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Time series

The term “time series” refers to a chronologically arranged set of geodata. Time series exist for practically all swisstopo geodata and products that are stored and made available to users.

Time series of aerial photos (1931, 1938, 1981), documenting the emergence of the railway bridge in Bern

Geodata time series at swisstopo

For more than 175 years, swisstopo has been producing geodata relating to the same regions at chronologically varying intervals. Time series are the result of the long-term conservation and preservation of all previous snapshots of geodata, and this is why a variety of swisstopo’s products are available as time series. 

Evaluations and observations based on time series

Time series can be used for making observations and carrying out evaluations and analyses over lengthy periods of time. For example, they can be used for tracing the development of landscapes, housing, the environment, etc. Thanks to the diversity of the collected geodata, it is also possible to compile complex time series and offer a range of evaluation options. With its topographical and geological landscape data, swisstopo has a rich source at its disposal for supporting environmental monitoring projects. 

Access to swisstopo’s time series

Time series of the topographic national maps and aerial images are made available and can be viewed online. Time series or other earlier sets of geodata are obtainable upon request. 

When carrying out evaluations the following points should be noted

Geodata are collected in order to record the current state of the landscape on the basis of the applicable regulations. Thus the documentation of the development of the landscape in the form of time series is not the primary objective, but is the logical result of swisstopo's long-term production and conservation of data. This aspect should be borne in mind when the data are to be used for carrying out evaluations. Therefore it should be noted that, as the result of amended guidelines and directives, some objects may no longer appear in a geodata set as of a given date, even though no changes had taken place in reality.

Products without time series

There are also swisstopo products for which no time series exist. These include terrestrial images that were used between 1915 and 1947 for the production of the 1:50,000 national maps and the 1:10,000 fortification maps, and which were replaced by aerial images when these maps were updated. There are also no time series for the soundings of lake depths and some geological and thematic maps. 

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


Relevant authority

Geodata Distribution

Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern


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