Browse dictionary

- [geodesy] A geodetic datum for any extensive measurement system of positions, usually expressed as latitude-longitude coordinates, on the earth's surface. A horizontal geodetic datum may be local or geocentric. If it is local, it specifies the shape and size of an ellipsoid representing the earth, the location of an origin point on the ellipsoid surface, and the orientation of x- and y-axes relative to the ellipsoid. If it is geocentric, it specifies the shape and size of an ellipsoid, the location of an origin point at the intersection of x-,y-, and z-axes at the center of the ellipsoid, and the orientation of the x-,y-, and z-axes relative to the ellipsoid. Examples of local horizontal geodetic datums include the North American Datum of 1927, the European Datum of 1950, and the Indian datum of 1960; examples of geocentric horizontal geodetic datums include the North American Datum of 1983 and the World Geodetic System of 1984.