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Martin Rickenbacher:

Time series – a new challenge for the Federal Office of Topography Swisstopo

Cartographica Helvetica 44 (2011) 35–41


In 2013, the Federal Office of Topography Swisstopo will celebrate its 175th anniversary. Since its foundation in 1838 by Guillaume-Henri Dufour, swisstopo has produced three national map series including the necessary fieldwork such as original surveys and aerial or terrestrial photography. In addition to these analogue products, various digital databases were also produced. The entirety of these products constitutes a cultural asset of national repute which qualifies as a kind of "topographical landscape memory of Switzerland". The Federal Geoinformation Act, which came into effect in 2008, obliges the producers to make the geobasis data under their jurisdiction available on a long-term basis. This temporal dimension poses a new challenge – illustrated in the following contribution with a few map examples. Furthermore, a prototype of a new "map chronicle" is presented which depicts interactively the evolution in the landscape.

Bibliographic note

  • Based on a paper read at a colloquium of the Federal Office of Topography, Wabern, 3 December 2010.

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