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# GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy

## Introduction to Geodesy: Concepts in Geodesy

Position,
Position, Positioning
Positioning Modes,
Modes,
and
and the
the Geodetic
Geodetic Models
Models
Lecture No. 3

## Department of Geodetic Engineering

University of the Philippines

a.s. caparas/06

Positioning in Geodesy
• Geodesy is interested in
positioning points on the
surface of the earth.
• For a layman “Position” means
?!
where were are…
• In geodesy, it has a more
detailed meaning and involves
several technical and
mathematical considerations…
• In geodesy, a position is a
result of a measurement
method on the surface of the
earth based on a certain
coordinate system and a
reference model for the earth’s
surface.

Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

1
A
A Coordinate
Coordinate System
System and
and A
A Reference
Reference
Model
Model
• A position cannot be
expressed using a single
quantity.
• It is expressed in two or
more quantities or
parameters, called the
“coordinates” of a point.
• The coordinates of a point
is based upon a certain
coordinate system.
• In geodesy, there are
several coordinate systems Example of a Coordinate System
being used from which the
position of a point on the
surface of the earth is being
referred. Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

Coordinate
Coordinate Systems
Systems and
and Reference
Reference
Model
Model
• A coordinate system is then
needed to be “put-on” a model
that closely fits the surface of
the earth.
• In geometric geodesy, the
earth is represented by an
ellipsoid of revolution whose
dimensions fits closely the
surface of the earth.
• This ellipsoid of revolution is
known as the reference
ellipsoid (other older literature
termed this as “spheroid”).
• The coordinate system and the
reference system are the
The earth, the reference ellipsoid,
essential components of a
and its coordinate systems
reference framework.
Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

2
Different Positioning in Geodesy
• There are several positioning modes in the
realm if geodesy:
1. Point Positioning
2. Relative Positioning
• Each positioning mode can be done using
one or more surveying
operations/methods by terrestrial,
celestial, or orbital flatform.
Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

Point Positioning
• Point Positioning is the
determination of the
coordinates of points based on
a fixed object not lying on the
terrestrial surface.
• It is not possible to determine
either 3D or 2D (horizontal)
positions of isolated points on
the earth surface by terrestrial
means.
• For point positioning we must
be looking at celestial objects,
meaning that we must be using
either optical techniques to
observe stars (geodetic
astronomy), or
electronic/optical techniques to
observe earth’s artificial
satellites (satellite positioning).
Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

3
Relative Positioning
• It is the process of
positioning of a point with
respect to an existing
point or points.
• This mode of positioning
is the preferred mode in
geodesy.
Triangulation
• The classical terrestrial
techniques for 2D relative
positioning make use of
angular (horizontal) and
distance measurements,
which always involve two
or three points.

Geodetic Traverse
Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

Relative Positioning
• In geodetic
astronomy, relative
astronomical
observations of
quasars.
• In satellite surveying,
relative positioning is
done by observing a
set of satellites from
two locations
simultaneously.
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy
Concepts in Geodesy:
Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

4
Kinematic
Kinematic Positioning
Positioning and
• As we have seen so far,
classical geodetic
positioning deals with
stationary points (objects).
• In recent times, however,
geodetic positioning has
found its role also in
positioning moving objects,
such as ships, aircraft and
cars.
• This application became
known as kinematic
positioning, and it is
understood as being the
real-time positioning part of
Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

Kinematic
Kinematic Positioning
Positioning and
• The velocity vector can be measured on the
moving vehicle in relation to the surrounding
space, or in relation to an inertial coordinate
system by an inertial positioning system.
• Alternatively, optical astronomy or point satellite
positioning produces directly the string of
positions, that describe the required trajectory of
the vehicle, without the necessity of integrating
over velocities.
• Relative satellite positioning is also being used
for kinematic positioning.

Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

5
Coordinate Systems
Recall…
• Position of a point is described by two or more coordinates based on
a certain coordinate system…

## According to the parameters used:

1. Rectilinear Type of Coordinate System
2. Curvilinear type of Coordinate System

## According to the surface/space dimension used:

1. Linear (One-Dimension) Coordinate System
2. Planar (Two-Dimensional) Coordinate System
3. Space (Three-Dimensional) Coordinate System

Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

Coordinate Systems
• In geodesy, we are concern on positioning
points on the three-dimensional surface of
the earth which can be represented in a
two-dimensional or three-dimensional
geodetic models.
• In the study of geodesy, coordinate
system is under both rectilinear and
curvilinear type on a planar or three-
dimensional surface.
Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

