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New 2022 Datum Updates
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October 6, 2019


As most of our members are now aware, NOAA-NGS is modernizing the National Spatial Reference System and plans to go live in 2022. They will be replacing the current NAD ’83 and NAVD ’88 reference systems with NSRS 2022; specifically, North American Terrestrial Reference Frame of 2022 (NATRF 2022) horizontally and North American-Pacific Geopotential Datum of 2022 (NAPGD2022) vertically.

Furthermore, the fate of the U.S. Survey foot is now at hand. To coincide with the modernization of the NSRS, NOAA-NGS is proposing to implement the use of the International Foot. The difference between the two for terrestrial measurement is almost insignificant. The US Survey foot is longer by only 2 parts per million (0.01 foot per mile). However having both in use at the same time has created confusion and headaches.


The NYSAPLS Legislative Committee first became involved in this work as it relates to New York in in the fall of 2018 when we understood the need to update our current legislation defining the NYS plane coordinate system to allow state, county and municipal agencies, as well as licensed professionals to work in NAD’83. Since our initial look at legislation specifically, we soon realized that this NGS update is much larger than simply new legislation.



Why is NGS replacing NAD 83 and NAVD 88?


NAD 83 and NAVD 88, although still the official horizontal and vertical datums of the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), have been identified as having shortcomings that are best addressed through defining new horizontal and vertical datums.


Specifically, NAD 83 is non-geocentric by about 1.5 meters.  Secondly, NAVD 88 is both biased (by about one-half meter) and tilted (about 1 meter coast to coast) relative to the best global geoid models available today.  Both of these issues derive from the fact that both datums were defined primary using terrestrial surveying techniques at passive geodetic survey marks.  This network of survey marks deteriorates over time (both through unchecked physical movement and simple removal), and resources are not available to maintain them.


So what is your Legislative Committee doing to move us forward and be ready for NSRS 2022?


Currently, the Legislative Committee has been focused on three fronts:

  • Updating our current legislation defining the NYS plane coordinate system to accept NSRS 2022 and the use of the International Foot. (LAWS OF NEW YORK, 1995, CHAPTER 605, to amend chapter 545 of the laws of 1938

  • Seek input from “Stakeholders” as defined in “Procedures for Design and Modification of the State Plane Coordinate System of 2022”.  Committee member Patti Brooks is coordinating with NSPS and their outreach efforts to states and will be our point person on in-state outreach and coordination with involved and interested stakeholders; NYS DOT, NYS DEC, NYS OGS, NYS GIS et al.

  • Educate NYSAPLS members about technical considerations regarding the proposed Zones (and their alternates) as designed by NGS. Zones also can be designed by Stakeholders however their maintenance would be required by those Stakeholders after NGS approval. Committee members Brian Skalman, Duane Frymire and Lee Green are coordinating these efforts.

    • Look to January's article of the Empire State Surveyor for education regarding the NY Zone alternates.
    • To date, NGS has only provide proposals for the Long Island zone and Eastern zone.
    • To date, NGS has provided (2) alternates to the State Wide zone
    • To date, no stakeholder zone designs has been submitted to NGS.

Requests for zones alternates designed by NGS or proposals for zones designed by stakeholders must be received no later than March 31st, 2020.  NYSAPLS Legislative Committee will be coordinating this effort. Zones alternates designed by NGS must be unanimously accepted by all stakeholder.


  • Dan Martin (NOAA-NGS) presented a webinar for NYSAPLS on May 3rd, 2019 titled "The future of State Plane in NY”. You can watch the recording here.
  • NGS' Website for the 2022 Datums found here: New Datums


We hope this update provides enough information assure our members NYSAPLS is actively working with all the parties listed above in an effort to be ready when the 2022 horizontal and vertical updates are released. If you have any questions or comments, please fell free to contact any NYSAPLS Legislative Committee member for more information or call the NYSAPLS HQ office, 518-432-4046. 


Respectfully Submitted,
The NYSAPLS Legislative Committee

146 Washington Avenue
Land Surveyors Building
Albany, NY 12210
518-432-4046 -- (f) 518-432-4055

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