Terrestrial images

After World War I and up to the beginning of the 1950s, much of the region of the Alps was topographically surveyed using terrestrial photogrammetry for the purpose of producing the 1:10,000 fortification maps and the 1:50,000 National Map.

Stereo pair with terrestrial images of the Matterhorn taken on 16 July 1930.
Stereo pair with terrestrial images of the Matterhorn taken on 16 July 1930.

Here, swisstopo topographers used the around 7,000 broadly distributed survey points, measured the position and altitude of each location with the aid of a phototheodolite (combination of surveying instrument and camera), and recorded photographic images on about 58'000 glass plates. 

Each station comprised a left-hand and right-hand image point that formed the basis, and the concept was that the parallel images should overlap one another. 

Evaluation was carried out in the winter months of the following year. Firstly the co-ordinates and altitude of the image point were calculated, They were then recorded in the photogrammetric evaluation device. With this special equipment it was possible to reconstruct the stereo effect obtained in the field at the time the images were recorded, and thus to topographically evaluate and map the terrain. 

Since terrestrial photogrammetry was increasingly replaced by aerial photogrammetry, the points were only surveyed once. The terrestrial images are therefore one of the very few products of swisstopo for which no time series exist.

Help us!

Large parts of the swisstopo terrestrial collection could, with the help of historical sources be positioned in space. However, in the nearly one hundred years since the recordings were made some gaps have been discovered in the positioning inventory. That is why we would be delighted if you could help us to locate the non-referenced images correctly using the functions of the participative time machine "smapshot".

The terrestrial images in smapshot

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

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Topography
Geodata Distribution
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Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern

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