Cantons of Switzerland
The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the Swiss Confederation. The nucleus of the Swiss Confederacy in the form of the first three confederate allies used to be referred to as the Waldstätte, with the Napoleonic period of the Helvetic Republic the term canton/cantone/Kanton was fully established. From 1833, there were 25 cantons, which became 26 after the secession of the canton of Jura from Bern in 1979. The term canton, now used as English term for administrative subdivisions of other countries, originates in French usage in the late 15th century, from a word for edge. After 1490, canton was increasingly used in French and Italian documents to refer to the members of the Swiss Confederacy, English use of canton in reference to the Swiss Confederacy dates to the early 17th century. It was increasingly replaced by Stand after 1550, the French term canton was not adopted into German usage prior to 1648, and after that only in occasional use. The prominent usage of Ort and Stand only gradually disappeared in German-speaking Switzerland with the Helvetic Republic, only with the Act of Mediation of 1803 did German Kanton become an official designation, retained in the Swiss Constitution of 1848.
The term Stand remains in usage and is reflected in the name of the upper chamber of the Swiss Parliament. Republic Some cantonal constitutions provide for a formal name of the state. Most of Romandys cantons and Ticino call themselves république/Repubblica officially, at least within their constitutions, for example, the canton of Geneva refers to itself formally as the République et canton de Genève. Though they were part of the Holy Roman Empire, they had become de facto independent when the Swiss defeated Emperor Maximillian in 1499 in Dornach. The old system was abandoned with the formation of the Helvetic Republic following the French invasion of Switzerland in 1798, the cantons of the Helvetic Republic had merely the status of an administrative subdivision with no sovereignty. The Helvetic Republic collapsed within five years, and cantonal sovereignty was restored with the Act of Mediation of 1803, the status of Switzerland as a federation of states was restored, at the time including 19 cantons.
Three additional western cantons, Neuchâtel and Geneva, acceded in 1815, the process of Restoration, completed by 1830, returned most of the former feudal rights to the cantonal patriciates, leading to rebellions among the rural population. The Liberal Radical Party embodied these democratic forces calling for a new federal constitution and this tension, paired with religious issues escalated into armed conflict in the 1840s, with the brief Sonderbund War. The victory of the party resulted in the formation of Switzerland as a federal state in 1848. The cantons retained far-reaching sovereignty, but were no longer allowed to maintain standing armies or international relations. Each canton has its own constitution, legislature and courts, most of the cantons legislatures are unicameral parliaments, their size varying between 58 and 200 seats
The northeastern part of the massif streches into the canton of Bern. The mountain is covered by two glaciers, the largest being the Tsanfleuron Glacier and the highest being the Diablerets Glacier. The main summit is the highest point in the canton of Vaud, in the latter canton, the mountain has given its name to the nearby village and resort of Les Diablerets, which lies on the north side of the massif. On the south side the mountain overlooks the hamlet and valley of Derborence, along with the Muverans, the Wildhorn and the Wildstrubel, the Diablerets are one of the four distinct and glaciated massifs of the Bernese Alps that lie between the Rhone elbow and the Gemmi Pass. The main section of the mountain, between the cantons of Vaud and Valais, is part of the Rhone basin, through the rivers Grande Eau and Lizerne. The easternmost part of the massif, that lies in the canton of Bern, is part of the Rhine basin, through the river Sarine. The Oldehore is the tripoint of the three cantons of Vaud and Bern, and several of the peaks have a German as well as a French name.
Also notable is the peak of the Quille du Diable that overlooks Derborence from the edge of the Tsanfleuron plateau. The two largest glaciers on the massif are both on the Valais side and they form a single inclined plane towards the east, although they are separated by the rocky summit of Le Dôme, which lies just east of the main summit. They are not very steep, especially the Tsanfleuron Glacier, as the strata are close to horizontal. The smaller and higher Diablerets Glacier, however, is wilder than the Tsanfleuron Glacier as it is steeper. The Tsanfleuron plateau, between Le Dôme and the Sanetsch Pass is only partly glaciated, below 2,600 m is a large karst zone, called Lapis de Tsanfleuron and covering an area of about 8 square kilometres. The height of the wall is about 1,600 metres. Forests are found up to 1,900 metres on the north side, further south in Valais, on the slopes of Mont Gond, vineyards are very common below 1000 metres, but completely absent on the north side. There, alpine pastures dominate the landscape, as in other areas of the northern Alpine foothills.
