Some Tips to Get the Best out of Our Website
Structure and planning of the website
Symbols, linking and pictures
Safety of the service and privacy protection
Instructions, server statistics, enquiries
Register descriptions and data system descriptions
Log-in, user ID’s and passwords
Forms and transactions, protection
Internet connections available to citizens
Authors and contents responsibility
The Helsinki City internet pages www.hel.fi contain useful information for citizens and tourists. There are more than 180.000 pages in several different servers.
Structure and planning of the website
The pages are intended to facilitate information retrieval. On top of each page there is a box for word search on the city’s www pages. There is a link to the site map beneath the box. The City’s services are listed on the front page, in the alphabetical index as well as on the categorised services list on the left side of each page.
Information targeted to different groups has been gathered under the title ‘Our services’. For instance, information for youth, senior citizens, tourists, entrepreneurs and people taking residence in Helsinki.
Pages including frequently asked questions (FAQ) have been compiled in one site.
Special attention has been paid to the requirements of accessibility when panning the pages. The pages can be browsed through different terminals, including the Braille and speech synthetizer programmes used by the visually impaired. The text can be enlarged with the buttons on top of the page. The pages are constantly being developed, observing the users’ wishes.
The Symbols Used
The following symbols are used on the website:
which means that the premises marked with the symbol are easily accessible to the physically handicapped,
which means that there is an induction loop in the premises,
which means that the premises are easily accessible to the visually impaired.
Further information about accessibility on the pages of the Finnish Association of People with Mobility Disabilities at http://www.invalidiliitto.fi/portal/en/ or on the pages of the Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired at http://www.nkl.fi/.
Linkage and Pictures
The City of Helsinki has as a rule the copyright for the material appearing on the City’s web pages. It is allowed to make links from the City’s homepage to pages prepared for non-commercial purposes, provided that the regulations related to copyright are being followed. Enquiries tel. (09) 310 36103.
If you wish to make links from your pages to the City’s website, the easiest way of doing this is to use the short addresses figuring on the site map. Some pages have a separate address which is showing on the bottom of the page.
The links on the City’s pages indicate the link’s title, a short description of the contents of the service in question (if not clearly enough indicated in the title), the net address and the party responsible for the service (in brackets).
The pictures in the top part of the pages have been customized from the City Administration Centre picture bank for this particular purpose.
The pages can be best viewed with the newest browser types. Some files require special plug-ins. There is generally a note about this on the page concerned as well as a link for searching the plug-in.
Should a page not open properly, please click ‘reload’ or ‘refresh’ or ‘update’. If this does not help, please clear the cache storage of your browser and try again.
Feed-back about error situations can be given using the attached form.
The City of Helsinki network service is at http://www.hel.fi. Access to the pages also through e.g. http://www.hki.fi and http://www.helsinginkaupunki.fi.
The joint pages of the City of Helsinki and the University of Helsinki are at http://www.helsinki.fi/. This portal gives access to the services of the City, the University and the whole Metropolitan Area.
Different City Departments and Utilities as well as some major projects have domain names of their own.
Safety of the hel.fi Service and Privacy Protection
Some below described information on the visitors are automatically gathered on the hel.fi service. The City does not gather this information for commercial purposes. The City does not either sell or otherwise hand over the gathered information to third parties.
Session cookies are used in the Helsinki portal to maintain user session. User details are not gathered or saved in technical cookies.
The pages can also be browsed without cookies, but then some of the functions, e.g. font enlarging with the buttons in the top side of page cannot be done.
For statistical purposes, server log info is being gathered indicating the visitor’s IP address, domain name, the browser used and the type of browser, platform name, the date and hour of visit, URL of the site which a user visited prior to hel.fi and the hel.fi pages that were visited.
The above mentioned server log info are gathered for statistical purposes only. The objective of applied statistics is to improve the service and adjust it to the users’ needs. The gathered log info is being safely stored in the servers of a company producing user services. Access to the log info is restricted to such City employees who maintain the service as well as to the corresponding staff of the service producing companies.
The hel.fi internet server of the City’s central administration registered some 14 million visits in 2006. The corresponding figure for 2005 was 10 million. The alphabetical service index carried out 174 326 searches in 2005. The map server – kartta.hel.fi – receives some 900.000 visits per week.
