World geodetic system.

Related Terms


A line connecting points having the same astronomical longitude. Because the deflection of the vertical (station error) varies from point to point, the astronomical meridian is not a plane curve. When the astronomical meridian is corrected for station error, it becomes the GEODETIC MERIDIAN. Also called TERRESTRIAL MERIDIAN and sometimes called GEOGRAPHIC MERIDIAN.


A line connecting points having the same astronomical latitude. Because the deflection of the vertical varies from point to point, the astronomical parallel is an irregular line not lying in a single plane. When the astronomical parallel is corrected for station error, it becomes the GEODETIC PARALLEL. Sometimes called GEOGRAPHIC PARALLEL.


A fixed reference once adopted as a standard geodetic datum for heights in the United States. The geodetic datum now in use in the United States is the North American Vertical Datum of 1988. The geodetic datum is fixed and does not take into account the changing stands of sea level. Because there are many variables affecting sea level, and because the geodetic datum represents a best fit over a broad area, the relation- ship between the geodetic datum and local mean sea level is not consistent from one location to another in either time or space. For this reason the National Geodetic Vertical Datum should not be confused with MEAN SEA LEVEL.


The tidal datum to which soundings and drying heights on a chart are referred. It is usually taken to correspond to a low water stage of the tide. Often shortened to CHART DATUM, especially when it is clear that reference is not being made to a geodetic datum.


Mapping, charting, and surveying arm of the National Ocean Service (NOS), a component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The organiza- tion was known as: The Survey of the Coast from its founding in 1807 to 1836, Coast Survey from 1836 to 1878, and Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1878 to 1970, when it became the Office of Charting and Geodetic Services under the newly formed NOAA. In 1991 the name Coast and Geodetic Survey was reinstated.


Of or pertaining to geodesy; geodesic. geodetic equat


A line of shortest distance between any two points on any mathematically defined surface. A geodesic line is a line of double curvature and usually lies between the two normal section lines which the two points determine. If the two terminal points are in nearly the same latitude, the geodesic line may cross one of the normal section lines It should be noted that, except along the equator and along the meridians, the geodesic line is not a plane curve and cannot be sighted over directly. Also called GEODESIC, GEODETIC LINE.


The angle which the normal to the ellipsoid at a station makes with the plane of the geodetic equator. It differs from the cor- responding astronomical latitude by the amount of the meridional component of the local deflection of the vertical. Also called TOPOGRAPHICAL LATITUDE and sometimes GEOGRAPHIC LATITUDE


A general term applying to astronomical and geodetic meridians


A general term geodetic longitudes

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