Archiving of Geodata


The producers of geodata and the SFA are required to jointly ensure the availability of geodata over time based on geoinformation legislation. They have accordingly defined common processes and data formats in the Ellipse project. At national level, this work has been continued by the cantons and communes.

The Federal Office of Topography (swisstopo) and the Swiss Federal Archives (SFA) have developed a solution for the archiving of geodata with the Ellipse project, completed at the end of 2016. The results are recorded in the manual (PDF, 11 MB, 12.03.2018) on the archiving of federal geodata (available in German), which describes the archiving process from storage and archiving planning to the use of geodata.

Archive file formats for raster data and geo-dossiers

A simple format called TIFF+EWF.XML (EWF stands for Extended World File) has been defined for archiving georeferenced image and graphic raster data as well as elevation and thematic raster data. Details can be found in the factsheet (PDF, 672 kB, 10.12.2015) on the format specification.

The requirements for delivering digital geodata to the SFA are defined in the geo-SIP and geo-dossier specification (PDF, 1 MB, 14.03.2018) (available in German).

National activities

Based on the results of the Ellipse project, the cantons and communes have worked together with the Coordinating Agency for Federal Geographic Information (GCG) to develop in-depth studies and concepts for ensuring the long-term availability and archiving of their geodata: 

  • Long-term availability and archiving of geodata
    The GIS working group of the Swiss Conference on Information Technology (SIK-GIS) has drawn up a concept for the long-term availability and archiving of geodata «Sustained availability and archiving of geodata» (available in German) to be implemented at federal, cantonal and communal level. 
  • Concept historicization, long-term availability and archiving of cadastral surveying data
    The Executive Board of the Conference of Cantonal Cadastral Services (CadastreSuisse) and the Federal Directorate of Cadastral Surveying (FDCS) have developed a concept for the historicization, long-term availability and archiving of cadastral surveying data (available in German).
  • Geo categories
    In close cooperation with the GCG, the SIK-GIS working group has developed the eCH-0166 geo categories standard eCH-0166 geo categories (this information is available in German and French). The ‘SO-19115 Topic Categories’ have been adapted to the circumstances in Switzerland and, in particular, to the requirements of the Federal Administration and its geodata customers, and to archiving requirements.
shown below

Further information


Swiss Federal Archives

Archivstrasse 24
3003 Bern

+41 58 462 89 89


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