring data should be openly accessible online. The map service contains also datasets from sources other than HELCOM. All available map data is accessible from all thematic map services for overlaying purposes. Each dataset is accompanied by a metadata file which describes the dataset.

Aspects / Objectives

Facilitate access of the general public to environmental information and this is done e.g. by making spatial data and information available in the HELCOM Map and Data Service on the HELCOM web page


  1. Using agreed formats and up-to-date tools for data exchange;
  2. Implementing relevant quality control and validation procedures
  3. Making data and information available using harmonized standards and practices, following the Aarhus Convention and recommendations and guidelines and standards reflected in the INSPIRE directive,
  4. Presenting data and information in suitable ways for indicator reports as well as thematic and holistic assessments to support policy formulation and decision-making.

Main Outputs / Results

The interactive map provides a large variety of layers with spatial data.


Example of data portal

Maps are focussing on the following themes:

  • Sea Environmental monitoring: Monitoring stations and assessment units
  • Sea Environmental status: Assessment status maps and results derived from monitoring data
  • Pressures and Human Activities: Datasets related to pressures (pollution and sources) to the Baltic Sea
  • Biodiversity: Biodiversity related datasets such as species distribution and protected areas.
  • Maritime & Response: Datasets related to maritime traffic and accident response
  • Maritime Spatial Planning: Datasets with relevance to MSP purposes


This practice is highly transferable and can be applied for in other regions to share spatial data on a sea basin level.

Responsible Entity


Katajanokanlaituri 6 B, 3rd floor

FI-00160 Helsinki


Phone: +358 207 412 649

E-mail: (helcom[dot]secretariat[at]helcom[dot]fi)