GDA Modernisation Implementation Working Group (GMIWG)

In the news

Australia on the move: how GPS keeps up with a continent in constant motion (article in The Conversation).

Datum Modernisation Update December 2016

A GMIWG meeting in Melbourne on 28–29 November reviewed timelines, communication and technical tools on the pathway to GDA2020

First animated video released

The first of our Datum animation videos, Modernising Australia’s Datum, is now available. The video is intended for clients, customers and others less familiar with spatial matters, but who need to grasp the importance of the change. Comments and suggestions arriving over the next few months will help us develop plans for follow up animations on specific topics and use cases.

Introductory fact sheet

We have also produced a fact sheet, Australia’s Datum Modernisation: what you need to know to provide a simple explanation of the change for a non–technical audience. Further fact sheets will be added to the Modernising Australia’s Datum website, which is being updated in preparation for adding new content in coming months. In the New Year you will notice a new look for the whole ICSM site.

Forum taking shape

In response to the original stakeholder questionnaire, we are establishing an online forum that will be moderated by GMIWG members, and have the capacity to be configured for various technical and implementation subjects. People who identified an interest in being involved in the forum facility will be contacted by GMIWG members. We expect it to be in operation by January 2017.

CORS providers on track

Good progress was made at the second meeting of CORS providers, which Land Victoria hosted in Melbourne in November. It is apparent that once the commercial operators receive the transformation parameters, and complete testing procedures, they should be providing support for GDA2020 later in 2017. The intention is for providers to support both GDA94 and GDA2020 correction services and CORS companies will be in touch with their customers and may utilise the online forum as a means of communicating specific help on this subject.

National distortion grid to be available in March 2017

The national adjustment and the new NTv2 distortion grid are nearing completion. This enormously complex task involves coordinating inputs from all the jurisdictions, so the timeline of January 2017 will not be met. It is expected, however, that by March 2017 all the outstanding technical issues will be resolved and a new national NTv2 distortion grid to transform between GDA94 and GDA2020 will be available for distribution. The small pool of geodesists in Geoscience Australia and all the other jurisdictions have been cooperating to solve these parameters and adjustments, which is a world first, and something Australia can be really proud of.

Adoption date for GDA2020

An important item for resolution at the GMIWG meeting was the ‘adoption’ date for GDA2020. Now that all jurisdictions are completing implementation project plans, it appears that capacity to support GDA2020 will be progressively achieved through 2017 and into early 2018. Therefore we now wish to alter the terminology from ‘adoption date’ to ‘operational capability’. As mentioned above, CORS providers are expecting to support GDA2020 by late 2017, so users will then expect to be able to consume and deliver data on the new Datum.

Each jurisdiction has specific challenges in terms of dataset assessment, transformation and delivery. Nevertheless, all are agreed that by mid–2018, users will be able to either consume data on the new Datum, or access the data they require and transform it themselves using the various transformation tools under development. Some jurisdictions may hold a window for dual Datum data submission and close that off once monitoring of data submission reveals a trend to full GDA2020 adoption by users.

Preparing transformation tools

Online and downloadable transformation tools are being prepared, and some specific work will be commissioned shortly to build front–end interfaces for the open source community, with the results being posted to GitHub for adaptation by others. One of the key enablers for the new Datum is the capacity for the major software houses to embed the new Datum parameters into their products and GMIWG is continuing to liaise with these important stakeholders. For jurisdictions, any such update comes with a lead time of testing and assessment of implications for dependent systems, and this is expected to commence early in 2017 when the national adjustment and transformation grid are finalised and run through to 2018. The jurisdictional GMIWG members will be keeping their stakeholders informed about progress on this matter.

Michael Giudici
Chair, GDA Modernisation Implementation Working Group
2nd December 2016

GMIWG membership