Working Group 5.2 - Reference Frame in Practice

Welcome to the webpage of FIG Working Group 5.2 - Reference Frame in Practice !


Whats Hot ! (Latest News)


ESA's Gravity Mission GOCE
Launched on 17 March 2009, ESA's Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) was developed to bring about a whole new level of understanding of one of Earth's most fundamental forces of nature – the gravity field.

Full story at



The Final Report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) on GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM: Significant Challenges in Sustaining and Upgrading Widely Used Capabilities has been released. The report is available for download at  



FIG Working Week was held in Stockholm in Sweden. As usual, Commission 5 was very active with a number of sessions and papers. All papers, posters and presentations are presented on the FIG Website.

Commission 5 also organised a poster session on CORS Networks. These posters, together with other descriptions on various CORS, can be found under “Useful links – Reference Frame”


FIG Regional Conference was held in San Jose in Costa Rica. Commission 5 had several sessions that attracted much interest from the conference delegates. Papers and presentations are presented on the FIG Website. Commission 5 produced a number of fact sheets and these can be found under the section “Technical Manuals and Fact Sheets”


- See web location - 




Release of EPSG Geodetic Parameter Dataset v6.13 (July 16, 2007)

This release (Version 6.13) of the EPSG Geodetic Parameter Dataset comprises of data corrections and updates to the v6.12 release of February 2007. The EPSG Geodetic Parameter Dataset is maintained by the Geodesy Subcommittee of the Surveying and Positioning Committee of the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP). This version and prior archived versions may be downloaded without charge from The dataset will continue to be known as the EPSG Geodetic Parameter Dataset.

As for previous releases, the v6.13 dataset is available in two forms: either an MS Access database which also includes a data reporting capability, or as a series of SQL scripts for populating an alternative relational database application. There are different SQL scripts for various SQL variants. In each format, the v6.13 release is accompanied by an updated version of the current ReadMe file, in both PDF and MS Word formats.

New to Version 6.13 are:

  • Changes as documented in Change table records through 2007.067, but with actions still remaining on some change requests
  • Revisions to data for Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Greenland, Fiji, Kuwait, Namibia, Netherlands, Reunion, South Africa, Spain and United Kingdom.
  • New data for Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, South Georgia, United Arab Emirates and United States.
  • The use of the terms 'supersede', 'retire' and 'replace' has been rationalised. This has included structural changes to the Supersession table in which the supersession type of 'replacement' has been eliminated. The rationalisation has also included changes to the supersession type assigned to records within the supersession table and to remarks in records in other tables. The EPSG dataset interpretation of ISO 19135 terms is discussed in Guidance Note 7 part 1 Use of the EPSG Geodetic Parameter Dataset.

In addition to the above data content changes, the “Use of the Data” rules have been clarified and expanded to facilitate increased use of the EPSG dataset in third party software. See the Readme file or associated online documentation for additional details.


On July 26, 2007 the United States and European Union announce the final design for GPS L1C and Galileo L1F signal. More info at: 


Co-operation Agreement SIGNED !

The FIG Council held its first meeting in early March. One of the agenda items was the Co-operation Agreement between the Institution of Navigation (ION) and FIG. The agreement was adopted and signed by the FIG Council and will now be presented at the General Assembly in Hong Kong in May for their information.

Commission 5 and ION will investigate joint activities on topics such as -

  • Reference frames and observing systems
  • Positioning, measurements and applications
  • Navigation and tracking
  • Geoid determination and height systems
  • Sensors and platforms
  • Hydrographic surveying, marine geodesy
  • Systems for data processing, analysis and representation
  • Special applications of geodesy to engineering
  • Theory and algorithms
  • Education and training
  • Cooperation with other international organizations such as the United Nations
  • (UN) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • Contributing to multi-disciplinary research and advisory teams

Currently the FIG liaison officer with ION is FIG VP Matt Higgins and he will discuss with Rudolf Staiger who will be the Commission 5 contact person in the future.

We look forward to good co-operation and the benefits to both ION and FIG. More information on ION, please see


2007 is dedicated as the IHY 2007. IHY stands for International Heliophysical Year. Heliophysical is a broadening of the concept "geophysical," extending the connections from the Earth to the Sun and interplanetary space. On the 50th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year, the 2007 IHY activities will build on the success of IGY 1957 by continuing its legacy of system-wide studies of the extended heliophysical domain. To learn more about it, please check 


Information on the conclusions of the First Meeting of the International Meeting on Global Navigation Satellite Systems organized by the Office for Outer Space Affairs on 1-2 November 2006 in Vienna, Austria can be found on the press release which can be read on the following website: 


Australian Geodetic Community receive $15.8 million AUD to enhance geodetic infrastructure. In summary this infrastructure will consist of

  • Approximately 50 GNSS base stations distributed across the Australian continent,
  • A new VLBI site and replacements for the other ageing 2 systems,
  • An upgrade to the SLR system, and
  • The purchase of both an absolute (FG5) and relative gravity meter.

Refer to the following web links for more information.
General Information:
Australian Federal Minister's press release:
Fact Sheet on the AuScope part:
See also: 


ITRF 2005 is now released. You can find more information at
Mikael Lilje



The EPSG geodetic parameter dataset is a repository of parameters required to:

  • identify coordinates such that those coordinates describe position unambiguously. This is through a coordinate reference system (CRS) definition.
  • define transformations and conversions that allow coordinates to be changed from one CRS to another CRS. Transformations and conversions are collectively called coordinate operations.

Version 6.11.2 is the current release of the EPSG dataset, distributed in an MS Access 97 database and/or as SQL scripts.

For more info, please see

Technical Manuals and Fact Sheets

Need some facts ? Then click here.

Useful Links

What else is out there ! Then click here.

Highlight Papers

To peruse our library of reference frame highlight papers, click here !

Discussion Forum

Do you have a question about reference frames ? Then click here !

About This Work Group

Need to know more about FIG Commission 5, Working Group on Reference Frame ? Then click here and you will also find contact addresses to the persons involved with this working group !