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Datum matters

GDA2020 operative.

The Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) is now able to deliver and receive location data in Australia’s new datum known as the Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020 (GDA2020).

Transitioning of the national geodetic datum from GDA94 to GDA2020 brings Australia’s latitude and longitude coordinates into line with those from global satellite positioning systems, enabling positioning technologies to accurately locate features marked on our maps (see previous MESA Journal article in October 2018).

DEM migrated location data to GDA2020 on 12 August 2019. Accessed via SARIG, the data will also remain available in GDA94 coordinates until late 2020. However, some geophysical datasets will remain in GDA94 due to the practical constraints of reprocessing this data.

There will be a pragmatic transition period of at least 12 months during which DEM will accept location data in either GDA94 or GDA2020 (with GDA2020 being preferred, unless by prior consultation for petroleum data), following which GDA2020 will become the requisite datum.

South Australian government mineral and energy legislation, policies and guidelines are being updated where they refer to an older datum or coordinate system.

For location data submission inquiries, contact (minerals) or (petroleum).

More information on GDA2020 is available from the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping and Geoscience Australia.

– Peter Buxton and Iain Campbell, August 2019

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