Building on the Geoid to Harmonize Height Systems Globally

Saturday, 14 February 2015: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room LL20B (San Jose Convention Center)
Michael Sideris, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
The original impulse to define the geoid (conceived by Gauss in 1828) was to serve the needs of surveyors and civil engineers providing a common reference surface and height system for building bridges and other infrastructure. Before the advent of satellite geodesy, a patchwork of incompatible "local geoids" and regional height systems had been established. Now these systems can be unified on a global scale, even across the oceans, with wide-ranging benefits in science as well as engineering.