Open print view

175th anniversary of the Dufour Map

2020 marks the 175th anniversary of the publication of map sheets XVI and XVII. swisstopo is celebrating this anniversary with a book publication, an interactive web application and various events.

Carte Dufour cms


In 1845, the first two of 25 sheets of the Topographic Map of Switzerland (Dufour Map) were published. They showed the mountainous regions of the Valais and the shores of Lake Geneva to a scale of 1:100,000.

The Dufour Map represented a milestone that extended beyond the country's borders: it was not only the first official map series to cover the whole of Switzerland, but its accuracy and skilful depiction of the relief also established the international reputation of Swiss cartography.

Book "Switzerland on the measuring table"

Book cover "Switzerland on the measurng table. The 175th anniversary of the Dufour Map"

The Topographic Map of Switzerland is a panorama of the Swiss Confederation that offers surprising insight into a bygone era. The anthology explores the map series from different perspectives.

The anthology Switzerland on the Measuring Table. The 175th anniversary of the Dufour Map takes sheets XVI and XVII of the Dufour Map as a starting point for observations of Switzerland in 1845. It is aimed at a broad, interested readership and is divided into seven articles - three in German, three in French and one in Italian.

Using the Dufour Map as a starting point, the authors examine, among other things, how agricultural landscapes changed, how goods crossed the Alpine passes and where tourism gained a foothold in Switzerland. They also show that the Dufour Map was of great political importance for Switzerland: it is considered a key document of the nascent federal state. 

The book is currently sold out. The 2nd edition will soon be available in the swisstopo online shop.

Application "Map Memories"

Screenshot from the web application "Map Memories"

For the production of the Dufour Map, geodesists and topographers as well as countless assistants travelled all over Switzerland. We followed their tracks and recorded relevant points along with stories about the creation of the Dufour Map in an interactive web application.

Help us to expand it and continue writing the history of the map.
Do you know a personal story in which a map has played an important role? Have you succeeded in taking a great landscape photograph or a picture of a survey mark? Share your "map memory" with us! In the web application, you will also find current events relating to the Dufour Map.

Sustainable availability

Geodata has become an indispensable part of today's information society. It is important to keep older geodata accessible in order to answer questions about spatial development over time. By preserving, documenting, making available and communicating historical geodata such as the cultural heritage of the "Dufour Map”, swisstopo is fulfilling its legal mandate for the sustainable availability of geodata.

Federal Office of Topography swisstopo Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern
+41 58 469 01 11
+41 58 469 04 59


Opening hours

Monday to Thursday
7.45 to 11.45 a.m.
1.30 to 5 p.m.
7.45 to 11.45 a.m.
1.30 to 4 p.m.

Map collection – enquiries by phone:

Mondays and Thursdays
10 to 11.45 a.m.

Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern

Show map