Searching is the central portal for geodata in teaching and research. First-time users are offered detailed instructions for access to data, for the settings which are required, and which data are obtained via which services. Experienced users can get additional information on further technical options and an in-depth documentation (manual). Also use our FAQ or the support of


General remarks

Requirements to use

  • own university is participating in
  • active SWITCHaai access of a Swiss university
  • internet access, browser (ideally Chrome or Firefox)
  • ArcGIS Desktop / ArcGIS Pro for direct integration of the web services (set-up guidelines at first connection)

Search help

Access to the search via search field which can be entered with the cover page as well as all subpages. To display all listings of the metadata catalogue, start the search request with an empty field.

Search terms may include titles of a dataset, keywords or topics. All geodata on can be searched in the three search dimensions “content”, “space” and “time”. The three search dimensions can be combined to achieve optimum search results.

List of hits

The list of hits comprises all the hits found and displays them according to relevance. The hits contain references to the data owners, the terms of use, the coordination system, a brief abstract etc. The metadata is displayed in the language in which the owner of the data or the service provides it (usually German or English).

Search language

The search language can be adjusted via the drop-down menu to vary the hit list if necessary. By default, search requests are checked for synonyms in different languages with the help of an indexed list in the background. If a German term is entered, the corresponding term in German and French will also be searched for and vice versa (more on multilingual searches under “technical details”).

Norrow down the search

The number of hits can be narrowed down further via various filter functions (e.g. service type, data format, timeframe). The (search) filters are positioned below the search field

The respective dataset can then be accessed directly from the list of hits in the service selected (download service and web services).

Application of Boolean operators

Advanced users can narrow the search down via Boolean operators, which need to be written in capital letters. Without any operators, the search terms will automatically be combined with AND.

  • AND: all search terms combined with AND must feature in the hits. AND allows you to limit the number of results.
  • OR: at least one of the search terms combined with OR must feature in the hits. OR allows you to expand the number of results.


  • “”: if you would like to search for a phrase (work group or string of characters), place them in quotation marks.
  • *: for a search, * can be used as a filler for no to several characters (is included by default in the search).
  • # hashtag suspends the automatically integrated wildcard (e.g. #strasse only searches for strasse, not for strassen, strassenverkehr, etc.)


Additionally to the help page and the FAQs, there are the following manuals with more detailed information: