Helsinki 3D

The 3D City Models of Helsinki, also known as the city’s digital twin, are a virtual rendering of the city’s environment, operations and changing circumstances. The digital twin is a combination of information technology services, open data and constantly updating information.

On this page

3D mesh

Helsinki 3D Mesh karttalla

The models allow you to watch Helsinki change over the years and to visit places you otherwise wouldn’t. You can explore the outer islands of Helsinki or find your house. The models are based on aerial photographs and shows all the stationary objects that were in the city when the photograph was taken, such as buildings, cars and ships. All that you need to view the models is a recently updated browser. 

The 3D mesh models of Helsinki are based on aerial photographs taken of the city in the summertime. The model was produced using an application that transformed image sequences into triangle mesh texture. 

The geometry of three-dimensional objects was calculated from the aerial photographs. The accuracy of the model depends on the accuracy of the source data. Because reflective or moving surfaces are not sharply visible in aerial photographs, they could not be modelled correctly. 
More information about the production of city models is available in the final report of the Kalasatama digital twin project

The 3D mesh can be used as a design, network service or game engine platform, for example.
The model can be used to measure volume, elevation differences, distances and surface areas in the ETRS-GK25/N2000 coordinate system. The model is dimensionally accurate, as its points are located within 20 centimetres of reality. 

The model is available in OBJ file format. Examples of end-use applications include Blender, MeshLab and several CAD and GIS applications. 

The model is licensed under  CC BY 4.0.(Link leads to external service) 

Download the model as open data from the map view (Link leads to external service)
Download the template as open data OBJ and 3MX files  (Link leads to external service) 

The model can also be easily downloaded with the Stadi3D downloading tool (Link leads to external service)

Urban data model

Kuva kaupunkitietokarttamallista

In the Urban data model, you can view not only the buildings and their details, but also the terrain model, for example, the shape of the terrain. Thanks to the terrain model, the model depicts the buildings at their correct height. Buildings can be searched for either by address or by characteristics. By clicking on a building, you can access its details, such as the year of construction and the number of floors. The buildings can be displayed with or without facade images, as you wish. You can choose to display the terrain model either in OpenStreetMap view or aerial view.

The Urban data model is based on the city’s map and geographic data, registers, point clouds obtained by laser scanning, aerial photographs and building data models. Although Helsinki’s map data sets are still partly two-dimensional, they can be utilised in the 3D City Models. 

The model’s buildings were placed at the right elevation by transferring the base shapes of the buildings from the Helsinki City Plan base map to the terrain model. The buildings became three-dimensional when the terrain model was combined with a surface model containing the shapes of the walls and roofs of the buildings.

The data model currently displays buildings and terrain shapes. New categories will be added to the data model in the future, including waterways, bridges and trees.

The model is updated continuously.

The urban data model includes a terrain model and buildings. The buildings of the model have either flat roofs (LoD1) or roof shapes (LoD2). LoD2 buildings are also available in textured form. All buildings are Semantic CityGML objects.
Each building has its own identifier in the database (GMLID, RATU and VTJ-PRT), allowing the combination of data streams.

The model uses the projected coordinate system ETRS-GK25 and the height system N2000. The accuracy of the urban data model corresponds to the accuracy of the City Plan base map, meaning that the location of the buildings is exactly the same as in the City Plan base map.

The licence of the urban data model   

In the data download service, you can select the area from which you want to download data. You can also choose the file format, and whether the material is textured or non-textured. The download does not include building characteristics.

Go to the data download service(Link leads to external service)

You can download CityGML files directly. They are divided into map sheets of four square kilometres each. The files contain building characteristics.

Browse CityGML materials(Link leads to external service)  

Energy and Climate Atlas

Lämpomallinnus Helsingin Olympiastadionista

The Helsinki Energy and Climate Atlas is a free browser service based on the 3D City Models, and it contains information about renewable energy and possibilities for energy renovations throughout the Helsinki region. It contains a large amount of building-specific information, energy and refurbishment information, as well as information about the consumption of water, district heating and electricity. In the Atlas, you can see the indicative energy consumption estimate for nearly every building in Helsinki. The model also includes solar energy calculations for all roof and wall surfaces in Helsinki, or in other words, information about how much solar radiation energy the surfaces receive on an annual and monthly basis. In total, there are nearly a million surfaces.

The Atlas has been compiled from the register data of buildings, and it contains a wide range of information about buildings’ heating sources, materials, refurbishment history and conservation status, for example. In addition, the Atlas includes consumption data on city-owned Helsinki Housing Company (Heka) housing buildings and calculations of the heat, user electricity and property electricity consumption for all Helsinki buildings based on the building’s age and size.

The Atlas is intended for everyone: city planners, housing companies, residents, and companies offering energy solutions. The service currently has four sections: energy data on buildings, buildings’ simulated heating demand, solar energy potential and geothermal potential.

The Atlas provides simulated data on the heating demand of buildings and changes in the demand as the climate warms. The service also contains information about renewable energy opportunities, including data on estimated solar energy potential and geothermal potential. The solar energy potential is available for the wall and roof surfaces of any building in the city. 

The geothermal potential is available throughout the city for wells of different depths (100 m, 300 m or 1,000 m). The Atlas also includes background materials to support the design of geothermal wells, such as groundwater areas, bedrock characteristics and soil data. 

The Helsinki Energy and Climate Atlas service is still in development. Among other things, there are plans to add urban microclimate conditions and their modelling, as well as cost estimates for energy renovations to the service. Check out the current Atlas at and the Atlas’s open data, which can be downloaded in the same way open data is extracted from the HRI service.

Munkkiniemi-Haaga 1915 plan

 Virtuaalimalli Eliel Saarisen suunnitelmasta vuodelta 1915

A virtual model of Eliel Saarinen’s design from 1915

The Munkkiniemi-Haaga plan is a virtual model of Eliel Saarinen’s design from 1915. Like the original scale model, the virtual model is quite accurate, displaying even the windows drawn on the buildings. Saarinen’s plan is a significant part of the history of Finnish city planning. The unrealised plan is now easily available for everyone to see.

The Munkkiniemi-Haaga plan(Link leads to external service)

The 3D history of Helsinki

  1. 1980s

    The first virtual 3D models of buildings in Helsinki were made in the 1980s. The impetus for urban modelling came from an idea competition for the development of the downtown area Kamppi-Töölönlahti Bay. The first 3D-modelled buildings were the Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, the Main Post Office building (Postitalo), the National Museum and the Central Railway Station.

  2. 1990s

    To support the planning of the Töölönlahti Bay and to coordinate the results of several architectural competitions, the city implemented a virtual model of the Töölönlahti Bay area in 1999. A year later at the Urban Planning 2000 exhibition, the public was invited to virtually move about in the model. 

  3. 2000s

    Before the turn of the millennium, urban modelling was not only time-consuming but expensive. The work was done manually, and the processing of the data was complicated. The work required the use of powerful workstations that were very expensive. 

  4. 2010s

    In the first decade of the 21st century, the technology of urban modelling technology developed rapidly. This included surveying technology, laser scanning, the processing of point clouds and oblique air photography, as well as the modelling methods and the computers themselves. The standardisation of systems like information service interfaces and CityGML advanced urban modelling during this decade also brought about advances in the field.

  5. Present

    The possibilities offered by modern technologies such as artificial intelligence and game engines are constantly shaping the technological whole of the digital city and the possibilities for its utilisation. Like the real city, the digital twin of Helsinki is never finished.