Land Cover

Natural Resources Switzerland


Nategra maps, models and manages natural resources. In this dashboard we share summary statistics of our nationwide and annual mapping update on land cover Switzerland based on remote sensing data and machine learning algorithms.

Land Cover 2019

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Switzerland is green

The majority of Switzerland is covered by vegetation. The remaining areas are open or covered by water. The sunburst graphic displays different levels of detail hierarchically: The top level in the inner ring and finer resolutions in the middle and outer ring.

Click on classes for detailed proportions or center for total proportions

Regions differ in green, blue and grey domain

Spatial distribution of vegetation, water and bare areas differs considerably between regions. Switzerland has strong elevation and climate gradients that determine the potential occurrence of land cover. In addition, the varying intensity of human land use influences the actual occurrence and quality of land cover.

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The perspective matters

Natural resources are spatially unequally distributed among management units. Therefore it is important to equally take both perspectives: The natural resource perspective as well as the management unit perspective.

Every Canton is unique

Cantons represent distinct aspects of Switzerland. The ternary figure shows the proportional composition of vegetation, water and bare areas for Switzerland and each canton. Generally, all cantons are vegetation dominated. Urban and alpine cantons both have higher proportions of bare surfaces, though for different reason. While alpine areas are naturally bare, urban areas have been turned bare by human land use.

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Land cover composition of each canton is illustrated below.

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Communities are diverse

At the community level, the differences in the composition of vegetation, water and bare ares become even more pronounced. In the ternary figure one sees that the data points are widely scattered. Take a look at individual data points as well: Some communities have a similar composition of land cover, although they are spatially far apart.