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Coordination of geographic information within the federal administration

The federal administration and semi-public organisations supply geodata and geoservices in a variety of ways and with the aid of differing infrastructure. In order to ensure that all interest groups are able to access this data and these services quickly and efficiently, a common strategy and effective coordination are essential. The Coordinating Agency for Federal Geographic Information (GCG) is responsible for this. At the operational level, this task is performed by the Coordination, Geo-Information and Services division (COGIS) of swisstopo.

Bildkollage – Links digitaler Kartenausschnitt, rechts oben Datenintegrationstabelle mit den Geodaten des Bundes und rechts unten das Bundeshaus beleuchtet
© Shutterstock

Why is coordination necessary? 

In order to ensure that geodata sets are used efficiently in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Geoinformation Act, they have to be kept up-to-date, as well as be compatible with one another and widely accessible. For this purpose, a jointly coordinated strategy and uniform standards and technologies are just as essential as coordinated geodata based on data models, a common infrastructure and services for the storage, processing and publication of the data.

The Coordinating Agency for Federal Geographic Information (GCG)

At the federal level, the Coordinating Agency for Federal Geographic Information (GCG) is responsible for the strategic management and coordination of geographic information. The GCG comprises one or more representatives from all federal departments and the university sector. In accordance with Article 48 of the Federal Geoinformation Ordinance, the GCG’s duties are as follows:

  • Coordination of the activities of the federal administration
  • Development of the federal geoinformation strategy
  • Assistance with the development of technical standards
  • Operation of a competence centre
  • Advising the cantonal authorities.

The role and duties of the business unit of the GCG are allocated to the Federal Office of Topography (swisstopo). The Director of swisstopo is president of the GCG.  

What does the COGIS division coordinate?

According to the “Swiss Geoinformation Strategy”, the Confederation, together with the cantons and other players, wants to make reliable, up-to-date and interoperable geoinformation freely accessible. It should be made available to all users in a simple, interlinked manner and, where appropriate, in real time. 7 fields of action define the main directions of the joint, strategic activities in the field of geoinformation for the coming years:

  • Promoting the geoinformation ecosystem as a joint effort between authorities at all administrative levels as well as of business, science, civil society and politics through coordinated cooperation and active willingness to engage in dialogue.
  • Providing suitable, reliable and linkable geodata in a usable and long-term form for all users.
  • Facilitating business processes by integrating the spatial reference using continuous, automated processes and focused on the needs of the users.
  • Developing and using geodata science by expanding expertise in geodata analysis and developing and using algorithms.
  • Encouraging innovation with clear frameworks and processes so that new ideas, approaches and concepts can be tested and implemented.
  • Building and strengthening skills in understanding geoinformation,  shaping change among specialists and spreading knowledge about the use of geoinformation.
  • Creating powerful, open and shareable digital geoplatforms based on standardised and interlinked geodata, geoinformation and geoservices.

How do the coordination activities take place?

A dynamic action plan with implementation goals and measures for the fields of action will be drawn up as a tool for implementing the strategy.

Coordination at a federal level is ensured within the framework of the GCG with lively exchanges between the federal agencies and, in particular, with joint projects. Cooperation with partners at a cantonal and communal level is intensified on an ongoing basis. 

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


Relevant authority

Tel. +41 58 469 03 15


Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern

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