sonBASE GIS noise database

The sonBASE noise database enables scientifically based, comprehensive evaluation of exposure to noise levels in Switzerland. With the aid of this tool, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) is also able to perform a variety of other tasks, including the calculation of future noise immissions and the definition of specific strategies for reducing them.

The sonBASE noise database was developed over a period of several years and has been available to users since 2009. It is based on a geographic information system (GIS). Various products from swisstopo (swissBUILDINGS3D: buildings, swissTLM3D: traffic lines and swissALTI3D: terrain model) are used as the basis for sonBASE.

Other geo-coded data have been incorporated into sonBASE from the Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE), the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO), the Federal Office of Transport (FOT), the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) and the cantons (

The sonBASE database can be used for evaluating traffic noise in accordance with the Federal Noise Abatement Ordinance and/or the EU Environmental Noise Directive. This means that data can also be exchanged and compared with figures from other countries.

Comprehensive evaluation

For the purpose of calculating traffic noise levels, sonBASE includes data obtained from traffic counts and model-based calculations carried out on more than 68,000 kilometres of road and 3,000 kilometres of railway.

This permits a comprehensive evaluation of noise exposure levels for the two main sources, namely road and rail traffic.

Application options:

  • Recording the spatial and temporal development of noise levels in any desired region 
  • Assessing the effectiveness of noise abatement measures
  • Preparation of solid decision-making bases for strategies to reduce noise pollution
  • Calculation of the economic costs associated with losses in real estate value due to noise exposure  
  • Calculation of the extent of harm to health attributable to noise

Evaluation of statistics for various other studies and applications.

Further information

Last modification 25.02.2022

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