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The Datum Gates Series

Users must pass through many datum gates to successfully collect and process GPS data for inclusion in a GIS.  The increasing availability of sub-meter accurate GPS, imagery and other spatial datasets is keeping users even more honest every step as once ‘minor datum shifts’ can no longer be overlooked.  Although a challenging topic for users of all levels, ignoring datums will introduce significant errors in the data you have worked so hard to collect.

These tutorials, created specifically for this site, follow at each step as your data moves from GPS to GIS and asks

  • to which datum is the GPS data currently referenced
  • how might this step change that, and
  • to which datum is the resulting data file referenced.


For steps where datums demand your consideration, this series of articles provides -

  • Background and terms
  • Table outlining the datum for each file
  • Software screenshots and explanations
  • Workflow posters, and
  • References


May these guides offer you the keys to successfully pass through each Datum Gate.

We look forward to you comments and suggestions to help us clarify this much muddied topic.


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