Wisconsin Geospatial News

National Geodetic Survey Provides Update for Completing State Plane Coordinate System 2022 Redesign

On a December 9, 2021, webinar, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) provided an update for completing the nationwide design of the State Plane Coordinate System 2022 (SPCS2022). The webinar was led by Michael Dennis, NGS’s SPCS2022 Coordinator. A previous update on timing for completion of SPCS2022 was provided in this SCO article.

NGS uses the term SPCS2022 to refer to up to three separate layers for each state: a statewide single-zone layer, and one or two multi-zone layers which could include a “traditional” SPCS layer (similar to Wisconsin’s three-zone SPCS of 1983) as well as a multi-zone LDP or Low Distortion Projection (similar to WISCRS).

In early 2020, the Wisconsin Spatial Reference System 2022 Task Force (WSRS2022) asked NGS to design a single-zone layer for the state and proposed a multi-zone LDP layer modeled after WISCRS. A design for the LDP layer, known as WIGGS for Wisconsin Grid-Ground System, with all needed zones and parameters, was submitted to NGS in September, 2020.

During the December, 2021, webinar, Dennis stated that NGS’s goal is to complete the SPCS2022 design process by the end of calendar year 2022. Based on initial reviews, it appears that a large majority of the designs submitted to NGS have no issues (or only very minor ones). Thus NGS expects that official approvals will start going out to states within the next few months. Once individual states have received their final approvals, a nationwide set of SPCS2022 parameters will be publicly distributed. The target for this release is March, 2022.

While SPCS2022 designs will thus be finalized in 2022, utilization of the designs will not be possible until sometime after 2025 when the NGS releases the new horizontal reference frame, NATRF2022, with the rollout of the modernized National Spatial Reference System (NSRS). As noted in earlier SCO articles, this rollout has been delayed beyond the original 2022 timeline.

In the meantime, Dennis suggested users could use the SPCS2022 definitions with NAD 83 rather than NATRF2022. But he cautioned that any data thus created would not become part of the NGS “ecosystem” of products and services. Moreover, without explicitly modifying the grid origin (False Easting and Northing) users could easily cause confusion with similar-looking coordinate values when NATRF2022 is finally rolled out.

It is the view of WSRS2022 that Wisconsin users should NOT use SPCS2022 definitions — including WIGGS parameters — based on NAD 83, but instead wait until NATRF2022 has been released.

For more information on SPCS2022, WIGGS and the NSRS Modernization effort see the WSRS2022 webpage.