Digitalising services and collecting reliable game data through crowdsourcing
The Finnish Wildlife Agency promotes sustainable game husbandry, supports the activity of game management associations, sees to the implementation of wildlife and game policy, and manages the public administration tasks laid down for it. Implemented by Vincit, the mobile and online service “Oma riista” is an easy-to-use service developed in a customer-oriented manner that produces high-quality and reliable game data and shows users their own information. The “Oma riista” service has, among other things, introduced an electronic hunting card alongside its paper equivalent. www.oma.riista.fi
The Finnish Wildlife Agency’s mission is to promote sustainable game husbandry, support the activity of game management associations, see to the implementation of wildlife and game policy, and manage the public administration tasks laid down for it. At the start of our collaboration, the goal was to make the administrative work of the Finnish Wildlife Agency easier and more efficient by digitalising services. The reforms have also brought new innovative features for users, such as the electronic “Oma riista” mobile application.
Doing away with paper forms
The Finnish Wildlife Agency was a pioneer in the public sector when it started digitalising its services together with Vincit back in 2014. The aim of the collaboration was to facilitate administrative work with digitalisation and to start collecting reliable and real-time game data through crowdsourcing.
We have been building the Finnish Wildlife Agency’s electronic “Oma riista” service together with Vincit since 2014. From the outset, the development work has been fruitful and genuinely agile! Our daily work routines include continuous, open and honest dialogue – even in challenging and surprising situations. Vincit employees are characterised by professional pride, a solution-oriented approach, and commitment to solving our and our customers’ problems – even 24/7 if needed. It has been a pleasure to work with top professionals and learn how to make better digital services through a shared dialogue. We will continue to work in 2-week sprints, sticking to budgets and critical schedules.
Ville Hokkanen, Project Manager, "Oma riista" service
Comprehensive digitalisation of services
The early stages of the collaboration involved implementing a personal game journal for hunters online and on mobile, which also allowed users to send a statutory catch report to the Finnish Wildlife Agency for approval. The electronic catch report facilitated the processing of applications and eventually made it possible to do away with paper forms altogether. The desire was for catch reports to always be made with strong identification and to include accurate location data. Strong Suomi.fi identification was the single most important strategic choice, creating excellent capabilities for all further development.
The service has been implemented using a fault-tolerant and scalable AWS cloud platform. This has allowed large spikes of thousands of users, such as at the beginning of the hunting season, to be handled without problems.
The digitalisation of services also enabled new innovative features that would not have been possible without electronic tools. For example, the person responsible for the reporting of a joint permit, i.e. the licensee, will see suggestions for catches and sightings recorded by other hunters in the club based on their location. The accurate location of entries, electronic area definitions, and strong identity make this feature possible.
The source code for the system was released under an open MIT license. The source codes for the online and mobile applications are published regularly and are available at https://github.com/suomenriistakeskus/
Vincit has been responsible for the service’s planning, service design, architecture, development, testing and maintenance throughout its life cycle.
Comprehensive digitalisation of services
Today, as many as 160,000 Finnish hunters already carry the “Oma riista” service in their pockets, allowing users to record their catches and sightings. An up-to-date hunting card and shooting test certificates are always available in the service.
Of the reforms related to digitalisation, one of the most visible to the general public was the electronic hunting card on mobile, which replaced a piece of paper the size of a credit card that many people easily misplaced. Now it was no longer necessary to mail thousands of cards to replace those lost each year.
The electronic definition of hunting areas has also been a great boon for permit applicants, because it means that applying for permits and decisions can be done completely electronically. Through interfaces, the same area based on the National Land Survey of Finland’s land register can also be used in, for example, dog tracking systems, which are the most important applications in hunters’ phones next to the “Oma riista” application.
The service quickly spread to a wide range of people because its design was done in a customer-oriented way: hunters received a convenient electronic game journal, which simultaneously reduced the administrative burden of the Finnish Wildlife Agency. In the Finnish Wildlife Agency’s own words, “When the customer benefits from using the service, administration and research get what they need.” Collecting game data of equally high quality was, and still is, exceptional throughout the world.
Vincit is currently developing and maintaining the system with a seven-person team.