Open government data portal launched

Geneva, 16.09.2013 - Today at the Open Knowledge Conference in Geneva, the Swiss Federal Archives and their project partners launched a pilot portal for open data from the Swiss authorities ( The experience gained during the six-month trial period that now begins will serve as the basis for a decision on expanding the portal into an open government data solution for the whole of Switzerland.

The pilot portal offers central, user-friendly access to freely available data from the Swiss authorities. For the first time, it enables users to search for information such as Swiss municipal boundaries, population statistics, weather data, historical documents and a directory of Swiss literature via a single portal. The data offering will be expanded and updated continually in the months ahead. The Swiss Federal Archives, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, the Federal Office of Topography swisstopo, the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, and the Swiss National Library are all making some of their data available for the launch of the open government data (OGD) pilot portal, and the Canton of Zurich will also be offering free access to data sets by the end of 2013. In addition to the data providers, the project is being supported by the Federal IT Steering Unit FITSU and the Federal Chancellery. 

The portal is designed to demonstrate the ease with which central access to official data can be organised. It is also an opportunity to gain experience with OGD. The project partners hope that the increased use of public data will promote economic growth, enhance political transparency and lead to greater efficiency in the public administration. A study commissioned by the Federal Archives estimates that open government data has great economic potential for Switzerland.  

The pilot portal will now be tested for half a year. This will allow valuable experience to be gained that will serve as the basis for continuing and expanding the portal. At the same time, as part of the eGovernment project on open government data, the FITSU has been commissioned by the Federal Council to draw up a national open government data strategy by spring 2014. This includes the establishment of a national OGD portal. The intention is for the FITSU and the SFA to convert the pilot portal which is being launched today into a permanent solution, providing access to data from all levels of the federal administration.

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Swiss Federal Archives