Surveying / Geodesy

Geodesy is the science of surveying and depicting the earth’s surface. Its purpose is to determine the shape of the earth (referred to as the geoid) and its gravity field, and any changes that take place. Geodetic surveying tasks include the definition of geodetic reference systems and the creation, updating and management of reference frameworks, as well as the marking and surveying of the national borders.

Extracts from a GNSS antenna at an AGNES station, a geoid and a triangulation
Geodetic surveying

The fundamentals of geodesy include reference systems, the definition of reference areas and map projection systems and their realisation in the form of reference frameworks, geoid models, control and permanent GNSS networks.  These are used for bringing spatial data (geodata) of all types into harmony with an unequivocal and precise geometric correlation with the European and global reference systems. Thanks to geodetic criteria and reference data for the national geodata infrastructure, it is possible to depict geodata and their national and international interchangeability in a homogeneous manner. 

Reference systems

A geodetic reference system defines a spatial coordinates system (origin and orientation of coordinate axes) for indicating spatial positions (location, height) and gravity of points. This definition...

New coordinates for Switzerland

The coordinates in the 1903 national survey (LV03) contain variations of between two and three metres between Geneva and Lower Engadine. Thanks to satellite-based technologies such as GPS, however,...

Permanent GNSS networks

Permanent GNSS stations form the modern-day reference points for positioning and surveying. GNSS receivers located at several thousand stations throughout the world permanently receive signals from...

Geoid

The geoid is a selected equipotential surface of the earth's gravity field and serves as the reference surface for height determination. It can be considered as an idealised continuation of the mean...

Reference frames

The realisation and utilisation of geodetic reference systems for practical surveying, for the basis of geographic information systems (GIS) and for cartography is made possible by using geodetic...

Zimmerwald geostation

The Zimmerwald geostation is the fundamental point and most important reference point for the Swiss geological survey. It secures the connection to the global networks.

Observation procedures

In addition to the conventional surveying procedures, namely triangulation and levelling, surveying using GNSS technology plays a central role at the Zimmerwald geostation.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions concerning geodesy, surveying and navigation.

Cadastral Surveying

The Swiss cadastral survey safeguards landownership and is the basis for numerous other geographic information tools and applications for both professional and private use.


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

E-mail


Relevant authority

Geodesy and Federal Directorate of Cadastral Surveying
E-mail


Print contact

Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern

Map

Show map