Since 1964, an aerial tramway connects the Scex Rouge from the Col du Pillon,4 kilometres east of the village of Les Diablerets, the area is popular in summer for the snow hikes on the glacier. The summits of Le Dôme and Oldenhorn can be reached in a few hours from the station, the Peak Walk, a 107m suspension bridge to Scex Rouge from the peak at the top of the lift station, was constructed as a tourist attraction in 2014. Administratively, le Sommet des Diablerets is shared between the municipalities of Conthey, Ormont-Dessus and Bex
The Linth is a Swiss river that rises near the village of Linthal in the mountains of the canton of Glarus, and eventually flows into the Obersee section of Lake Zurich. It is about 50 kilometres in length, the water power of the Linth was a main factor in the creation of the textile industry of the canton Glarus, and is today used to drive the Linth–Limmern power stations in its upper reaches. The river and its upper valley forms the boundary between the ranges of the Glarus Alps, to its east and south, and the Schwyzer Alps. The river rises to the south-west of the village of Linthal, the last of these is dammed to create the Limmerensee, a part of the Linth–Limmern hydro-electric scheme. In Schwanden, the Linth is joined by one of its tributaries, the Sernf. From Schwanden, the continues to flow north through the villages of Mitlödi and Ennenda. In Netstal, the Linth is joined by the Löntsch, which drains the Klöntalersee, as a result of the river regulation works, the river is today diverted down an artificial channel in an easterly direction into Lake Walen.
Another artificial channel takes the outfall of Lake Walen at Weesen and flows west through the Linth Plain and this caused frequent floodings and backing up of water which made the level of Lake Walen rise several meters and turned the whole countryside into swamps. Agriculture became more and more difficult, the poverty increased, and diseases like Tuberculosis, the statesman, scientist and manager Conrad Escher from Zurich developed and executed the plan of channeling the Linth into Lake Walen, where the gravel could be deposited without damage. A second channel, the Linth Channel connected the lakes of Walen and Zurich, replacing the former Maag
Canton of Schwyz
Schwyz is a canton in central Switzerland between the Alps in the south, Lake Lucerne to the west and Lake Zürich in the north, centered on and named after the town of Schwyz. It is one of the cantons of Switzerland, Switzerlands Standard German name, die Schweiz, is derived from the name of the canton. For the history of the name, see Schwyz, the Swiss Federal Charter is on display in Schwyz. Northeast of the town of Schwyz is the Einsiedeln Abbey, the earliest traces of humans in Schwyz are from the Upper Paleolithic and Early Mesolithic or about 12,500 BC. An excavation of the karst caves in the valley of the Muota river revealed numerous sites, the alpine meadows at Bödmeren, Twärenen and Silberen were stone age hunter-gatherer camps. Ibex and red deer bones along with charcoal indicate that the animals were butchered and cooked in these camps, in 2009 the first stone age tool in the canton, a stone drill, was discovered. During the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age there were a number of pile dwellings, the two settlements at Hurden in Freienbach are part of the Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Hurden sites are related to the western Cortaillod culture, sites on the island of Lützelau and the shore zone at Freienbach are eastern Pfyn culture and Corded Ware culture. During the Bronze Age several bridges were built between the promontory of Endingen in Rapperswil, St. Gallen and the settlements at Hurden, over 200,000 posts and seven bridges have been discovered, along with several settlements and ritual sites. On the Schwyz side of the lake, ten different settlements from 4300-2700 BC have been discovered, after 1200 BC there is very little evidence for further Bronze Age settlements in the canton. Only eight Iron Age sites have been discovered in the canton from the 8th to 1st centuries BC, during the Roman era a Roman Vicus was established at Kempraten in Rapperswil around the massive bridge at Seedamm which crossed into Schwyz. A Gallo-Roman temple was built on Ufenau island around AD200 on the site of the present chapel of Sts, a few Roman coin hoards were discovered at Küssnacht and Rickenbach bei Schwyz and Küssnacht may have been the site of a Roman estate.
