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Geodata infrastructure (GDI)

Geodata infrastructures are used to optimally network and make available geographic, or spatial, information. The aim is to make this so-called geoinformation accessible to a wide range of users simply, cheaply and in high quality.

Luftbild und GeoJason Codezeile als Kollage
Geodata infrastructure

Drawing on geoinformation from a wide range of disciplines, complex interrelationships can be presented clearly and in an easily understandable way. This therefore forms the basis for future-oriented planning and political action.

Spatial data infrastructures enable easy access and a quick overview of this spatial information. This makes it possible to organise administrative processes more efficiently and to obtain greater added value from the data. At the same time, helpful decision-making, planning and bases for action are made available for civil society and politics. The communication of this “geo-knowledge” thus also promotes political participation and strengthens the (digital) society.

In addition to the technical components: geodata, geoservices, metadata and networks based on norms and standards, a spatial data infrastructure also includes legal and organisational aspects.

Legally, the federal and national spatial data infrastructure is based on the Swiss geoinformation legislation (GeoIA/GeoIV). In organisational terms, the GCG and the COGIS administrative office at swisstopo are responsible for the development and operation of the Federal Spatial Data Infrastructure (FSDI). This promotes the efficient and comprehensive use of geographic information under federal law.

Together with the cantons and in cooperation with municipalities and private individuals, the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) is also being driven forward. In the spirit of the Swiss Geoinformations Strategy, the NSDI is to develop into a joint platform where data from the Confederation, cantons and municipalities can be jointly produced and shared. This should also enable the creation of new knowledge about the space we live in.

Geodata infrastructure exists at various levels: for example, the need for a global geodata infrastructure for sustainable development was recognised in 1993 at a UN conference held in Rio de Janeiro and this objective is still being pursued by the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM). 

At the EU level, there is the Directive for the Development of a European Spatial Data Infrastructure (INSPIRE, which stands for Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe).

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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