Energy Resources Data Viewer

(Closed in December 2011 - Iceland Energy Portal has replaced the role of the Energy Resources Data Viewer on Orkustofnun's data)

gagnavefsja_skjamyndOrkustofnun has collected data relating to the natural resources of Iceland  for over half a century. In 1989, the Authority began indexing such data in its database. The Energy Resources Data Viewer (ERDV) was launched online in March 2004. The initial role of the ERDV was to simplify access to materials in the database. Members of the cooperative project were the Energy Division of Orkustofnun, Hydrological Services, then a division within Orkustofnun and Iceland GeoSurvey (ÍSOR), which had recently become an independent entity. In addition, data from the  Environment Agency of Iceland was later added to the database. Hydrological Services, now a department within the Icelandic Meteorological Office, and the Environment Agency stopped updating data for publication in the ERDV. Instead, they planned to use their own software and the Iceland Nature Portal for this purpose.


The ERDV used software from ESRI. All layers were retrieved from the database using ArcSDE (Spatial Database Engine) and the web-tool was based on ArcIMS (Internet Map Server). Samsýn, the commercial agent for ESRI in Iceland, cooperated in the developing of the software.


The ERDV provided access to data on natural resources, energy affairs, energy utilisation and other research concerning the environment of Iceland that had been financed by public funding. Access was also provided to data that the participating state agencies had collected as a contractor for private entities, with permission for publication from the owners of the datasets involved. The material in the ERDV included information on catchment areas, water level gauge network, positions of flowmeters and other information pertaining to streams and lakes. Information was provided for geothermal fields, wells, sampling-sites and chemical analyses, as well as data on energy generation. Moreover, there were layers in the ERDV showing protected areas and the Nature Conservation Register, as well as contour lines and hydrological data from the National Land Survey of Iceland.

The ERDV was based on software which is no longer updated by the manufacturer. Orkustofnun had provided funding for operating the viewer, but since published data from other participants was no longer updated, it was clear that Orkustofnun would over time transfer information on data within Orkustofnun's operational scope to  the Iceland Energy Portal (IEP). When the ERDV was closed the material involved should have continued to be accessible in other Portals in accordance with the policy and operational scope of the various agencies involved. However, the transfer to other Portals was complicated by the current availability of more precise underlying raster data in the Portals which required extensive reviews of older coordinates prior to them being ready to be layered onto image material generated from current databases.

Content Categories of the ERDV

Hydrology: Gauges, discharge measurements, discontinued (staff) gauges, meteorological stations of Hydrological Services, flood-analysed gauges, catchments, depth charts, rivers, lakes and glaciers (Icelandic Meteorological Office).

Geology: Active and extinct central volcanoes with caldera rims, Holocene lava flow, volcanic zone and age of bedrock (Iceland GeoSurvey - ÍSOR).

Geothermal: Wells, geothermal fields, hot springs, high temperature geothermal fields, research areas of high temperature geothermal fields (Orkustofnun and Iceland GeoSurvey - ÍSOR).

Energy exploitation: Swimming pools, district heating systems, waterworks, power plants, reserve power, power plants – personal, reservoirs in use (Orkustofnun).

Hydropower options: Possible power plants, possible dams, possible tunnels, possible canals, possible reservoirs (Orkustofnun).

Wind atlas: Weather stations (Orkustofnun).

Nature conservation: Protected areas, natural phenomena, nature conservation plans (Environment Agency of Iceland).

Topographical data: Urban area, farms, land property boundaries, place names, contour lines and roads (Others).

Preservation of information on the ERDV

There are no instructions available on the backing up and preservation of the appearance of Geoportals as is costumary for conventional websites on the Internet. Geoportal software and the varied form of the data can make it difficult to copy and thereby to preserve the Geoportals. The responsibility for preservation of Geoportals should be in the hands of the main Icelandic archival institutions.

Orkustofnun has attempted to ensure the preservation of the appearance and functionality of the ERDV by relatively extensive copying of various files and information, in addition to the preservation of the data layers as shape files. Below are sample screenshots of individual categories of the ERDV that give an idea of the appearance of the material, just prior to the closure of the Portal. 

Screenshots of the ERDV