3D GIS in Switzerland

It seems that 3D GIS has a wide application in Switzerland. For example, Swisstopo – the Swiss Federal Office of Topography (link) uses the Move software from Midland Valley Exploration. One interesting software from this source is their “3D Kinematic” program which allows users to “work in three dimensions plus geological time”). Other examples include:

Zurich3D gis zurich

(image from the Zurich city GIS brochure, available here)

Zurich, Switzerland’ s largest city, has a 3D city model (see here) which includes 3D terrain, building block and roof models. From the model brochure,

“Besides construction projects and historic buildings and sights of interest, the 3D city model can also be used to view other objects in three dimensions, either statically or dynamically (objects such as underground and overhead utilities, roads, traffic signals, trees etc). This allows the existing situation to be viewed together with urban development measures” (own translation).


The 4th largest city and the capital of Switzerland. According to Wikipedia the city has been “ranked among the world’s top ten cities for the best quality of life”. Bern too has a virtual 3D city model (see here) . The model includes all the ca. 20,000 buildings in Bern, the most important bridges, and 3D models for the roofscape, a digital terrain model, and details of building roof and facade textures.


Switzerland’s third largest city and “among the most important cultural centres of Switzerland (Wikipedia again). The canton of Basel-Stadt (Basel-city) has a 3D city model which includes terrain, buildings and other 3D objects such as bridges, trees, important connecting stairways etc. There is also a digital 3D city model for a historical view of the city (based on data from around 1860).


It would be interesting to see examples of the progress monitoring of construction projects via a city 3D screen view.


About roadnotes

Robert Bartlett is an international consultant with over 30 years of professional experience as a highway and traffic engineer with leading companies and organisations in several countries, including Germany, China (Hong Kong), Qatar and the UK. Specialised in urban studies, transport and the use of GIS, research has included new ideas on subjects such as the study of social justice using GIS, the dimensions of vehicles, and comparative geometrics (highways and transport).
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