INSPIRE Knowledge Base

TNO Geological Survey of the Netherlands

LMO Description
TNO Geological Survey of the Netherlands
Proposed role in INSPIRE development
  • allocate experts to Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • register a project to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • contribute to awareness raising and training
  • yes
  • be kept informed
  • yes
  • implement pilot projects to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
    Level of authority: 
    The Netherlands and the Dutch Continental Shelf
    Formal Mandate: 
    <p>TNO, founded by law in 1932, acts as the umbrella–organisation for the Geological Survey of the Netherlands which is the central geoscience and public organisation in the Netherlands for information and research to promote the sustainable management and use of the subsurface and its natural resources.<br /> Hence the organisation manages all the data and information of the subsurface of the Netherlands on behalf of the Dutch Government as a delegated task. This is called the information function of the Geological Survey of the Netherlands.</p>
    Main Activities: 
    Tasks related to the information function of the Geological Survey of the Netherlands: To collect and acquire geoscientific data about the subsurface of the Netherlands; control the quality of these data; and to archive, analyse, interpret and disseminate this data and information. Collecting the data is gathering the data from third parties. Acquiring means getting the data by means observations and measurements. Analysis results in improved scientific insight in the geosciences. Interpretation is equivalent to the 3D modelling process of the geological structure and properties of the subsurface or of themes that depend on these structures and properties e.g. groundwater flow or geothermal potential. From the 3D models 1D, 2D and 3D numerical of graphical representations are derived for dissemination. Dissemination is strongly concentrated on the use of the Internet through web sites ( for dissemination to a wide group of professional users, for the oil and gas sector, for the generally interested public, etc. Last few years an increasing amount of web map services has been implemented, e.g. to supply the national INSPIRE portal ( with metadata and WMS services. Also SOAP/WSDL services to allow direct access of user applications to data, maps and models are being used in increasing numbers.
    Characteristics The National Geological Survey (5000 staff, annual turnover 500 M€) forms part of TNO Built Environment and Geosciences ( 700 staff, annual turnover 70 M€) , one of the five core areas of the Netherlands Organisation of Applied Scientific Research TNO (200 staff, annual turnover 20 M€). The National Geological Survey belongs to the public knowledge infrastructure of the Netherlands and is the Dutch branch of the European Union’s EuroGeoSurveys and the international networks of public institutes for applied geoscientific research and advisory services. The information function for the oil and gas sector is mainly governed by the Mining Law of 2003. The information function for the shallow subsurface is presently governed by a multitude of sector laws (environment, groundwater, soil protection, raw materials) and agreements. From 2013 onwards the major part of the information function of the Geological of the Netherlands will be subject to the Law on “key registrations”, together with e.g. cadastral data, topography, addresses, buildings, etc., that are aimed at a more effective and efficient public governance.
    Area of work/experience
    Geographic Domain:: 
    The formal task is restricted to The Netherlands. Research and standardisation are performed in European and global context.
    Societal Sector: 
    National, regional and local governments, private sector, public in the areas of water, environment, agriculture, raw materials, energy resources, subsurface spatial planning and use.
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development: 
    TNO has been executing, often as coordinator, several projects on INSPIRE supporting subjects. This started in the 1990’s with a project on a metadata and a thesaurus for the geosciences (GEIXS). In recent years this included eEarth ( and eWater (, both TNO led and finalised now. These projects were aimed at multi-lingual access to geological and groundwater databases in several European countries on the basis of a common specification for the data and the metadata. Other projects in the same area are still running: OneGeology Europe, for geological maps and GeoSeas for oceanographic data and maps. Or they still have to be started up: SubCoast on soil subsidence data to be assimilated with earth observation and EuroGeoSource to present INSPIRE data sets for strategic decisions on supply of energy and minerals in Europe, the latter two under TNO coordination. Also in the Dutch programme Space for Geo-Information (2004-2008) TNO was intensively involved in projects aimed at developing geo-information infrastructure and services in general as well as focussed on certain user domains like civil engineering and cross border water management. Also more general issues were subject of the projects in which TNO was involved like the introduction of Sensor Web Enablement (OGC) in the national geo information infrastructure, and semantic tools to stimulate a common vocabulary in geoscience applications.
    Primary Business: 
    Geoscientific data management and interpretation
    Environmental application domains: 
    Water management, Soil pollution, Energy availabity and storage, Geothermal potential, Availabiltiy and environmental and economical feasiblity of exploitation, subsurface storage of waste products, including nuclear waste and CO2, spatial planning of the subsurface.