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Martin Rickenbacher:

The locations of the Swiss Topographical Bureau and the Federal Office of Topography from 1838 to the present

Cartographica Helvetica 48 (2013) 3–14


Today's Federal Office of Topography Swisstopo is one of the oldest institutions of the present federal administration. It was founded in 1838 by Guillaume-Henri Dufour in Carouge near Geneva as the Swiss Topographical Bureau – ten years before the first Swiss Federal Constitution was drawn up. The Topographische Karte der Schweiz 1:100 000, the first official map series of entire Switzerland, was published beginning in 1845.

After having been moved to Bern, the Topographical Bureau, mostly due to shortage of space, again changed its location several times, some of them prestigious ones. It was not until 1941, almost 100 years after its founding, that it moved into its own building at Seftigenstrasse 264 in Wabern where it has remained since. The most recent refurbishment took place between 2003 and 2005 and also included an additional building. Furthermore, the official name of the institution changed several times from Topographical Bureau to the Federal Office of Topography Swisstopo.

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