The Geological Committee, the predecessor of the Geological Survey of Estonia, was established by Estonian President's decree on June 3, 1937. According to the model of Nordic countries, first of all, Finland's, the Committee was to develop into the national geological survey. But already in 1940 it was disbanded by Soviet power and after World War II geological investigations on Estonia's territory fell within the cognizance of the North-Western Geological Survey of the Soviet Union. However, in 1940 the Geological Committee managed to issue its first (and, and the same time, also the last one) geological report from which it appears that all distinctive characteristics of a national geological survey featured its activities. The Geological Committee maintained close contacts with geological surveys of Finland and Sweden that provided their sister establishment with instructions of mapping works, as well as relevant reports and reviews.
The direct predecessor of our present geological survey is the Board of Geology and Mineral Wealth Protection, which was founded at the Council of Ministers of the Estonian SSR in 1957. After several renaming and reorganizations the Geological Survey of Estonia (GSE) got its present name in 1990, and since 1993 has been responsible to the Ministry of Environment of Estonia. In 1997 GSE became a government-owned company. The Survey has been and will be engaged in mainly mineral resources and groundwater research, as well as geological mapping of Estonia. On the basis of the maps to be compiled at a scale of 1:50 000 relevant decisions on environmental protection and regional planning programs, as well as performing more detailed prospecting of mineral resources can be taken. Several research projects recently launched at GSE within the framework of special programs are of local importance. The researchers aim at estimating building materials reserves and those of raw material for power purposes in regions of concern.
In 1995, GSE was affiliated to the Forum of European Geological Surveys (FOREGS). Since then relations with European geological surveys have rapidly developed. In view of experience of the other member states of FOREGS the strategy and plans of GSE have been adopted to come closer to the client - be it the state, local authorities, companies or private persons. During the past four decades abundant geological information has been gathered at GSE. Rendering this information understandable and accessible to everyone interested is the aim to be achieved.