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New basis for the cadastral system

With the new legal provisions, the cadastral survey was now to be based on georeference data, for the protection of landownership and many other purposes.

New legal provisions greatly changed the nature of the cadastral survey. Maps were replaced by databases. With national survey LV95 there was now a new reference frame. Furthermore, the cadastral survey data were now used not only for the protection of landownership, but also as georeference data for a variety of other purposes as stipulated in the federal legislation. 

Status of the cadastral survey, 2011
Map of Switzerland showing the status of the cadastral survey on 31 March 2011 at the real estate level

1993: cadastral survey data take the form of a basic dataset

With the entry into force of the Ordinance on the Cadastral Survey and its corresponding technical regulations, the data collected in the framework of the cadastral survey were now designated as the basic dataset and structured in accordance with the applicable information levels. The cadastral survey data now formed the basis for real estate information systems and be available for use for both public and private purposes. The conventional graphic media are to be gradually replaced by databases.

Diagram of the cadastral survey information levels: control points, ground cover, single objects, heights, nomenclature, real estate, supply lines, administrative boundaries, permanent ground movements, addresses of buildings, administrative sub-divisions.

1995: new national survey (LV95)

Introduction of a satellite-based network, the 1995 national survey (LV95), which now comprised 210 specially selected permanent control points. LV95 is the new reference frame for the cadastral survey. 

LV95 control points
Map of Switzerland with the approximately 220 control points of LV95 – the new reference frame for the Swiss cadastral survey

2004: incorporation of the national survey into the Federal Constitution

In accordance with the new Article 75a in the Federal Constitution, the national survey became the responsibility of the federal government, which was now also responsible for issuing regulations governing the cadastral survey.

2008: Federal Geoinformation Act

Entry into force of the Federal Geoinformation Act. Switzerland was one of the first countries in Europe to introduce modern geoinformation legislation which will meet future needs. Thus specific legislation based on geodata was created for both the cadastral survey and the future Cadastre of Public Law Restrictions on Landownership (PLR Cadastre).

2008: introduction of a register of licensed surveyors

With the Federal Geoinformation Act a register of licensed surveyors was also introduced. This register clearly distinguished between educational diplomas, professional practice and disciplinary measures.

Various licence certificates
Licence certificates from 1942, 1957, 1980 and 2009

2009: the PLR Cadastre: beginning of a success story

The existing cadastre had been exclusively based on civil law. A project to introduce a new Cadastre of Public Law Restrictions on Landownership (PLR Cadastre) was launched in 2009. This meant that legal provisions that entered into force as a result of a decision by the legislator or a public authority could now be called up centrally. 

2009: introduction of the first «Cadastral Surveying» state examination

Implementation of the first state examination, brought about by new regulations governing licensed surveyors. Qualification as a licensed surveyor is no longer exclusively available to graduates from a Federal Institute of Technology or a university or college of technology offering courses in geodetics: the new state examination is now available to all graduates. Eligibility is based on sufficient background education and appropriate professional practice. The licence, which is awarded to candidates who pass the state examination, authorises holders to carry out cadastral surveying throughout Switzerland. 

2012: celebration of the centenary of the Swiss cadastral survey

Celebration of the centenary of the Swiss cadastral survey, with a commemorative publication and special postage stamp. On 12 May, an official ceremony took place on Parliament Square in Bern under the patronage of former Federal Councillor Samuel Schmid. At the same time, special events celebrating the centenary of the cadastral survey were also held in each canton. 

The commemorative postage stamp
Special postage stamp commemorating the centenary of the Swiss cadastral survey


Geodesy and Federal Directorate of Cadastral Surveying
Cadastral surveying and PLR Cadastre

Telephone +41 58 464 73 03


The commemorative publication is only available in German, French and Italien





Terms and abbreviations used in the Swiss cadastral surveying system

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