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Cartographica Helvetica


Martin Rickenbacher and Christian Just:

The Cadastral Survey in Switzerland (1912–2012) and its prelude

Cartographica Helvetica 46 (2012) 3–16


The history of the Cadastral Survey is much older than its existence since 1912: several tithe plans for taxing purposes had already appeared in the 17th century. Around 1800 the idea of a nation-wide cadastral survey was discussed at the political level in the short-lived Helvetic Republic. During the first half of the 19th century some land parcel surveys were carried out with the plane table, whereas surveys using the polygonal method were observed in those cantons which had ratified the geometer concordat in 1868. Based on the Civil Code from December 10, 1907, the fiscal cadastre was replaced by the legal cadastral register in 1912.

The main purpose of the Swiss Cadastral Survey was to establish cadastral plans as the most ideal method for describing land parcels, and for the land register itself. However, from the very beginning the Cadastral Survey was conceived not only as a legal register, but also as a multi-purpose register used in cartography, land improvement, local and regional planning as well as in construction and forestry. Ultimately, a reform of the Cadastral Survey was completed in 1993.

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