International Terrestrial Reference Frame - How Geodesy Connects the World 21.11.2023 - The Earth is subject to constant processes of change. In order to record phenomena such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events and their effects, to use new technologies, reliable information on the respective position has become indispensable.

Knowledge of the respective position is relevant for many issues. This can relate to navigation with a smartphone, the precise determination of global sea level rise, securing parcel boundaries, determining the position of self-driving cars and countless other applications. Highly accurate geodetic coordinate systems are needed to answer these questions.

The International Association for Geodesy (IAG) provides the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF) as one of the most important fundamental products for this purpose. This is based on over 1800 geodetic observation stations worldwide, whose data is used to calculate the ITRF. It is only through the cooperation of countless organizations, universities and national authorities, such as the Federal Office of Metrology and Surveying (BEV) in Austria, that this important data can be compiled, analyzed and then used to create such a highly accurate coordinate system.

GGOS Coordination Office at the BEV

Our planet is precisely observed by GGOS, the Global Geodetic Observing System of the IAG. With this global geodetic observation system, the worldwide geodetic community makes an essential contribution to the observation and monitoring of the Earth.

The activities of the various GGOS components are coordinated and supported by the Coordination Office. Since 2016, its tasks have been successfully carried out by BEV.

A video produced by the GGOS Coordination Office at the BEV illustrates the development and global importance of ITRF for science and society.

Information on GGOS