An Introduction to Geodetic Datums

An Introduction to Geodetic Datums

This content is not hosted on MetEd.

This series of short videos, produced in collaboration between NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey and The COMET Program, provides an introduction to geodetic datums for anyone who uses mapping products or other geo-spatial tools.

1. What are Geodetic Datums? (4:36)
In this video we explain the basic concepts behind geodetic datums, where they are used, and why it is important to know about and use the correct datums.

2. How Were Geodetic Datums Established? (3:12)
In this video, we explore the history of geodetic datums in the United States, and how they were established at a national level to assure consistency across mapping applications.

3. What Is the Status of Today's Geodetic Datums? (4:49)
Here we examine the use of the current primary geodetic datums used in the US, NAD 83 and NAVD 88, the challenges in maintaining these datums, and the inconsistencies that arise when they are used together with the latest satellite-based mapping technologies.

4. What's Next for Geodetic Datums? (4:41)
Finally, we look at current plans for developing more accurate horizontal and vertical datums, (referred to respectively as geometric and geopotential datums), the expected benefits and impacts, and the importance of preparing now to adopt these new datums.

This resource is hosted on COMET's YouTube Channel.