US datum modernization coming in 2022

Blog Post created by MKennedy-esristaff Employee on Feb 26, 2019

The US National Geodetic Survey (NGS) is implimenting a plan to replace NAD 83 and NAVD 88 through a modernization effort.


NGS’s main page on the subject:


NGS has been very proactive in publishing information on the planned changes, and has had several summits to directly communicate with stakeholders and invite feedback. This year’s is on May 6-7 in Silver Spring, Maryland.


Last year there was a special industry partner summit. We’ve had someone at all of these geospatial summits, and have met many of the NGS personnel who are involved in the effort.


We are also attending or watching the NGS webinars related to this subject to make sure that we’re on top of the situation.


NGS has stated that they will release beta versions of data, transformations, etc. ahead of the 2022 date. So far there hasn’t been anything that Esri can test. We plan to incorporate any new coordinate system definitions (geodetic, projected, and vertical) as they’re released officially. If NGS releases beta versions, we plan to check that we do not see any issues and that they can be used in the software.


We have occasionally pre-empted an official release of transformation grid files or coordinate systems because supposedly the names and other information have been finalized and put the objects into a current software release. Then the names are changed and we end up having to change/delete/add the existing definitions. Because there are a lot of customers using US data, we want to be very careful adding these new coordinate systems and transformations for the 2022 modernization.