Land Cover

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 (NOLC04), developed to describe land cover, comprises 27 basic categories, grouped together in six main areas:

Categories of the land cover classification 2004
Main areas 27 basic categories
Artificial areas 11 Sealed surfaces
12 Buildings
13 Greenhouses
14 Gardens with border and patch structures
15 Lawns
16 Trees in artificial areas
17 Mix of small structures
Grass and herb vegetation 21 Grass and herb vegetation
Brush vegetation 31 Brush vegetation
32 Brush meadows
33 Short-stem fruit trees
34 Vines
35 Permanent garden plants and brush crops
Tree vegetation 41 Closed forest
42 Forest edges
43 Forest strips
44 Open forest
45 Brush forest
46 Linear woods
47 Clusters of trees
Bare land 51 Solid rock
52 Granular soil
53 Rocky areas
Watery areas 61 Water
62 Glacier, perpetual snow
63 Wetlands
64 Reedy marshes

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 and communes are also available in French.




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