[Proj] Google Earth Accuracy

Andrew Williams AWilliams at rapidmap.com
Thu Dec 11 04:35:46 UTC 2008

Thanks Duncan. That "docking" scenario was how the system was sold to me by the developer of the hardware (Navcom).

Guess the brochure sounds better than the technically correct description;)

So just to make sure ITRF varies over time compared to WGS84 based on tectonics, correct?

-----Original Message-----
From: proj-bounces at lists.maptools.org [mailto:proj-bounces at lists.maptools.org] On Behalf Of Duncan Agnew
Sent: Thursday, 4 December 2008 5:24 AM
To: PROJ.4 and general Projections Discussions
Subject: Re: [Proj] Google Earth Accuracy

Since I am in the crustal-motion business I want to correct the previous
posting about ITRF. This is "space-based" only in the sense that it uses
data from outside the Earth (GPS and other satellites, along with
radio sources).  It was not designed with space use in mind. Since ITRF
WGS84 are both space-based in this sense, they align closely: after all,
the center of the Earth and the rotation pole are both non-arbitrary.

ITRF was designed to be an ultraprecise reference frame for measuring
of the Earth as a whole, and of different parts relative to each other.
the frame is designed to be fixed relative to the velocities of all the
tectonic plates, averaged over the whole Earth, any particular point
have time-varying coordinates in this frame--as is is in fact true for
frame not tied to a particular plate (WGS-84 included), though many
do not take account of this. The people who develop and update ITRF are
working at the millimeter level.

Two "plate-fixed" frames are NAD (at least east of the Rockies), and
(for Northern Europe). Rather weirdly, Australia has chosen not to
a local frame, even though it has a plate all to itself.

For more on ITRF, see http://itrf.ensg.ign.fr/

Duncan Agnew

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