Modernization of the North American Reference System – The U.S. Plan and the Considerations for Canada


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SKU: LMSC10004755 Category:

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The U.S. is planning to modernize its spatial reference system, possibly as early as 2024 or 2025. As part of this modernization they plan to update both their geometric reference system (the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83)), and their vertical reference system (the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88)). These changes could have significant impacts for surveyors, mappers, and other geospatial professionals in Canada. For example, the U.S. plans to replace NAD83 with a new North American Terrestrial Reference Frame (NATRF2022), creating 1.3 to 1.5 m horizontal coordinate differences at the Canada–U.S. border with respect to Canada’s NAD83(CSRS). Never before have such significant differences existed between our two countries’ reference frames. This webinar will outline the U.S. plan, including their rationale, and then look at Canada’s situation with respect to reference frames. There are compelling reasons for Canada to follow suit and modernize as well, but there are also major challenges. Whether or not Canada follows the same path, there is much work to be done to prepare Canada for the U.S.’ updates.

Bio : Brian Donahue has been working with the Canadian Geodetic Survey, Natural Resources Canada for the past 22 years and is currently the team leader of the Geodetic Integrated Services Unit. He is also the chair of the Canadian Geodetic Reference System Committee (CGRSC), a Federal-Provincial-Territorial working committee of the Canadian Council on Geomatics (CCOG), which is responsible for planning geodetic reference system improvements in Canada.


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