In 561 Schwyz became part of the Ducatus alamannorum and remained independent under the Alemanni dukes until the second quarter of the 8th century. The Alemanni began to settle into the valleys around 680, but for centuries the Germanic speaking Alemanni, Romansh remained the main language in Einsiedeln until the 10th century. In the 8th and 9th centuries the land was under the Counts of the Zürichgau, the low-laying land along Lake Zürich was relatively easy to reach and was settled throughout the Middle Ages. During the Middle Ages, the Muotathal area was used by seasonal herders, Küssnacht was first mentioned in the 9th century, but it is likely that there were earlier settlements. The forests around Einsiedeln were lightly settled, a visit of the Irish monks and Columbanus in 611 is mentioned in the Gallusviten. However, their efforts were unsuccessful in Schwyz
The Finsteraarhorn is the highest mountain in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland and the most prominent peak of Switzerland. The Finsteraarhorn is the ninth-highest mountain and third-most prominent peak in the Alps, in 2001 the whole massif and surrounding glaciers were designated as part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage Site. Despite being the most elevated and isolated mountain of both the Bernese Alps and the canton of Berne, the Finsteraarhorn is less known and frequented than the nearby Jungfrau and Eiger. This is due to its location in one of the most remote areas in the Alps, to its west lies the Fiescher Glacier, the second longest in the Alps, and to the east lie the Great Aar Glaciers. The smaller Lower Grindelwald Glacier lies north of the massif, the Finsteraarhorn is surrounded by the summits of the Schreckhorn and Lauteraarhorn to the north, the Gross Fiescherhorn, Grünhorn and Gross Wannenhorn to the west and the Oberaarhorn to the east. The summit lies on the border between the cantons of Valais and Berne, politically, it is split between the municipalities of Fieschertal and Guttannen.
The Valais–Berne border is the watershed between the Rhône and Rhine rivers, the Finsteraarhorn is the culminating point of the Rhine drainage basin. The Finsteraarhorn was dethroned by Monte Rosa as the highest summit of Switzerland when Valais joined the Swiss Confederation in 1815, the Finsteraarhorn is the culminating point of the Aarmassif, a geologic crystalline massif which crops out in the eastern Bernese Alps and Urner Alps. The massif belongs to the Helvetic zone and consists of rocks from the European continent, the summit itself is composed of amphibolites. The tectonic uplift of the massif occurred late in the alpine orogeny, the inelastic deformation of rocks led to many fractures and formation of hydrothermal crystals by the deposition of the saturated water flowing inside. The first ascent was long a controversial matter, the first attempt was made on 16 August 1812 by the Aargau merchant Rudolph Meyer, guided by the locals Kaspar Huber, Arnold Abbühl, Joseph Bortes and Aloys Volker.
Bortes and Volker, guiding Meyers father and uncle, had been the first to climb the Jungfrau the previous year. They approached the mountain via the Oberaarjoch, Studer glacier, and south-east ridge, Meyer became exhausted and remained behind after reaching the ridge, perhaps near P.3883. Huber kept him company, while the three other guides went on and purportedly reached the summit after three hours, on 19 August 1828, Franz Joseph Hugi, a geologist from Solothurn, made another attempt with seven local climbers. 4, 080-metre saddle on the north-west ridge, but had to retreat because of bad weather after Hugi, the next year Hugi organized another expedition via the same route. Hugi stayed behind somewhat above the saddle not daring to cross a steep slope, on the way back Hugis ankle played up and Leuthold, Währen and Joseph Zemt took turns carrying him down the glacier. Hugis account makes no mention of evidence of an earlier ascent, in articles of 1881 and 1908, the mountaineers and leading historians of Alpine exploration Gottlieb Studer and W. A. B.