The City of Helsinki also has many other popular internet servers, e.g. the City Library’s pages at www.lib.hel.fi were visited 4,5 million times in total in 2004. Helsinki also participates in the Metropolitan Area co-operation, e.g. in the Helmet service provided by public libraries, attracting more than 200 000 visits in September 2003. The Education Department’s pages at www.edu.hel.fi attracted almost 6 million visits in 2003. The City’s Recruiting Service at www.helsinkirekry.fi attracts some 22 000 visits per month.
From time to time, user polls on different subjects have been carried out at hel.fi service. The polls have sometimes been in the form of popups. These polls cannot be answered by users in whose browsers popups are blocked.
The data gathered through the polls will be used for research and statistical purposes only.
Handling of Feedback
Messages sent by the feedback forms or to the e-mail addresses situated on the City’s pages will be dealt with exactly like other mail sent to the authorities. The feedback forms will be automatically transmitted to the City’ Registry Offices’ and web editors’ e-mail addresses.
Since the data security of the e-mail addresses used for feedback cannot be guaranteed, it is not advisable to state social security numbers, bank account numbers or information related to assets or other delicate matters such as health etc.
The e-messages are transmitted to the authorities on the sender’s own responsibility (Act on Electronic Services and Communication in the Public Sector, 24.01.2003/13, §8). If a deadline has been set to a document, the sender shall see to it that said document reaches the relevant authority on time (Administrative Procedure Act, 06.06.2003/434, §17).
Therefore it is not commendable to transmit as feedback certain documents such as statutory claims, complaints, claims for rectification to decisions or malpractice cases.
The transparency of feedback information is defined in a specific law (Act on the Openness of Government Activities, 1999/621) or by virtue of any possible special law. It should be borne in mind that a document submitted to an authority for handling or for other relevant purpose related to said authority’s duties becomes public once said authority has received said document, if not otherwise prescribed in the law.´
For information about tourism and events in Helsinki, please contact the Helsinki City Tourist Office, tel. +358-9-310 13300, fax +358-9-169 3839.
Register Descriptions and data System Descriptions
The City of Helsinki register descriptions as per the Personal Data Act can be found at
The data system descriptions as per the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are at
Log-in, User ID’s and Passwords
In some cases, the use of the page or the service available on it require logging in the service by user ID and password.
Never give your personal password to another person. The City of Helsinki will never ask for users’ passwords by ‘phone, e-mail, mail or in any other way.
If a public terminal is used for searching an e-service, e.g. in a public library or a net café, the user should clear the cache and other sites where the user ID or the password may have been saved. When terminating the session, please see to it that the connection with the service is properly cut off. Further information about safety e.g. at: http://www.tietoturvaopas.fi/
Forms and Transactions, Protection
The City of Helsinki pages offer forms and different possibilities for e-transaction. Some services, e.g. the Lomake.fi service use the SSL protected connection. Some services are not protected. If the pages are protected, the following text will appear on the browser ‘’you are about to view the pages in a protected environment’’, and there will also be a little lock figure at the bottom of the page. The purpose of protection is to prevent others from seeing the data processed on the page.
Internet Connections Available to Helsinki Citizens
The City of Helsinki offers its citizens an opportunity of obtaining information on the Internet. Citizens can use the Internet free of charge in the City Library outlets. Kohtaamispaikka@Lasipalatsi in Mannerheimintie 22-24 is a service outlet where citizens get guidance in using e-services in their business with the City. Kompassi Info Centre of the Youth Department also offers free Internet connections for their clients. Many City Library outlets have a free of charge WLAN connection at their clients’ disposal.
Authors and Contents Responsibility
The City of Helsinki Internet pages and the information on the City’s operations are being maintained by the City departments and utilities and the information is being constantly updated. However, the authenticity, invariability and updatedness cannot be guaranteed in all situations, due to technical reasons. The City of Helsinki assumes no responsibility for any harm that may have been caused by visiting the City’s Internet pages.
There are also links from the City’s pages to other actors’ pages, such as those of the State or some NGO’s. The City naturally assumes no responsibility for the contents of such pages.
More information about the page maintenance.