FM-International Oy FINNMAP
FM-International Oy FINNMAP is an international consulting company based in Finland providing services in spatial data capture and processing as well as in land administration, forestry and natural resource management.
FINNMAP was founded in 1951 by a group of leading Finnish surveying and mapping experts, including Kalevi Eranti, Uki Helava, prof Reino Hirvonen, prof W.A. Heiskanen and Seppo Härmälä. While initially serving the growing need for community planning, the company soon emerged as a progressive actor in the field of aerial photography and photogrammetric surveys in Finland. This position FINNMAP has maintained until today, while expanding its activities across the globe. The innovative spirit of the FINNMAP founders continues to guide our day-to-day work.
Our multidisciplinary team consists of land surveyors, navigators, geodesists, lawyers, economists, photogrammetrists, cartographers, social scientists, as well as forestry and natural resource management experts. We have 45 in-house staff, working at the head office in Helsinki and at field offices in Asia, South-East Asia and Middle East, and a wide network of experts employed on project basis. Our men and women are a mix of eminent professionals who have been with us for decades and talented young graduates fresh from the university.
FINNMAP´s international operations started in the 1960s in Iraq and Iran. In 1971, we implemented our first development cooperation project: the mapping of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Since then our more than 120 assignments have taken us to nearly 30 countries, from the heat of the Saharan desert and the vast plains of Mongolia, to the heights of the Himalayas and the humidity of the Mekong River. Working in harsh conditions is seldom easy; to us, however, it is part of the routine. Our recent activities have focused on South-East Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America.
From being the first Finnish private sector company to use a computer in the 1950s, to operating the first mapping airplane in the 1960s, FINNMAP has always been a forerunner in applying technological advances to age old concerns. Today we are among the few companies to use airborne laser scanning and digital aerial photography, technologies that are changing the way for example forest inventories and land use planning is done.
From the start, FINNMAP’s modus operandi has been to match the technical expertise of our international experts with the socio-cultural understanding of our local partners. This ensures quality products and sustainable results and it also contributes to a mutual transfer of skills. Thus FINNMAP was enhancing the capacities of our local partners long before the term capacity building was coined. Two things characterise FINNMAP’s way of operating: our production projects are quick and effective and our technical assistance projects are thorough and long-term. For aerial photography and airborne laser scanning purposes we mobilise small and effective teams capable of flying anywhere in the world. For land administration and other long-term consulting projects we recruit committed experts with in-depth understanding of the local conditions who live in the field for years on end.
It goes without saying that we at FINNMAP love maps. We are, after all, a half-a century-old mapping and surveying firm and many of us are surveyors by trade. Our fondness to maps is founded on a solid belief that accurate spatial data can greatly support social planning and thus be a driving force behind development. We believe that maps not only change the way we perceive the world, but they have all the potential to change the world in itself as well.
FINNMAP provides production and consulting services for private and public sector organisations all over the world. Our principal clients abroad consist of governments and bilateral and multilateral development cooperation agencies, including the United Nations, the European Union and the Asian Development Bank. In Finland, our main clients are the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the National Land Survey, the Forest and Park Service and Finnish Forestry Centres (private forest owners), as well as municipalities and cities across the country.