gNSS standards & specifications

One goal of the User Group is to promote standards for GNSS surveying and mapping. A subcommittee of the group has been formed to review existing specifications and guidelines used around the country. Listed below are some of the background documents we will be working with to develop GPS Specifications for optional use in our state.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management have finalized  (PDF)  "STANDARDS and GUIDELINES for CADASTRAL SURVEYS USING GPS METHODS,"   and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) has recognized the standards.

The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) has approved (PDF) Part 1: Reporting Methodology, (PDF) Part 2: Standards for Geodetic Networks,  and (PDF) Part3: National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy of the Geospatial Positioning Accuracy Standards.

The purpose of these standards is to provide a common accuracy standard model for many geographic data types, so that the accuracy of any geographic data type can be evaluated in comparison to another geographic data type. These standards do not contain the specifications for methodology and equipment which are required to achieve a certain accuracy standard.

The California Geodetic Control Committee has written the Specifications for Geodetic Control Networks Using High-Production GPS Surveying Techniques which provide guidelines for GPS methodology and equipment. These specifications build on the outdated FGCS document "Geometric Geodetic Accuracy Standards and Specifications for Using GPS Relative Positioning Techniques", version 5.0, May 1988, reprinted with corrections August 1, 1989. This 1989 document was widely distributed and used; however, it was never formally adopted by the Federal Geodetic Control Subcommittee. The California Specifications update certain portions of the 1989 FGCS standards which are out of date due to GPS equipment and methodology advances.

The Survey Advisory Board of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources has written a draft version of "Standards and Guidelines for Land Surveying Using Global Positioning System Methods" which provide guidance to Land Surveyors using Global Positioning System technology.  You can view and save that document here.  

You can also contact Dave Steele, Washington DNR, at