PaikkaOppi, a portal that introduces Finland’s school students to geographic maps and the use of geospatial information, will switch to using Oskari, the open source, on-line geographic map-building tool originally developed by the National Land Survey of Finland.
The new Oskari-based portal, currently in beta, will go live on 1 January.
At PaikkaOppi, students can practice the use of geographic maps, using a combination of exercises, projects and tests. The portal, which started in 2008, recently began testing Oskari. “Oskari was chosen as the development platform, because PaikkaOppi wanted to build on top of open source,” the Oskari platform quotes the PaikkaOppi platform as saying. Using an open platform makes it easier for schools and for all those interested in GIS to build map-based applications, Oskari adds.
The switch to Oskari should boost students’ geospatial knowlegde, the PaikkaOppi portal explained in a blog post in September. “The use of maps and map-based services are part of our daily social and professional life,” Virpi Hirvensalo, the portal’s project manager writes, and so school students should have basic spatial data skills. Also, there are more school services based on maps and geospatial data, Ms Hirvensalo notes.
In its December newsletter, Oskari announced a second new member, Kela, the government agency responsible for settling social security and pension payments. The agency started using Oskari-based maps on its web site to pinpoint its customer service desks, including opening hours and contact information.