See what Switzerland looked like in 1960 with new interactive map

See what Switzerland looked like in 1960 with new interactive map

Ever wanted to see what your local area looked like 50 years ago? Now you can: the Federal Office of Topology (swisstopo) in Bern has released an interactive map which shows what things looked like from above between 1946 (at the earliest) and today. Over 108.000 images were stitched together to create the map, which is freely available to the public on the internet.

New online map showcases how Switzerland has changed since 1960s

Thanks to the new interactive map, users will be able to see how the landscape and cities of Switzerland have changed from as early as 1946 to the present day - although bear in mind that most of the major centres only started to be photographed from the air in the 1950s and 60s. “By publishing this cultural heritage, swisstopo is pursuing its commitments to the conservation, enhancement and availability of its national geodata,” swisstopo said in a statement.

The organisation noted that the natural and urban landscape in Switzerland has changed significantly since the 1940s and 1950s. Users can see, for example, the construction and expansion of Swiss airports like those Zurich and Geneva, the building of the Grande Dixence dam in the mountains, and the building of motorways throughout the country.

Map shows new neighbourhoods and the rise of Swiss tourism

It can also show how population growth - whether it be through expats coming to the country to work jobs, or new people being born in Switzerland - has completely transformed areas of the country like the Glatttal in Canton Zurich. The rise of international tourism can also be seen by looking at how Swiss ski resorts like Davos, St. Moritz and Verbier have expanded since 1960.

For the more camera savvy among us, the pictures also showcase how photography has evolved since the 20th century, from black and white pictures to high-resolution images with stunning colour and clarity.

Want to try it out for yourself? Check out the swisstopo map.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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