University of Wisconsin–Madison

WSRS2022: The Wisconsin Spatial Reference System 2022 Task Force

Save the Date! WSRS 2022 Task Force Q1 meeting on Jan 24th from 9am to noon at WisDOT Truax Office (3502 Kinsman Blvd, Madison, Bureau of Technical Services).


In 2022 the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) will replace NAD 83 and NAVD 88 with new horizontal and vertical reference systems known as the North American Terrestrial Reference Frame of 2022 (NATRF2022) and the North American-Pacific Geopotential Datum of 2022 (NAPGD2022). The new reference frames will rely primarily on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), including Global Positioning System (GPS), and a gravimetric geoid model produced from the NGS’s Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum (GRAV-D) Project.

These changes will have significant effects on surveying, mapping and GIS across Wisconsin. Accordingly, the Wisconsin Spatial Reference System 2022 Task Force (“WSRS2022”) has been organized under the Geospatial Committee of the Wisconsin Society of Land Surveyors (WSLS). Howard Veregin, Wisconsin State Cartographer, will chair the Task Force, and Richard Kleinmann, who chairs the WSLS Geospatial Committee, will be co-Chair. WSLS is providing financial support for the Task Force.

The Task Force represents a broad coalition of geospatial and surveying professionals in Wisconsin, including federal, state, regional, county and local governments, and agencies, corporations and associations involved in the production and utilization of spatial data.

The mission of WSRS2022 is to help ensure successful implementation of the new reference systems across the state.

WSRS2022 will address the technical, educational, communication, legislative and software aspects required to respond to NGS plans to better position Wisconsin to implement the new reference systems.

Focus Groups

Technical Focus Group
Goals: Develop a proposal that is ready for review and approval by the Task Force for the NGS deadline of Dec. 31, 2019. This proposal should consider all three tiers of Wisconsin’s spatial reference system structure: WISCRS; a three-zone State Plane Coordinate System modeled on the current SPCS zones; a single zone for the entire state, possibly based on Wisconsin Transverse Mercator. Per NGS guidelines, the proposal should include a formal request for NGS-designated zones (SPCS and WTM) and a formal proposal for zones designed by Wisconsin (WISCRS). The Focus Group should also consider the impacts of the new vertical reference system (NAPGD2022). Coordination Leads: Glen Schaefer (retired); Al Vonderohe (retired)

Legislative Focus Group
Goals: Define the impacts of the new reference systems on state and local legislation and ordinances. Make specific recommendations for updating legislation and ordinances, with possible reference to model legislation developed nationally. Develop a timeline to fit legislative calendars.Coordination Leads: Emily Pierce (WSLS, NSPS); Eric Damkot (WLIA)

Education and Outreach Focus Group
Goals: Help “spread the word” and educate the community about the new reference systems and their implications for geospatial data and workflows. Includes education of software vendors and developers, surveyors, utilities, GIS practitioners, educators, and students. Both educators and current users/practitioners must be included in this effort, to help identify issues and to bring both sides of the education equation together. Coordination Leads: Brenda Hemstead (SCO); Corey Hughes (WCSA)

Software/Hardware Focus Group
Goals: Develop plans to incorporate the new reference systems into hardware and software in a timely and accurate manner, and in a way that serves the needs of the state’s users. Initiate registration of new/modified Wisconsin coordinate systems with EPSG. Work with NGS to incorporate these coordinate systems into publications and transformation software, including NCAT or a Wisconsin-specific extension to NCAT.

Implementation and Adoption Focus Group
Goals: Identify implementation and adoption implications of the new reference systems, including best practices for transforming current data, effects of WISCORS and CORS broadcast schedules, federal agency plans and requirements, and funding of local/state data conversion. Coordination Leads: Jeremiah Erickson (LION); Nina Rihn (WI DNR)