Below you will find the answers to the FAQs. Please contact us if you are unable to find the answer to your questions.

 

What is opendata.swiss?

opendata.swiss offers central access to open, freely usable data (open government data, OGD) from the public administration. This is where the concerned administrative offices from the public administration publish their data. The Federal Statistical Office (FSO) manages the website.
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Who is involved in opendata.swiss?

You can find an overview of the organisations which drove the initiative forward here. All data suppliers are listed under organisations.

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Why does opendata.swiss exist?

The operation of the opendata.swiss central portal is part of the “Strategy for open administrative data in Switzerland, 2019-2023 (Open Government Data Strategy, OGD Strategy)” which was approved by the Federal Council on 30th November 2018. The aim is to provide all interested parties with an overview of Switzerland’s currently published OGD.

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What is the relationship between the opendata.swiss portal and existing specialist data infrastructure? What added value does an additional portal offer?

In addition to the existing specialist data platforms such as geo.admin.ch or bfs.admin.ch which offer data from a certain sector, opendata.swiss focuses on providing an overview of open data from all sectors. Furthermore, the data are available on opendata.swiss in a standardised form (metadata and terms of use, etc.). This both reduces the research effort required from interested parties and makes the comparison or combination of various data easier.

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How can I contact opendata.swiss?

If you have any questions about a particular data set, please get in touch with the specified point of contact directly. General questions about the portal or open government data can be sent via the contact form.

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What are the terms of use for using the data?

The existing legal bases prevail in the definition of terms of use for the data sets on opendata.swiss. The symbols in every data set explain the usage allowed. All data suppliers use the same symbols. This page explains the various terms of use.

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How do I find out about new data?

New publications are announced under the hashtag #ogdch.

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How can I suggest that further data are published?

We would be happy to receive suggestions for the publication of further data sets on opendata.swiss via our contact form. We will then check with the data supplier whether publication is possible.

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Can I publish data from my organisation on opendata.swiss?

The Confederation, cantons, communes and other organisations with a state mandate can publish their data on opendata.swiss.
You are welcome to contact us.

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Can I publish my applications on opendata.swiss?

Yes, a selection of applications are linked to opendata.swiss. If you have used data from opendata.swiss for applications or visualisations, for instance, you are welcome to offer these for publication via the contact form.

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What is open government data?

Open government data means administrative data that are available free of charge and in machine-readable form for use by any interested parties. Various data sets can be found on opendata.swiss such as the communal boundaries of Switzerland, the population statistics, current weather data, historical documents and a directory of Swiss literature. Often the data are provided as total data sets that can then be visualised, further processed or combined by users. This is how applications and visualisations that show new correlations based on existing data are developed.

Open government data is already widely used in national and international contexts. Here are a few examples:

You can find examples of applications, visualisations and projects that have resulted from Swiss OGD data here:

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What is the OGD strategy about?

The public data from federal agencies should be systematically published as open, freely and machine usable administrative data. This is the main aim of the second Open Government Data Strategy (2019-2023) that the Federal Council approved at its meeting of 30th November 2018. Through this measure, it strives to promote transparency, participation and innovation. Where possible, new data collections should be made available as open administrative data on the central opendata.swiss portal from the outset. For existing collections, this should take place as quickly as possible. The use of data should also be stimulated by strengthening data competence and offering contact forums for data suppliers and data users. The aim of this is to support the cultural change that is behind the idea of OGD.

The strategy is binding for the federal administration and also intends to support the greater involvement of the cantons, communes and state-related enterprises. Private individuals who process data on behalf of the Confederation are also invited to openly publish these data. Data are excluded if so required by overriding legitimate protection interests such as data protection or the protection of private trade secrets.

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Is the protection of data ensured in the case of Open Government Data?

In general, no personal data are published in the case of OGD. Only aggregated and anonymised data sets are published. Consequently, no conclusions can be drawn about individuals. This is a precondition for making OGD data freely available.
If personal data are published on opendata.swiss, a legal basis allowing their publication is required. Furthermore, the provisions of the Federal Data Protection Act must be complied with for all data sets. The responsibility for data protection is borne by the publishing offices (data owners). You will find further information in the legal framework.

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What is an API? What are WMS and WFS and how do I use them?

API stands for application programming interface. It is a programming interface that can be used to directly integrate data into an application. For example, with the help of Web Map Services (WMS) or Web Feature Services (WFS), geodata can be integrated into applications and shown in these apps as maps.
The use of these services requires a certain level of knowledge in data processing. geo.admin.ch, the Confederation’s geoportal, offers comprehensive documentation on API integration. The WMS or WFS services on opendata.swiss are shown as a link. By clicking on the link, only an XML presentation of the service appears in the portal. To be able to use a service, the respective link must be built into the separate application. The opendata.swiss also has a CKAN-API https://handbook.opendata.swiss/support/api.html.

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Is there a place for developers, designers and other interested parties to discuss ideas, applications and the development of open data?

In Switzerland, the opendata.ch association supports the publication of administrative data. The association holds events to promote the use of these data.

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