The national Swiss mapping agency is the Federal Office of
Topography in the Ministry of Defence (Bundesamt fϋr
Landestopographie (BLT)). Its history can be traced back
to the establishment of a survey office in Geneva in 1838.
The country was mapped in the nineteenth century at
1:100,000 scale in the Dufourkarte and at 1:25,000/1:50,000
scale in the Siegfriedkarte, issued as the Topographische Atlas.
BLT headquarters are now located in Wabern and it is responsible
for geodetic and topographic surveying of the country
and publication of national topographic map series. The basis
of this modern mapping of the country was defined in a 1935
federal law which fixed integrated official mapping scales at
1:25,000, 1:50,000, 1:100,000 1:200,000, 1:500,000 and
1:1,000,000. 1:50,000 scale series mapping was completed
in 1960, 1:100,000 in 1964 and 1:25,000 in 1979. All use
a conformal conic projection and incorporate very effective
use of hill shading. BLT's principal role is the maintenance
of a six-year revision cycle for the 350 photogrammetric maps
in these series.
The 1:25,000 scale series comprises 249 eight-color maps,
with 10 m contour interval (20 m in mountainous areas);
the 1:50,000 scale series in six-colors has 20 m contours
and the 1:100,000 scale in 10 colors with a 50 m contour
interval is available with or without a kilometric grid overprinted
in violet. A separate legend is published to explain
the symbols used on these maps. A range of larger format
composite maps of tourist areas are published in all three
scales, and overprinted ski and walking editions of the
1:50,000 scale map are available for many areas, in association
with the Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft fϋr
Wanderwege and the Schweizerische Skiverband.
The 1:200,000 scale map completed in 1976 is regularly
revised, and covers the country in four sheets, with relief
shown by hill shading and 100 m contours. These maps
incorporate a legend, and some tourist information, and are
also used to produce the single sheet 1:300,000 map of the
country. A new 1:1,000,000 map was started in 1985,
replacing the long established map at this scale. This single
sheet was printed in 1994 with hypsometric tints from a
Scitex system in two versions: a ten-color normal edition
and an eight-color geophysical version without cultural
features and names.
Two digital height models for the country have been established: the RIMINI model with
250 m resolution; and a new product DHM25, completed
in 1996, with a 25 m resolution and 1,600 height values per
kilometer, captured from 1:25,000 scale contours. Two structured
digital map databases are also available: the VECTOR-200
database, with complete coverage of the country in 11
layers from the 1:200,000 scale series; and the VECTOR25
captured from 1:25,000 scale mapping, which is still in
progress, has been captured for the plateau areas
of the country. As a by-product of the digital data capture
a digital production flowline has been implemented, and
national hard-copy map series are currently updated in
hybrid raster/vector mode.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Switzerland exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (2 sheets, complete coverage, published 1985-1987);
1:500,000 (5 sheets, complete coverage, published 1985-1992); 1:200,000 (18 sheets, complete coverage, published 1986-1990); 1:100,000 (49 sheets, complete coverage,
published 1985-1989); 1:50,000 (157 sheets, complete coverage, published 1984-1988) and city (1:10,000) topographic mapping of 9 major cities from Basel to Zurich published between
1952 and 1981. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
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