Monday, January 25, 2021

175 Years of the Dufour Map

The Topographic Map of Switzerland, also known as the Dufour Map, is the oldest official map series of Switzerland based on accurate geometric measurements. In 1845 the Federal Topographic Bureau, led by Guillaume-Henri Dufour, began publishing a map of Switzerland divided into 25 sheets. The original map was published at a scale of 1: 100,000.

To celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Dufour Map the Swiss Federal Office for Topography has released an interactive version of the original Dufour Map.The interactive map allows you to explore in detail the wonderful topography of the Swiss Alps and lakes and closely examine the wonderful mapping of the Swiss Office for Topography. 

The interactive map includes a number of markers with links to stories about the origins and impact of the Topographic Map of Switzerland series (in Swiss) These links include: a personal account from a cartographer about the dangers of surveying in the mountains; an account of a death and broken leg while surveying the Säntis mountain; information on how tall mountain peaks were targeted for triangulation by creating high signal points out of felled fir trees; explanations about the expensive surveying equipment used to map the country, and an explanation of how the height of Switzerland's mountains were calculated.

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