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Coordinate Systems
In studying Geometric Geodesy, three
coordinate systems are commonly in use:

## 1. The Cartesian-Space Rectangular

Coordinate System
2. The Geodetic Coordinate System
3. The Map-Grid Coordinate System

Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

Cartesian-Space
Cartesian-Space Rectangular
Rectangular Coordinate
Coordinate System
System

• a rectilinear type of
coordinate system on a Z
three-dimensional surface ZP
where the position of the
points is expressed as Point P
coordinates of a right-
Greenwich
handed orthogonal meridian
system whose origin
coincides with the center YP
Y
of the ellipsoid, XZ-plane XP
defines the zero meridian
Equator
and XY plane defines the
equator X Space-Rectangular
• Uses (X,Y,Z) as its Coordinate System
coordinate components Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

7
Geodetic Coordinate System
• a curvilinear type of coordinate
system on three-dimensional
space which uses a an surface
to define the position of point on
the earth.
• This coordinate system also
uses three parameters to define
the position of a point:
1. Geodetic latitude (φ): the angle
between the ellipsoid normal
through the point and the equator.
(0≤ φ ≤ 90N or S)
2. Geodetic Longitude (λ): the
angle in the equatorial plane
between the zero meridian and
the meridian of the point.
(0 ≤ λ ≤180E or W) Geodetic Coordinate
3. Ellipsoidal height (h): the System
distance along the normal from
the surface of the ellipsoid to point
P. Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

Geodetic
Geodetic vs.
vs. Geographic
Geographic Coordinates
Coordinates
• In many mapping textbooks,
we will often find that (φ, λ) is
referred as geographic Geographic
coordinates of a point. Coordinates
• We need to be aware of the
(φ, λ)
difference between geodetic
coordinates and geographic
coordinates.
• Geographic coordinates are
general position of points on
the surface of the earth used Geodetic Natural
basically in mapping. Coordinates Coordinates
• In geodesy, geographic (φ, λ) (Φ, ∆)
coordinates can be either
geodetic coordinates or natural
coordinates

Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

8
Map-Grid Coordinate System
• A rectilinear type of coordinate
system on a planar surface
where the horizontal position
of a point is define
• The idea of which is to make
the curved surface of the Earth
by some mathematical
transformation (map
projection) into a plane.
• It uses basically two
parameters to define the
position of a point:
1. Northing, N
2. Easting, E
• The third component of the
position of a point which is the
Elevation becomes an attribute
in this coordinate system
Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

The
The Geodetic
Geodetic Models
Models of
of the
the Earth
Earth
• Position of points on the surface of the earth can
now be represented into what we call a geodetic
model.
• A geodetic model is a scheme/system into which
a position of points are process to come up with
a geodetic reference system/network.
• There are two geodetic models of the earth
being used in geodesy.
1. The Two-Dimensional Geodetic Model
2. The Three-Dimensional Geodetic Model
Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

9
The
The Two-Dimensional
Two-Dimensional Geodetic
Geodetic Models
Models
• In a two-dimensional geodetic model, the
stations/points are parametized in terms of
geodetic latitude and longitude or mapping
coordinates, Northings and Eastings.
• The third dimension, the height, does not appear
explicitly as a parameter.
• Computations on the ellipsoid and the conformal
mapping are inherently two-dimensional.
• This type of geodetic models produces two
separate geodetic networks: the “horizontal” and
the “vertical” network.

Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

The
The Three-Dimensional
Three-Dimensional Geodetic
Geodetic Model
Model
• The advent of satellite positioning (GPS), breaks
the separation of a geodetic network into
horizontal and vertical.
• Since GPS can provide accurate three
dimensional position, one can create a network
based on a three-dimensional model using a
space rectangular coordinate system.
• A three-dimensional geodetic model is one that
represents the position of points on the surface
of the earth using three parameters that can be
separated.

Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

10
Conclusion
• Positioning of points is one major interest in
geodesy.
• There are several modes of positioning in
geodesy which each branch deals with.
• Coordinate system and reference ellipsoid are
essential in a reference framework for
positioning points.
• Geometric geodesy provides the knowledge in
coordinate system, reference ellipsoids and the
computation of position on a reference
framework.
Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

References:
• National Imagery and Mapping Agency
(NIMA), Geodesy for the Layman (online)
• Vanicek, P., An Online Tutorial on
Geodesy (online), University of Brunswick,
• Leick, A., GPS Surveying 3rd Edition

Concepts in Geodesy:
Lecture 3 GE 161 – Geometric Geodesy Position, Positioning Modes, and
the Geodetic Models

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