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Geodata infrastructure (GDI)

The term “geodata infrastructure” (GDI) refers to a system of political measures, institutional bodies, technologies, data and people for facilitating the exchange and efficient use of geographic data. The main duty of the Coordination, Geo-Information and Services division (COGIS) of swisstopo is to develop, expand and operate geodata infrastructure with the aim of ensuring the efficient use of official federal geographic data.

Luftbild und GeoJason Codezeile als Kollage
Geodata infrastructure

The purpose of the federal geodata infrastructure is to secure easy and inexpensive access to an optimal collection of official geographic information. The goal is to attain significantly higher value-added through the wider and more intensive use of the infrastructure. This results in a considerably greater economic benefit for all involved players - the federal administration, the cantons and municipalities, private sector organisations and scientific bodies, as well as the general public.  

At the federal level, COGIS functions as the Coordinating Agency for Federal Geographic Information (GCG). It is affiliated to the Federal Office of Topography (swisstopo) and is responsible for developing, expanding and operating the federal geodata infrastructure, which can be divided into the following eight areas:

  • Legal bases
  • Guidelines and standards
  • Official basic geodata
  • Metadata
  • Basic geographic services
  • Technical infrastructure
  • Training and further education
  • Pricing strategy


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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