University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wisconsin Geospatial News

NGS delays implementation of reference system modernization plans

The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) has announced that it is delaying implementation of the modernized National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) originally slated for roll-out in 2022.

NGS cites “operational, workforce, and other issues” that have arisen, causing them to re-evaluate whether a successful roll-out by 2022 is possible. The most significant impacts have apparently been in “workforce hiring and retention, and in meeting GRAV-D data collection milestones, which underpin the NSRS modernization efforts.” GRAV-D is the program collecting precise gravimetric data for the United States to redefine the vertical datum.

The revised timeframe for rollout is still uncertain but NGS states that “it is not out of the question to consider a complete roll-out of the modernized NSRS to be somewhere in the 2024–2025 timeframe.” A phased roll-out is being considered, since some parts of the modernized NSRS (such as NATRF2022, the horizontal reference frame for North America) do not depend on GRAV-D completion.

Some deadlines will remain unchanged, including:

  • The deadline for submittal of GPSonBM data for the 2022 Transformation tool will remain December 31, 2021.
  • The SPCS2022 deadlines will remain the same. (This refers to the State Plane Coordinate System which for Wisconsin includes a new statewide single-zone layer and an updated version of WISCRS).
  • Deprecation of the US Survey Foot on December 31, 2022 will remain the same.

The full FAQ on the NGS decision can be found here.

The Wisconsin Spatial Reference System 2022 Task Force (or WSRS2022) is working to help ensure successful implementation of the new reference systems across the state.