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Modernising Australia’s Datum

Datum modernisation update 3 May 2017

Work to the enable the change from GDA94 to GDA2020 as Australia’s official national datum is still being finalised. This includes production of the transformation grids, publication of the GDA2020 Technical Manual and the legal adoption of GDA2020 as the Recognized-value standard of measurement of position in Australia. GDA94 remains the national datum until this work is completed.

See the GMIWG update for further detail about datum modernisation activities.

GDA2020 Interim Release Note

The Permanent Committee on Geodesy (PCG) has published the GDA2020 Interim Release Note to provide spatial software developers the information needed to test their products for GDA2020 applications. The information can also be used by all surveying and spatial scientists to begin their preparatory work to transition from the Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA94) to GDA2020.

The GDA2020 Interim Release Note provides information regarding the definition of GDA2020 and its relationships to GDA94 and the International Terrestrial Reference Frame 2014 (ITRF2014). This information allows users of GDA94 and ITRF2014 to transform to GDA2020 coordinates using similarity transformations.

In late March, the Recognized–value standard of measurement of position (RVS) will be updated by the National Measurement Institute. GDA2020 will be determined with respect to this RVS. The update to the RVS, and hence the national datum from GDA94 to GDA2020, will occur in late March. Until then, GDA94 remains the national datum.

When the RVS is changed, the gazettal will appear in the GDA Technical Manual. The GDA Technical Manual will also include recommendations on how to transform between historical Australian geodetic datums (AGD66 and AGD84) and GDA2020, information on coordinate transformations and conversions, and the Australian Height Datum and geoid model.

The GDA2020 Interim Release Note is available in pdf format for downloading.

In the news:

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

Modernising Australia's Datum from Small Island Studio on Vimeo.

This website provides information about changes to the system that underlies Australia’s location information which is being updated to align with global satellite positioning systems. Watch our animated video to see why and how Australia’s Datum is changing.

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