European Geodetic Reference Systems

List of European countries by population - WikipediaIn 1987, the IAG and CERCO decided to develop a new European Geodetic Reference Frame based on GPS. This reference should be a precise continent-wide modern reference near to the WGS84 and usable for multinational Digital Cartographic Datasets, no longer derived from multiple national datums across Europe. It should unify national reference systems for surveying, mapping, GIS and navigation in Europe.

As in the late eighties the International Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS) was the most precise global reference system available, EUREF decided to base its reference on the ITRS which is maintained by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS). However, in the global ITRS, plate tectonics cause the coordinates of European stations to slowly change in the order of about 2.5 cm/year.

Therefore, in 1990 at it symposium in Firenze, Italy, EUREF designed the European Terrestrial Reference System 89 (ETRS89) in such a way that it would be based on the ITRS except that it is tied to the stable part of Europe, so that the relations between European stations are kept fixed. Coordinates in ETRS89 are expressed as either three dimensional (X, Y, Z) Cartesian coordinates or as three dimensional ellipsoidal coordinates (Φ, λ and русское порно,  Ellipsoidal height).

Based on the GRS80 ellipsoid

The acceptance of ETRS89 by several communities (civil aviation, industry, national and regional agencies) as the backbone for geo-referencing in Europe is a continuous process. EuroControl (European Agency for Safely of Air navigation) uses ETRS89 since a long time in its technical specifications and there is a recommendation by the European Commission to adopt ETRS89 as the geodetic datum for geo-referenced information and to promote the use of ETRS89 within its member states.

EUREF and EuroGeographics conducted in 2005 a survey among 41 NMCA in the European countries. From the 28 answers, 78% of the NMCA already adopted officially the ETRS89 and 18% of them will adopt it in the near future. In the majority of the countries the usage of the ETRS89 is not mandatory in all situations, due to the existence of national reference systems and the need to have a transition period until the ETRS89 can be fully adopted.

More details:

EVRS – European Vertical Reference System

The web project EVRS (European Vertical Reference System) includes, as described in detail in the chapter dealing with the European height reference system, information about this coordinate reference system, their realizations EVRF2000 and EVRF2007 and related projects as, e.g. realization of the EUVN (European Vertical Reference Network) and EUVN_DA (EUVN Densification Action).
CRS-EU – Information system for European Coordinate Reference Systems

The information system CRS_EU containing the description of pan-European and national coordinate reference systems as well as their relations with each other. It is based on information of the National Mapping Agencies of European countries, is edited in accordance with an ISO standard and verified by test computations.

The information offered includes:

  • – description (reference system, coordinate system or map projection) of the pan-European coordinate reference systems ETRS89, EVRF2000 and EVRF2007 and the coordinate reference systems of most European countries
  • – parameters for the transformation of the national coordinate reference systems into the pan-European coordinate reference systems for position and height.
  • – verification coordinates for check transformation and online-transformation of single points for position from national coordinate reference systems to pan-European coordinate reference systems ETRS89 for test and verification purposes

This way, the requirements imposed by порно 365 the users of geoinformation and by other users of geodetic-cartographic information shall be met in a better way regarding such issues as geodetic referencing.
EUREF Densification Campaigns.

ECGN – European Combined Geodetic Network

In order to be able to refer to an integrated European reference network for spatial reference purposes, the creation of a ECGN is already under way. This network combines measurements of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and other space techniques with gravity and levelling measurements. Sea level and other measurements will also be integrated into this network.

The web pages of the ECGN – European Combined Geodetic Network – serve the provision of information and the project management. They contain calls for participation in this project, station data, guidelines for the measurement, and other details.

Technical Working Group (TWG)

The EUREF TWG was created at the EUREF symposium in Berne, 1992.

The TWG meets twice to three times a year to manage current activities. One of these activities is the validation of GPS campaigns under the established guidelines, for approval by the plenary.

You can find the minutes of the meetings published together with the symposia proceedings.

Our Team

Royal Observatory of Belgium
B-1180 Bruxelles
Fax +32 – 2 – 3 74 98 22
Tel. +32 – 2 – 3 73 02 11


General information

The EUREF TWG (Technical Working Group) was created at the EUREF symposium in Berne, 1992.

TWG is responsible, in general, for the control of EUREF activities and policy, and has the following specific tasks:photos TWG Meeting London 2007

  • to coordinate and develop the EPN (EUREF Permanent Network);
  • to evaluate and classify results of GNSS campaigns presented to the TWG for acceptance as EUREF densification or extension;
  • to organize and coordinate European-wide geodetic observation campaigns for the improvement of the European reference frame;
  • to coordinate the actions for the realization of a European Height System and the integration of the geo-spatial and vertical components of the European Reference Frame;
  • to identify the relevant actions for the continuation and development of EUREF, with respect to innovation and the changing user needs;
  • to set up the working groups to run the projects defined by the plenary;
  • to prepare the recommendations for the EUREF plenary.

What do we do

The TWG meets at least twice a year, preferably three times a year.

The TWG is constituted by members elected by the plenary, ex-officio members and members in charge of specific tasks.

The TWG Chair, elected among and by its members, coordinates the TWG. The term is 4 years, in a maximum of 2 terms.

The number of members elected by the plenary is defined by the TWG Chair and must be in agreement with the tasks committed to the TWG. The recommended term is 4 years.

The ex-officio members are the EUREF Chair and Secretary.euref symposia

Members in charge of a specific task, in a limited number, also compose the TWG. The TWG Chair appoints these members. The term is established according to the tasks committed.

The TWG Chair may invite persons to attend the meetings, to assist in the discussion of specific subjects or to present relevant items to EUREF. These persons have no voting rights.

The WG (Working Group) are established within the TWG and approved in a Plenary’s resolution. The TWG Chair proposes the leadership of the WG. The leader of a WG must be a member of the TWG.