Land Use

Information and downloads on geodata currently available from the land use statistics according to the standard classification of 2004.

Swiss land use statistics provide precise and detailed information on the current status and development of land use and land cover in Switzerland. They are an important basis for monitoring land use and for developing indicator systems. In addition to statistical tables, the results of the land use statistics are also available as geobasis data in hectare resolution.

Land use statistics of 1979/85, 1992/97, 2004/09 and 2013/18

The modern land use statistics are random sample surveys based on a point sample grid of 100m spacing composed of regularly updated, superimposed aerial photographs of a fixed position. From the third survey cycle, interpretation was made on the basis of digital, scanned aerial images using photogrammetric workstations, enabling 3D imaging. The 2004/09 survey, whose methodology was entirely revised in relation to the 1992/97 land use statistics, produced a new, up-to-date data set and revised the results of the two previous surveys.

Since that time, data on land cover and land use have been collected separately, so that each sample point has two codes, which can be evaluated individually (for "cover" or "use) but also in almost any combination. The sub-classification of the new 2004 classification (NOLU04), developed to describe land use, comprises 46 basic categories, grouped together in 10 classes and four main areas:

Categories of the land use classification 2004
Main areas Aggregation to 10 classes 46 basic categories
Settlement and urban areas 100 Building areas 101 Industrial and commercial areas > 1 ha
102 Industrial and commercial areas < 1 ha
103 Residential areas (one and two-family houses)
104 Residential areas (terraced houses)
105 Residential areas (blocks of flats)
106 Public buildings and surroundings
107 Agricultural buildings and surroundings
108 Unspecified buildings and surroundings
120 Transport surfaces 121 Motorways
122 Roads
123 Parking areas
124 Railway surfaces
125 Airports and airfields
140 Special urban areas 141 Energy supply plants
142 Waste water treatment plants
143 Other supply or waste treatment plants
144 Dumps
145 Quarries, mines
146 Construction sites
147 Unexploited urban areas
160 Recreational areas and cemeteries 161 Public parks
162 Sports facilities
163 Golf courses
164 Camping areas
165 Garden allotments
166 Cemeteries
Agricultural areas 200 Orchards, vineyards, horticulture 201 Orchards
202 Vineyards
203 Horticulture
220 Arable and grassland 221 Arable land, in general
222 Semi-natural grassland, in general
223 Farm pastures, in general
240 Alpine grazing areas 241 Alpine meadows, in general
242 Alpine pastures, in general
243 Alpine sheep grazing pastures, in general
Forest areas 300 Forest (not uses for agricultural purposes) 301 Forest
302 Afforestation
303 Lumbering areas
304 Damaged forest
Unproductive areas 400 Lakes and rivers 401 Lakes
402 Rivers, streams
403 Flood protection structures
420 Unproductive land 421 Unused
422 Avalanche and rockfall protection structures
423 Alpine sports facilities
424 Landscape interventions
in general: Land use categories designated with the suffix "in general" include contrary to the identically named categories of the standard classification NOAS04 also linear and scattered trees, clusters of trees, and scrubby or rocky grassland.

Available geodata

Free download

  • Data descriptions, metadata for land use statistics geodata
  • Land Use Statistics Standard, classification 2004 NOAS04 in 17 and 27 classes and four main areas
  • Land Use Statistics Land Cover, classification 2004 NOLC04 in six main areas

Geodata subscription PRO

  • Land Use Statistics Standard, classification 2004 NOAS04 in 72 basic categories, 17 and 27 classes and four main areas
  • Land Use Statistics Land Cover, classification 2004 NOLC04 in 27 basic categories and six main areas
  • Land Use Statistics Land Use, classification 2004 NOLU04 in 46 basic categories, 10 classes and six main areas

Besides geodata, statistical results tabulated for cantons (in French) and communes (in French) are also available.


Federal statistical office Section Geoinformation
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
+41 58 463 68 35

Monday to Friday
09.00–11.30 and 14.00–16.00