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Task and responsibilities

The Federal Office for Topography has the task of ensuring the coordination, development and operation of the Federal spatial data infrastructure FSDI, under its remit from the coordinating agency for federal geographical information (GCG).

A spatial data infrastructure enables users to have direct access to the geographical information and geoservices of different suppliers. This represents a system of (political) measures and institutional arrangements, together with technology, data and personnel. The system enables users both to exchange geographical information and to make efficient use of it.

Spatial data infrastructures exist at various different levels. Municipalities, cities and Cantons can also set up such systems.

Geoinformation Act (GeoIG)

The Geoinformation Act (GeoIG) came into force on 1st July 2008. It provides the legal framework, for all activities relating to information about basic geodata of Federal law and its exchange and use. “The purpose of this Act is to ensure that geodata relating to the territory of the Swiss Confederation is made available to the Federal, Cantonal and municipal authorities, to industry and commerce, to academic and scientific institutions and to society at large, for the broadest possible use, in a sustainable, up-to-date, rapid and easy way, with the required quality and at reasonable cost.” (GeoIG Art. 1)

The data contained in aerial photographs, maps and plans as well as further spatially referenced data will be available at a good level of quality and at reasonable cost, in printed form, over the Internet or on mobile devices. Uniform standards will be sought, in data capture as well as in the modelling and archiving of data and metadata.

The coordinating agency (GCG) is empowered to issue directives to departments of the Federal Administration (under the Geoinformation Ordinance (GeoIV) Art. 48 Para. 3) and has the following responsibilities (under GeoIV Art. 48 Para. 2):

  • Coordination of the activities of the Federal Administration;
  • Development of Federal strategies;
  • Participation in the development of technical standards;
  • Operation of a competence centre;
  • Advising Cantonal bodies.

Geodata information systems for Switzerland and Europe

  • The Federal spatial data infrastructure (FSDI) covers the Federal Administration’s geographical information (
  • The national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI) covers private sector organisations as well as the public sector.
  • Corresponding systems are available at the European level through the INSPIRE initiative. 
  • Spatial data infrastructures are also available at the Cantonal and municipal level.


Strategy and implementation

The strategy and the implementation plan are the basics to set up a National Spatial Data Infrastructure.


INSPIRE ist der Name einer Richtlinie der EU zum Aufbau einer Europäischen Geodateninfrastruktur.

Federal Spatial Data Infrastructure FSDI

The Federal spatial data infrastructure (FSDI) is the part of the NSDI within the Federal administration itself and whose implementation represents the specific task of the two COGIS Processes FSDI... program was launched in 2003 as a joint programme by the Confederation, cantons and other public and private stakeholders in the field of geoinformation, the purpose being to create a national... c/o
Federal Office of Topography swisstopo
COGIS (Coordination, Geo-Information and Services)
Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern
0041 58 469 03 15
0041 58 469 04 59


Federal Office of Topography swisstopo
COGIS (Coordination, Geo-Information and Services)
Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern