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The Topography Division is responsible for the topographic mapping of Switzerland and adjacent parts of its neighbouring countries. In this way it provides other authorities, political bodies, the economy and the general public with the necessary bases and products for dealing with spatially-related issues.

The data provided by the Topography Division encompass basic geodata that are described in the form of ground cover in three dimensions, together with the corresponding nomenclature, including in particular:

  • Topography in the form of height data
  • Orthophotos and the corresponding aerial and satellite images
  • Natural and man-made objects in the topographic landscape model
  • Boundaries of the administrative units
  • Geographic names

For the development of its products, the Topography Division first collects and procures the necessary fundamental data which it uses as the basis for depicting and periodically updating the shape of the terrain and ground cover in the landscape, together with place names and administrative boundaries. As the country’s competence centre for basic topographic geodata, it also provides services and consulting in the field of geomatics. In addition, the Topography Division manages the collection of national maps and images, acts as the point of contact for addressing enquiries relating to aerial and satellite images, and is responsible for the aerial photo service in cooperation with the Swiss Airforce.


The tasks of the Topography Division are as follows:

  • Depiction of Switzerland’s topography (shape of the terrain, natural and man-made landscape objects) in 3D.
  • Derivation of digital products from the collected data, e.g. orthophotos, height and surface models, landscape models, 3D visualisations, geographic names and administrative boundaries.
  • Updating of data and products.
  • Operation of an aerial photo service together with the Swiss Airforce.
  • Processing of customer orders: provision of advice, quotes and data, delivery of products and services, invoicing, licensing, contractual matters, etc.
  • Exchanges and cooperation with partners at home and abroad.
  • Operation of the Swiss National Point of Contact for Satellite Images.
  • Supporting the federal government’s organisation for the prevention of natural hazards by compiling and supplying geodata in the event of a natural disaster (rapid mapping).
  • Management of the collection of national maps and images.
  • Provision of advisory and other services relating to the input, management and derivation of basic geodata.


Topography includes six processes: 

  • Image data and Crisis Information
  • Height Models
  • Topographic Landscape Model
  • Data Provision and Derived Data Models
  • Distribution of Geodata and Analogue Collection
  • Innovation

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


Relevant authority


Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern

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