Coolidge, declared to be convinced that the Meyer expedition had been successful, the fifth ascent took place on August 13,1857
Canton of Lucerne
The canton of Lucerne is a canton of Switzerland. It is located in the centre of Switzerland, the population of the canton is 398,762. As of 2007, the population included 57,268 foreigners, the canton of Lucerne comprises territories acquired by its capital Lucerne, either by treaty, armed occupation or purchase. The oldest traces of humans in the Lucerne area are stone artifacts, other animal bones including mammoth and giant deer from the local glacial maximum have been found in the canton. Around 17,000 BC the glaciers disappeared from the Swiss plateau, the first Paleolithic and Mesolithic settlement discovered in the canton is in the Wauwilermoos, which is now a Swiss heritage site of national significance. A number of settlements have since been found, mainly on sandy. The settlements of Egolzwil 3 in Wauwilermoos in Egolzwil, Seematte at Hitzkirch, the Wauwilermoos houses had wooden or bark floors and hearths of clay. The villages had ceramic vessels and wood, antler, copper ax blades and knives provide the first evidence of metal use in Switzerland.
Imported mollusks show that there were connections to the Mediterranean. The bones at Egolzwil 3 are over two thirds from domestic animals with the remainder from wild animals, the main domesticated animals were sheep and pigs with only a few domestic cattle. The animals hunted included deer, roe deer, wild boar, during the Bronze Age the canton was quite settled. There were a number of settlements on the shores of Lake Sempach and Lake Baldegg along with settlements, graves. At Hochdorf-Baldegg a fenced village from the early Bronze Age was uncovered, the single-story houses all had clay or stone hearths. During the Middle Bronze Age most of the villages were not located directly on the lake shores, the Late Bronze Age settlement at Sursee-Zellmoos on Lake Sempach featured houses arranged in rows with mortared stone. The walls were lined with clay. Another Late Bronze Age settlement near the village of Schötz was densely populated between 1350 and 800 BC, while numerous individual Iron Age items have been found, almost no settlements have been discovered.
From the Hallstatt period mainly graves have been discovered, very little is known about the La Tène period in Lucerne. Some iron tools, gold coins, ceramic vessels and a glass bangle as well as a ground with at least four graves have been found
Lake Geneva is a lake on the north side of the Alps, shared between Switzerland and France. It is one of the largest lakes in Western Europe and the largest on the course of the Rhône,59. 53% of it comes under the jurisdiction of Switzerland, and 40. 47% under France. Lake Geneva has been explored by four submarines, the Auguste Piccard, both built by Jacques Piccard, and the two Mir submersibles. Following the rise of Geneva it became Lac de Genève, in the 18th century, Lac Léman was revived in French and is the customary name in that language. In contemporary English, the name Lake Geneva is predominant, a note on pronunciation, Lake Geneva /ˌleɪk dʒᵻˈniːvə/ French, le lac Léman, le Léman or le lac de Genève German, Genfersee or Genfer See Italian, Lago Lemano, Lago di Ginevra. The Chablais Alps border is its southern shore, the western Bernese Alps lie over its eastern side, the high summits of Grand Combin and Mont Blanc are visible from some places. Compagnie Générale de Navigation sur le lac Léman operates boats on the lake, the lake lies on the course of the Rhône.
Other tributaries are La Dranse, LAubonne, La Morges, La Venoge, La Vuachère, Lake Geneva is the largest body of water in Switzerland, and greatly exceeds in size all others that are connected with the main valleys of the Alps. It is in the shape of a crescent, with the horns pointing south, the northern shore being 95 km, the crescent form was more regular in a recent geological period, when the lake extended to Bex, about 18 km south of Villeneuve. The lakes surface is the lowest point of the cantons of Valais, the culminating point of the lakes drainage basin is Monte Rosa at 4,634 metres above sea level. The beauty of the shores of the lake and of the sites of many of the places near its banks has long been celebrated, however, it is only from the eastern end of the lake, between Vevey and Villeneuve, that the scenery assumes an Alpine character. The shore between Nyon and Lausanne is called La Côte because it is flatter, between Lausanne and Vevey it is called Lavaux and is famous for its hilly vineyards.
