NOAA Issues Final Report: Scoping the Value of the Regional Geodetic Advisor Program

From the Preface
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) provides the foundation of the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), making use of geodesy to develop and maintain reference standards and tools to utilize them. The National Academy of Sciences report on precise geodetic infrastructure defines the domain of geodesy as:

“The fundamental parameters of geodesy include the Earth’s shape (land and sea surface topography, bathymetry, and ice sheet thickness), rotation and orientation in space, and gravity field. These parameters all change with time as a consequence of the dynamic nature of the Earth’s system. Geophysical processes transform the Earth’s surface, modifying the distribution of mass within the Earth’s interior and its oceans, and consequently alter its gravity field and rotation.”1

NGS provides access to its data, tools and training through extensive outreach efforts via documents, conferences and online capabilities as well as email and telephone support. The Regional Geodetic Advisor Program provides technical assistance and personal and group training to users of the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) in their home regions to facilitate proper use of modern positioning technologies, NGS geodetic data and tools, and federal positioning standards. The program began in mid-2016 as a successor to the State Geodetic Advisor Program.

The objective of this socio-economic scoping study is to preliminarily assess the nature and benefits of the Regional Geodetic Advisor Program. Benefit information can be useful in improving understanding of customers, applications and requirements for program planning, informing decisions about the allocation of resources among programs, and for advancing recognition of the contributions of the program.

This effort has benefited from exceptional cooperation and assistance from NGS staff in providing information and from the insights of NGS staff and people interviewed. We wish to thank Brett Howe and Ross Mackay for their guidance and perceptions, Joe Evjen, Rick Foote, Christine Gallagher, Julian Inasi, Erika Little, Brian Shaw, Mark Schenewerk, and Steve Vogel for providing data and contributing to discussions, Juliana Blackwell, Jessica Doten, Maureen Green, Brad Kearse and Sherri Watkins for their participation in meetings, and Marc Cheves, Dan Martin, Scott Martin, David Newcomer, William Stone and David Zilkoski for information and contributions to our understanding. Special thanks to Ross Mackay and William Stone for detailed comments on drafts of the report.

1 National Academy of Sciences, Precise Geodetic Infrastructure: National Requirements for a Shared Resource, National Academies Press, 2010, p.17

The report can be found at