Ordnance Survey plans switch to GPS-aligned Coordinate system

Ordnance Survey plans switch to GPS-aligned Coordinate system


Ordnance Survey logoUK, September 19, 2014: The Ordnance Survey (OS), Britain’s national mapping agency, is contemplating to discard its system of coordinates on maps devised more than 180 years ago.

The national agency is gathering views on changing its latitude and longitude markers to a system used by most GPS devices.

It, however, clarified that national grid references are not going to be changed but it may change the lat and long datum to the WGS84 model, in recognition that most users now refer to that, rather than its present Airy 1830, first devised by Sir George Biddell Airy, the Northumbrian-born mathematician and astronomer.

The agency’s spokesperson said, “In recent years, more and more map users are starting to use GPS devices, which operate on a datum with a wider geographical reach than just Great Britain. The datum that underpins GPS is called WGS84, and through sheer volume of usage is starting to become the default datum.”

To support the increasing usage of GPS devices, OS is considering options that could help bring digital navigation devices and paper maps closer together.

Source: Grough