Geodata, maps

COVID-19: ETH Library to reopen at two locations

On-site research in the holdings of the Collections and Archives at ETH Library will be open. Pre-registration is required. Please bring your registration confirmation with you.

More information 

ETH Library has an extensive collection of up-to-date and historical maps and geodata. This material is available for use in the Reading Room Collections and Archives.


  • Scientific, technical and topographical maps as well as atlases from the 19th to the 21st century: individual maps, map books, maps from cantonal surveys, street maps, panoramic maps and satellite photographs
  • All geodata products from Swisstopo and the Federal Statistical Office as well as digital summary maps from cantonal surveying
  • Up-to-date and historical aerial photographs of Switzerland (orthophotos and angle shots)
  • Rare and valuable maps from the 18th and 19th centuries

Searching and using

Printed maps

  • The entire map holdings are available via ETH Library's Search Portal (external link) and can be ordered electronically.
  • Map material is provided in the Reading Room Collections and Archives within three hours and will remain available for seven days.
  • About 55,000 folding maps, 1,250 atlases as well as some CDs and DVDs are available for borrowing.
  • The maps and atlases not available for borrowing can only be used in the Reading Room Collections and Archives. Excerpts from pages of maps can be digitized or copied in colour.
  • Use the "Resource Type", "Scale" and "Genre" filter options to refine searches in the ETH Library's Search Portal
  • You can also search in Kartenportal.CH (external link) for easy and intuitive access to map material.
  • On request, we will help you with your search for map material.
  • Printed maps can also be found in the Baubibliothek, Bibliothek Erdwissenschaften and Grüne Bibliothek.
  • Within the scope of the Kartenzentrum Zurich (external link) the ETH Library and Zentralbibliothek Zurich are offering a comprehensive range of maps with focal points which are geared to one another:
    • ETH Library: topographical and thematic maps from the 20th and 21st centuries with mainly scientific/technical contents
    • Zentralbibliothek Zurich: current as well as old topographical maps and panoramas

Maps of Switzerland

All national maps of Switzerland (from approx. 1940) can be borrowed. Overview grids with links to the catalogue:


  • All geodata can be searched via ETH Library's Search Portal (external link).
  • Due to licensing restrictions, geodata from Swisstopo may only be used by employees and students of ETH Zurich for academic purposes.
  • Employees and students of ETH Zurich can select, clip and download the geodata products of Swisstopo and selected cantons via the GeoVITe (external link) platform.
  • All other geodata can be obtained in the Reading Room Collections and Archives.
  • Databases can be accessed by members of ETH Zurich via the ETH Zurich network and by external users in the public areas of ETH Library.
  • An ArcGIS workstation is available in the Reading Room Collections and Archives for carrying out analyses and data conversions using the following programs: ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap 10, ArcCatalog, ArcScene), Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop.
  • On request, we will help you with your search for suitable Internet resources.

Aerial photographs

  • Information on obtaining up-to-date orthophotos from Swisstopo (Swissimage, Spot, Landsat) can be found in the "Geodata" section.
  • Members of ETH Zurich can obtain further historical orthophotos from Swisstopo via ETH Library.
  • A small range of analogue orthophotos from Swisstopo cannot be found in ETH Library's Search Portal. Overview grid with a link to the list of holdings
  • A large collection of digitized historical aerial photographs (primarily angle shots) can be searched in the Knowledge Portal.