The current official horizontal and vertical datums of the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) are NAD 83 and NAVD 88, respectively, commonly used among surveyors. However, over the near thirty-five years of both datums being used, many issues have been found.
These issues are rooted in the fact that both datums are defined primarily by a network of passive geodetic survey marks. Unfortunately, this network of survey marks has deteriorated over time and resources are not available to maintain them.
As far back as 2007, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) has been planning to modernize the NRSS. In 2008, they set a Ten Year Plan, to have the modernizations completed by 2018.
In 2013, NGS revised its original completion date from 2018 to 2022, and by 2017, the NGS expressed confidence in hitting their target.
The new reference frames and datum to replace NAD 83 and NAVD 88 will rely primarily on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), the Global Positioning System (GPS), and NGS’s own gravimetric geoid model, the GRAV-D Project.
What does this mean for WJH & Our Clients?
The NGS is providing tools to transform data from NAD 83 and NAVD 88 to the modernized NSRS coordinates, and WJH is ready to make this change for all active projects as 2022 grows closer. Contact us today for your next survey!