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Cultural heritage year 2018

swisstopo is participating in the Year for Cultural Heritage by exhibiting its many contributions in this field. Discover our rich program throughout 2018, from the founding document that is the Dufour map to the documenting of the long-term evolution of the landscape based on geodata of increasing variation.

Fribourg on the Siegfried map
The city of Fribourg on the first edition of the Siegfried map (sheet 331, 1874)

Contributions from swisstopo

The constant evolution of the Swiss mapping tradition since the creation of the “Swiss Federal Topographical Bureau” in 1838 by Guillaume-Henri Dufour allows us to precisely document over a century of landscape changes. swisstopo’s maps and geodata are true witnesses to the landscape of their time and also reflect its techniques, concerns and culture in general.
Topographical maps thus constitute cultural assets of national importance in their own right, as well as having the characteristic of graphically representing many of these objects. Just as important as its maps, swisstopo also has an important collection of aerial and terrestrial photographs, the oldest dating back to 1915. The evolution of techniques and tools throughout the Office’s 180-year history is an equally important cultural heritage.

Focus on:

Virtual Reality

Initally a hype for enthusiasts, Virtual Reality (VR) becomes an experience for everyone. By means of eight selected scenes from Switzerland, the swisstopo VR App shows the potential of the swisstopo 3D geospatial data for Virtual Reality applications.

Further information about Virtual Reality


Treasure hunt for the classroom

With this game, schoolchildren discover the maps and geodata from swisstopo. They also discover cultures and traditions from all regions in Switzerland. The game supports learning goals in geography, history, maths and foreign languages.

Further information about the treasure hunt


Online maps and data

A journey through time using aerial images:

A journey through time using historical maps:

Aerial photos since 1926:

Terrestrial images between 1915 and 1947:

Cultural assets and sites of national significance:



Cartography in the Swiss newsreel in 1952 (only in german, french or italian)

Printing of the Dufour map in the old way (only in german or french )


Federal Office of Topography swisstopo Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern
+41 58 469 01 11


Relevant authority

Communication and Web

Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern


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