Extensive federal maps system goes online

Historical maps are also available online: Lake Thun depicted on the Dufour map (1845-65) Geoportal

The Swiss authorities are providing the public free access to their online geographical information system (GIS).

This content was published on August 19, 2010 - 14:42

The government announced on Thursday that from now on, very detailed maps – everything from topographical to those providing environmental, housing and even historical information – are available to the public.

“Are the glaciers really retreating? How big was my home village 100 years ago? Where does the water for power generation come from?” the Federal Topography Office wrote in a statement. These questions and many more can now be answered by using the government’s GIS.

The website is divided into several categories, offering large-scale maps with specific data broken down into the following categories: geodata and reference systems, development planning and population, environment, biology and geology, surface representation, infrastructure and communications, and energy and economy.

Free public access to the GIS was made possible with new laws that oblige public institutions to make this type of data available.

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