From 2018 to 2022, The Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure will make a new map of the ice-free areas of Greenland

The mapping will be carried out in collaboration with the Autonomous Government of Greenland, the Ministry of Defence and the A.P. Møller and Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation for general purposes (the A. P. Møller Foundation).

The existing mapping foundation in Greenland is outdated and not suitable to support the modern, digital administration and development of the world’s largest island. The current mapping foundation is based on data collected from the 1930s and the 1970-80s, and which are not precise in terms of heights, distances or positions.

It is therefore essential that Greenland gets new, digital maps that are expected to bring benefits both for public administration, and for private users.

With new data and maps, everyone will gain access to the exact location of, for instance, cabins, foot paths, and fjord systems. This will support recreational objectives and increase security and safety for citizens and tourists who travel the waters and landscapes outside of the cities.

Defence often moves around remote areas of Greenland and across long distances on land and in the air. New maps would therefore make planning of their activities significantly easier.

With new data and maps, the Autonomous Government can also develop its administration of raw material and carry out exact registration of concession areas and rights.

For example, private companies within tourism will be able to use the mapping data to develop their businesses.

A total area of 450,000 square feet will be mapped using satellite images. The new digital maps will be freely available to everyone.

Pilot project: Mapping of four areas in Greenland 2015-2017

The decision to map all of Greenland was made based on a pilot project, in which four areas of Greenland (with a total area equivalent to around twice the size of Denmark) were mapped using satellite technology.

In Denmark, mapping is primarily carried out by using aerial photography. However, due to the long distances involved and Greenland’s difficult terrain, it would be very costly and difficult to map Greenland in that way.

The pilot project showed us that satellite technology is now so developed that it is possible to create sufficiently high-quality maps using satellite images. Based on this, the decision was taken to carry out a new, digital mapping of all of Greenland.

The pilot project was financed by the A. P. Møller Foundation.