Swiss map projections

Since its introduction in 1903, the Swiss national Survey has used the uniform map projection “Swiss Grid”. There are currently no plans to switch to UTM projection, as cited within the framework of CHTRS95 and now in use in many countries.

Swiss Grid

An oblique, conformal cylinder projection (Mercator projection). The projection and the mathematical model developed by M. Rosenmund in 1903 are used for the Swiss reference system CH1903. Its definition is only valid together with the Bessel ellipsoid 1841. The fundamental point is the old observatory in Bern.

Oblique, conformal cylinder projection
Oblique, conformal cylinder projection

Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)

In order to display large areas of the earth's surface on a map, special projections are used which divide the planet into strips (zones). The distortions within the zones remain at an acceptable level. One of the most frequently used projections is UTM, which divides the earth into 60 zones, reaching from the north pole to the south pole, with a width of 6 degrees latitude. The projection within a zone corresponds to a conformal cylinder projection with the axis of the cylinder in the equatorial plane. Switzerland is covered almost entirely by UTM zone 32 with the mean meridian at L = 9° E. Actually, the most westerly part of the Canton of Geneva lies in UTM zone 31 with a mean meridian of 3° E. However, the use of these values for Switzerland is not recommended.

Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)
The UTM projection which divides the earth into 60 zones, reaching from the north pole to the south pole, with a width of 6 degrees latitude.


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

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Relevant authority

Geodesy and Federal Directorate of Cadastral Surveying
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Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern

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