Entire National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) to be Modernized in 2022

10-13-2017 01:22 AM
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Regular Contributor

In 2022, the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) is scheduled to be modernized, with new reference frames replacing North American Datum (NAD) 83(2011), NAD 83(PA11) and NAD 83(MA11), or the NAD 83 system.

The North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) 88, which provides the vertical datum used in the United States, will also be replaced. One of the new frames is North American Terrestrial Reference Frame of 2022 (NATRF2022).

The other three are:

  • Pacific Terrestrial Reference Frame of 2022 (PTRF2022)
  • Caribbean Terrestrial Reference Frame of 2022 (CTRF2022)
  • Mariana Terrestrial Reference Frame of 2022 (MTRF2022)

The main reason for this change is the realization that NAD 83 is not "as geocentric" as it should be. There is an error of almost up to 2 meters horizontally from the true center point and this has to do with plate tectonics, where movement of the Earth’s plates has meant that the 2-meter error is increasing over time. 

The new coordinate reference system will utilize mathematical modeling and satellite data to update the true location of the NATRF2022 datum point, allowing for up to date referencing rather than a fixed position that will over time need to be reset.

Read more about the reference frames in the attached document.

4 Replies
Regular Contributor III

I only recently heard about this change and although I realize its still several years off before this comes into play, has Esri come up with a good way for users to convert their existing data to the new state plane system when this happens?  

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Esri Notable Contributor

NGS is planning to release transformations to the new frames. If I understand correctly, there will be a beta (alpha?) this year with limited availability so people, particularly industry, can prepare.


Regular Contributor

State Plane Coordinate System of 2022 is approaching. What is ESRI's plan to upgrade the Map Projection engines to handle them?

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Esri Contributor

Hi @RichardDaniels,

Colleagues are following the NSRS 2022 development and they have been attending the industry partner summits given by NGS, and attending or listening to the webinars that NGS has been giving for the last few years.

There’s not much to do right now as NGS hasn’t released any transformation grid files or officially, any of the new state plane zones or other coordinate systems. We plan to do testing as soon as any data becomes available. Last June, NGS announced that they were not going to make their 2022 end-of-year deadline and are instead aiming for 2024 or 2025.

One change that’s coming is that the new state plane zones will use transverse Mercator, oblique Mercator, and a variant of Lambert conformal conic. Currently, it’s a 2 standard parallel case. The new zones will use what’s known as a 1 standard parallel case. It includes a scale factor, which effectively turns into a 2 standard parallel case. In ArcGIS Pro 2.6, we added two variants to the Lambert conformal conic projection to have them ready for NSRS 2022 state plane zones. 


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