Project info

Struve Geodetic Arc, our joint heritage

UNESCO’s World Heritage sites create a network of joint treasures of human kind around the Wold. It is also near us all, who live along a route from Haparanda-Tornio to Hammerfest. Realization of the fact that the Northern parts of the Struve Geodetic Arc provide an unique platform for authentic experience of science, history and nature, and not too many people utilize the opportunity yet, got us to apply for Interreg North financing for a joint cross-border project. We want to tell more stories of the Struve Geodetic Arc, combine and digitize knowledge of the Struve Geodetic Arc and surrounding area, and enable new learning experiences and product development – at the top of the World Heritage.

Struve Geodetic Arc is not just one destination – it’s a journey.

The Struve Geodetic Arc is a chain of survey triangulation stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through 10 countries and over 2,820 km. Name came from “father” of expedition initiative, astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve. These points of a survey represented the first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian. The work was carried out between 1816 and 1855. This helped to establish the exact size and shape of the planet and marked an important step in the development of earth sciences and topographic mapping.


Struve Geodetic Arc was nominated to the World Heritage list on 15th July 2005.

It is an extraordinary example of scientific collaboration among scientists from different countries, and of collaboration between monarchs for a scientific cause. The original arc consisted of 258 main triangles with 265 main station points. The listed World Heritage site includes 34 of the original station points, with different markings, i.e. a drilled hole in rock, iron cross, cairns, or built obelisks.


World Heritage

is the designation for places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

We have 11 World Heritage sites plus a number of other measurement sites belonging into the Struve Geodetic Arc here in Northern parts of the Struve Geodetic Arc.


Official sites of Struve Geodetic Arc in Finland, Sweden and Norway


What does the project do?

The idea behind the project has come out of the need to improve the accessibility and knowledge of the Struve Geodetic Arc. Accessibility is one of the key challenges to be addressed in cooperation with regional actors.

One of the solutions is to add digitally accessible multilingual material from different points and also from places with good view points, such as the view of the Alatornio Church and Perävaara from Victoria market area at the border of Tornio and Haparanda.


Digital Solutions

Digital solutions are utilized in the gamification of the Struve Geodetic Arc and in the modeling of triangle measurements. Collaborative innovations are key to raising awareness, capacity building and shared learning, through using smart technologies. The implementation seeks to find new perspectives for sharing information on the Struve measurement points, which have not attracted visitors or residents in the area previously. Once the critical knowledge and skills are available, the Geodetic Arc points can be used as learning platforms as well as in tourism.


Inspiration and skills for sustainable tourism development

Changes in people’s values create demand for sustainable tourism products and services. Today’s traveler is aware and looking for adventure, but also looking for opportunities to learn and discover local attractions. The project will generate information for the needs of tourism companies and tourists alike, and will also provide companies with workshops to design sustainable services and products. The work will begin at the information events in the spring, and continue in the autumn in the form of workshops.


Capacity building

Thematically, the scientific-historical Geodetic Arc provides a framework for learning mathematics, history, biology, geography, art and sports among others. The “Ever wanted to be an explorer” concept, developed in Oravivuori site, is modeled on a learning journey with primary schools. This learning project in the footsteps of Struve achieved three general objectives of basic education: cultural competence, interaction and expression, thinking and learning to learn, and working life skills and entrepreneurship.


Collaboration and networks

International co-operation is a resource that can also be utilized in production and learning solutions. While hard work and bureaucracy are often associated with internationalization, the Struve Geodetic Arc network aims at concrete actions that enhance smooth development of cross-border solutions.


Partners, financing, duration

The Northern parts of the World Heritage Struve Geodetic Arc project is carried out by Lapland University of applied Sciences, City of Tornio/ Tornio Valley museum, Haparanda municipality and Alta museum, together with a number of cooperating actors.
The project is financed by Interreg North (European Regional Development Fund) programme, Lapin liitto, Region Norrbotten, National Land Survey of Finland, Tornedalsrådet, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Troms-Finnmark fylkeskommune and a number of other Norwegian stakeholders.
Total volume of the project is around 1,4 million euros.
Duration of the project is 1st February 2020 – 30th September 2022.
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