The average surface elevation of 372 m above sea level is controlled by the Seujet Dam in Geneva, simulations indicate that the Tauredunum event was most likely caused by a massive landslide near the Rhône delta, which caused a wave eight meters high to reach Geneva within 70 minutes. In 888 the town was part of the new Kingdom of Burgundy, in the late 1960s, pollution made it dangerous to swim at some beaches of the lake, visibility under water was near zero. By the 1980s, intense environmental pollution had almost wiped out all the fish, pollution levels have been dramatically cut back, and it is again considered safe to swim in the lake. Major leisure activities practiced include sailing, wind surfing, rowing, on a scientific footnote, in 1827, Lake Geneva was the site for the first measurement of the speed of sound in water. The loud airborne sound coupled into the lake, establishing an underwater sound that could be measured at a distance. The flash of the exploding gunpowder provided the starting cue for the timepiece
GIS or geographic information system is a computer system that allows for visualizing, manipulating and storage of data with associated attributes. GIS offers better understanding of patterns and relationships of the landscape at different scales, tools inside the GIS allow for manipulation of data for spatial analysis or cartography. A topographical map is the type of map used to depict elevation. In a Geographic Information System, digital models are commonly used to represent the surface of a place. Digital terrain models are another way to represent terrain in GIS, USGS is developing a 3D Elevation Program to keep up with growing needs for high quality topographic data. 3DEP is a collection of enhanced elevation data in the form of high quality LiDAR data over the conterminous United States, there are three bare earth DEM layers in 3DEP which are nationally seamless at the resolution of 1/3,1, and 2 arcseconds. This map is derived from GTOPO30 data that describes the elevation of Earths terrain at intervals of 30 arcseconds and it uses color and shading instead of contour lines to indicate elevation.
Hypsography is the study of the distribution of elevations on the surface of the Earth, the term originates from the Greek word ὕψος hypsos meaning height. Most often it is used only in reference to elevation of land, related to the term hypsometry, the measurement of these elevations of a planets solid surface are taken relative to mean datum, except for Earth which is taken relative to the sea level. In the troposphere, temperatures decrease with altitude and this lapse rate is approximately 6.5 °C/km. S
Canton of Uri
The canton of Uri is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland and a founding member of the Swiss Confederation. It is located in Central Switzerland, the cantons territory covers the valley of the Reuss between the St. Gotthard Pass and Lake Lucerne. The official language of Uri is German, but the spoken language is the Alemannic Swiss German dialect called Urner German. Uri was the canton where the children in school had to learn Italian as their first foreign language. But in the year of 2005/2006 this was changed to English as in most other cantons. The population is about 35,000 of which 3,046 are foreigners, the legendary William Tell is said to have hailed from Uri. The historical landmark Rütli lies within the canton of Uri, the name of the valley is first mentioned in the 8th or 9th century, in the Latinized form of Uronia. In the medieval period, the name referred not to the entire Reuss valley but just to Altdorf, the extension of the name to a larger territory is the result of the territorial expansion of the canton in the 15th century.
However, usage of Uri as referring to Altdorf remained current, from the 13th century onward, the German form of the name is recorded as Ure. The modern form Uri dates to the 16th century, the name has been derived from either Latin ora brim, margin, or from a pre-Roman hydronym containing the PIE root u̯er water, in either case extended by a suffix in -n-. Both etymologies would refer to the Reuss and/or the shore of Lake Lucerne, the -n- suffix was reduced to an ending in -n in Middle High German, and the ending -n in the German toponym was lost only in early modern German. There is a popular etymology associating the name with ûr. This tradition may date as far back as the Middle High German period, beginning in the 17th century, the bull of Uri came to be associated with the name of the Taurisci in learned speculation. There are traces of settlement dating to the Bronze and Iron Age, with suggestions of trans-alpine trade with Quinto in Ticino, during the Roman era, Uri remained mostly isolated from the Roman Empire.
An analysis of the names along the shores of Lake Lucerne show a Gallo-Roman influence. When the Roman Empire withdrew from the Alps, the lake side villages looked north to the towns along the lake for support, Alemannic settlement begins in the 7th century. Uri is first mentioned in 732 as the place of banishment of Eto, in 853, Uri is granted to the Fraumünster abbey in Zürich by Louis the German. Parts of the Urseren were settled by Disentis Abbey and were part of the Diocese of Chur, by the 10th century, there were settlements of Romansh speakers from Disentis in the high valleys