360-degree street view recordings

The City of Helsinki, together with Cyclomedia Technologies BV, will carry out 360-degree street view recordings in the entire Helsinki area in summer 2023.
Street view recordings are done in light and quiet conditions. Photo: Julia Kivelä / Helsinki Partners
Street view recordings are done in light and quiet conditions. Photo: Julia Kivelä / Helsinki Partners

The streets will be recorded in July, August and September with Cyclomedia Technologies BV’s vehicles equipped with recording systems. The vehicles carry on their roofs recording equipment that produces measurable 360-degree panoramic photographic material and point cloud material about the street environment. The City of Helsinki has commissioned the street view recordings in order to collect data of traffic signs and support the planning and maintenance of the transport system and street structures. The materials created by recording the street view are not public; they are handled and stored confidentially and in accordance with data security requirements. People’s faces and vehicles’ number plates are automatically blurred in the images. Technical information on the material is only saved to be used by the authorities, which means that it is saved in the city’s own systems, and traffic sign information is stored in Digiroad, the national street and road network database of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency. 

The aim is to record the street view in conditions where there is as little traffic as possible but plenty of light. The total duration of the recording work depends on the number of vehicles with recording systems and the weather conditions. No footage can be shot if there is rain or thick fog.  The aim is to complete the recording of the entire Helsinki area by September, but in a best-case scenario where the weather is good, the recording work can be completed in just a few weeks.

Information about the 360-degree street view recordings and the related processing of personal data

The recordings are being carried out by the order of the City of Helsinki. More specifically, the recordings have been commissioned by the Traffic and Street Planning Services of the Urban Environment Division. In the processing of personal data related to the recordings, the city acts as the data controller. 

Through competitive tendering, the City of Helsinki has chosen the contracting party Cyclomedia Technologies BV as the party responsible for the practical implementation of the recordings. The reliability of the contracting party has been ensured in the context of the competitive tendering.

Concerning the recordings, the contact details of the data controller are:

Email: pihla.kuokkanen@hel.fi(Link opens default mail program)
Telephone number: 09 310 34301 
Street address: Työpajankatu 8, 00580 Helsink

In addition, a data protection officer has been appointed for the City of Helsinki to assist with questions and measures related to data protection. 

The contact details of the city's data protection officer are:

Email: tietosuoja@hel.fi(Link opens default mail program)
Postal address: PO Box 1, 00099 City of Helsinki
Telephone number: 09 310 1691 (switchboard) 


The purpose of the recordings is to produce street view material about the public traffic routes in Helsinki. The material consists of 360-degree panoramic photographs and three-dimensional point cloud data produced by laser scanning devices that simulate the urban space. 

The city will use the material in its duties that are related to the development of the transport system and which are based on the legislation and the city strategy. When the street view material is in an electronic format, it can be used to facilitate traffic and street planning in many different ways. For example, it can reduce the need for field visits by divisions’ employees, promoting the efficient use of the city’s resources and the achievement of the climate goals.

The purpose of the recordings is not in any way to collect personal data, but when recording is carried in a busy urban space, recording the persons moving around public traffic routes cannot be avoided. This means that different kinds of personal data may be saved, including images of people’s faces and vehicles’ number plates. 

The personal data is only retained temporarily until it has been anonymised. the personal data is anonymised with automatic and manual blurring techniques without delay and no later than 14 days after the recording, and the personal data will not be used for any other purpose.

The basis for processing personal data is the performance of a task in the public interest. The applicable provisions are Article 6 (e) of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 679/2016 and Section 4 (2) of the Data Protection Act (1050/2018).

The recordings are being carried out with recording vehicles. The vehicles move around the traffic routes in the city. The vehicles are equipped with cameras and other technology necessary for recording. The vehicles are marked with City of Helsinki identifiers.

In 2023, the recordings will be carried out between July and September when there is plenty of daylight. The aim is to schedule the recordings for times when there is as little traffic as possible on the streets

Non-anonymised material can only be accessed by the personnel of Cyclomedia Technologies BV who carry out the recordings and the processing of the material. Non-anonymised data is processed only in a secure environment and the data is protected by technical, contractual and administrative safety measures. After anonymisation, the non-anonymised data is destroyed.

The anonymised data is used by the employees of the Urban Environment Division in particular. Anonymised material or extracts from it can also be used by, for example, other entities belonging to the Helsinki Group. The supplier of the material can also use the anonymised data in its other business operations

The people recorded in the material, i.e. the data subjects, have rights pursuant to the data protection legislation that are related to personal data and its processing by the City of Helsinki. 

Data subjects are entitled to know whether their personal data is processed by the city and what type of personal data is being processed. Data subjects have the right to request access to data that concerns them. If data subjects want to check whether their data has been recorded in the street view material, we ask that when they enquire the City of Helsinki about the matter, they state the location, date and time where and when they suspect they were recorded.

Data subjects have the right to request that the personal data be deleted. However, please note that the personal data in the material will in any case be anonymised within 14 days after the recording.

Data subjects are also entitled to lodge a complaint with the supervisory authority concerning the processing of personal data that they deem to be against the data protection legislation. In Finland, compliance with data protection legislation is supervised by the Data Protection Ombudsman, whose contact details are:

Data Protection Ombudsman’s office
Street address: Lintulahdenkuja 4, 00530 Helsinki
Postal address: PO Box 800, 00531 Helsinki
Email: tietosuoja@om.fi(Link opens default mail program)
Switchboard: 029 566 6700

For more information about the recordings and the related processing of personal data, please contact: 

Tiina Kiuru
Head of Unit
tiina.m.kiuru@hel.fi (Link opens default mail program)
+358 40 8665236

Fanny Mailammi (available from 8 August)
Project Manager
firstname.lastname@hel.fi(Link opens default mail program)

Kaisa Juntunen (available from 14 August)
Project Manager
firstname.lastname@hel.fi(Link opens default mail program)