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Dataset 27.10.2022

Switzerland from above: A journey through time with aerial photographs from 1946 to the present (swisstopo)
With aerial images that now go back to the middle of the last century, swisstopo invites us on the federal map viewer to an even more extended time travel through the landscape and settlement history of Switzerland over the last 70 years.

Link to the journey through time with aerial photographs (swissimage):

Thanks to the «time travel» with historical aerial photographs, the landscape changes in Switzerland between 1970 and today can already be viewed from a bird's eye view for almost five years. In the meantime, the time travel has been extended to include older snapshots back to the late 1940s.

View of Switzerland from a bird's eye view since the end of the Second World War

swisstopo continues its commitment to the preservation, indexing and provision of national geodata with the publication of this cultural heritage. Thousands of processed aerial photographs make it possible to fast-forward and rewind time at a given location and to observe changes in urban areas and the transformation of nature from 1946 to the present day.

From black and white to color

Until the end of the 1990s, the images are black and white. After that, colors give even more reality to the landscape. The technologies used to capture images have also evolved: today's images contain significantly more detail, such as crosswalks or solar panels on rooftops.

The surface area covered by images is steadily increasing from year to year. With digital data collection starting in 2005, the images can be processed more quickly.

Examples of landscape and settlement development over the last 70 years based on swisstopo's aerial time travel: