Information systems

Today, the administration and documentation of the national border are carried out in a geographic information system (GIS). For this purpose, the coordinates of the course of the border and the position of the border points have to be recorded and made available in digital form.

Extract from map of the national border with Italy
National border with Italy

The documentation and administration of the national border – which also includes keeping the archives of the original data – are the responsibility of the «Geodesy and Federal Directorate of Cadastral Surveying Division» (cadastral survey and PLR cadastre process).

The objective is to provide clear and accurate data and perceptibly improve the documentation using a well-conceived model. Ultimately, the course of the national border hast to be unequivocally described in the official reference frame for Switzerland (LV03 or LV95), in the European reference frame (ETRF93) and in those of the respective neighbouring countries. This applies not only to the coordinates of border markers, but also to the description of the boundary lines (e.g. water divide, centre of river, etc.).

In the past, the course of Switzerland’s national border was largely described in text form, but today it is defined with the aid of coordinates in the official geodetic reference system of both countries, as well as in the European reference system, ETRS89. This concerns not only boundary stones and markers, but also border lines (watersheds, centres of rivers, etc.).

Within the scope of the Eurographics “State Boundaries of Europe” project, the data relating to all national borders are being coordinated and managed in a European geographic information system. Switzerland has been actively participating in this project since 2005.

The national border serves as a territorial delimitation for various products (GIS, cadastral survey, etc.) and since neighbouring countries also rely on georeferenced data, it is essential that these territorial boundaries between nations are subject to identical geometric definitions.


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


Relevant authority

Geodesy and Federal Directorate of Cadastral Surveying

Print contact

Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern


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