Last updated
October 31, 2017
Terms of use
Open use. Must provide the source.


Information on the vegetation height is determined using remote sensing methods with active and passive sensors. LiDAR is an active sensor. An optical sensor, for example an aerial camera, is a passive sensor. LiDAR is incorporated in Switzerland on a regional, cantonal and national level. However, no regular update concept exists. Stereo aerial photos are regularly recorded on a national level in a three year cycle. Regular 3D data sets and digital surface models (DSM) with a high resolution are created from this predictable core data from swisstopo within the framework of the National Forest Inventory (NFI). From the difference between the DSM and the digital terrain model by swisstopo (swissAlti3D), a normalised digital surface model (nDSM) is calculated. Buildings are eliminated using a combination of the ground areas of the swisstopo topographic landscape model (TLM) and spectral information from the stereo aerial photos. The end result is a model of vegetation height (vegetation height model VHM) in Switzerland.



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Additional information

Issued date
October 31, 2016
Modified date
October 31, 2017
Abteilung Wald, Bundesamt für Umwelt
Contact points
Language independent
Further information
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