Albanian – Norwegian Hydrographic Information Project

The project will contribute to competence and capacity building for the Albanian Hydrographic Service (AHS) and the Military Geographical Institute (MIG). Both institutes are led by the Ministry of Defense. 

AHS is responsible for depth mapping and navigational marking (buoys, lights, etc.). Sea measurement activities are currently underfunded, with a lack of equipment and usable boats.


The Norwegian Mapping Authority is assisting AHS with the acquisition of multibeam solutions for processing and management of data. The project will also provide for the education of hydrographs, as well as the procurement and installation of  two tide gauges.

MGI is responsible for the production of sea and land maps, as well as the national geodetic network. MIG has a lot of good skills, but lacks modern equipment. Much of the support for this institute will be acquisition of production systems for ENCs and paper charts. Necessary upgrades to the network, server capacity and workstations will be included.  A "production line" will be established that includes both institutes.

Enhancing capacity of the State Authority for Geospatial Information to provide geographic information to users

Activities for this project include:

  1. Enhancing the capacity of ASIG to provide geographic information to users
  2. Development of plan and first version of integrated information system for coastal areas with testing in one area
  3. Enhancing education in mapping and cadaster at university level

While components 1 and 3 are a continuation of the ongoing support from a previous Albania project (2013-2017), we would like to draw attention to component 2 in particular: coastal zone managemnt.

As part of a larger funding scheme from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Western Balkan regional area, 1 million NOK was allocated to the component “Development of plan and first version of integrated information system for coastal areas with testing in one area”.

This project involves cooperation between the Albanian Hydrographic Service (AHS) and Albanian Mapping Authority (ASIG), as well as from the main producers and owners of marine and maritime data in Albania; and the Norwegian Mapping Authority will be assisting with project management and technical guidance.

The first version of this system will be developed over the course of two years and with a total budget of 1 million NOK, however the intention is that this will serve as the foundation for a more permanent solution which may also encompass a broader scope and be used for high level decision making in Albania.


16.11.2018: The Norwegian Ambassador to Albania and Kosovo, Mr. Per Sjaastad, announced further commitment from Norway to help Albania develop its maritime sector. The Maritime University of Ålesund will help the University in Vlore to set up new programs for future Albanian navigators. In addition, the Norwegian Mapping Authority will assist the Albanian Mapping Authority (ASIG) to set up a coastal zone management program. The Albanian Minister for Infrastructure and Energy, Mr. Damian Gjiknuri welcomed the Norwegian initiatives wholeheartedly.

23.01.2019: The first Albanian Electronical Nautical Charts (ENCs) are launched

6.06.2019: ASIG has hosted a two-day Kick-off workshop at their headquarters for stakeholders entitled "easy access to fundamental geographic information for Albania". Topics covered included:

  • A presentation of the status for NSDI in Albania and its benefit for society
  • A presentation of the project's alignment with sector policies
  • Lessons learned from the Norwegian NSDI experience
  • Guidance from UN-GGIM through Integrated Geospatial Information Framework
  • How to implement a crosssectoral NSDI framework in Albania - Data, user needs, stakeholders, architecture, standards, interoperability, IT-platform, geoportal and capacity building
  • Discussions on prioritized actions and the way forward
  • Making a work plan for the next NSDI steps forward

The workshop included participants from ASIG, MOG, the General Directorate of Civil Registry, the Territory Development Agency, the National Territory Planning agency, the Agricultural Technology Transfer Center, the State Agency of Cadaster, the Norwegian Mapping Authority and several local consultants.