Geodesy Course


After being active in the geomatics industry (mapping, surveying, GIS) for many years, and

having to explain the same things many more times, I decided to make that information

available to the geomatics industry.  I hope that you will find it useful.  


Each one of the 15 videos below is 1 to 1.5-hours long.  They are available for purchase and

download (yes, you keep them forever - like a book - based on the honor system) because of

the lasting technical content that you may want to revisit down the road (the recorded format

allows you to do that).  


As a sampling of what is covered, consider the following questions:  

  • What are azimuths good for?
  • What is a projection? 
  • Can I really wreck a data set with a transformation?  
  • What is the Public Land Survey System? 
  • What is a confidence interval? 
  • Where do geoids come from? 
  • Why do parcel data not fit into my GIS database?  
  • What is a bearing?   


Click the PDF link below for a complete course description:  


Adobe Acrobat document [283.4 KB]




(Klick on one of the blue buttons that will take you to the corresponding payment window)  


SESSION 1. TRIGONOMETRY REFRESHER.  This session will make sure that you are ready for the other sessions.

Surveyors use trig in a special way.  Learn about bearings, azimuths, etc. 

SESSION 2 - COORDINATE SYSTEMS AND TRANSFORMATIONS.  Inserting one dataset into another is done with

trasformations.  However, a lot can go wrong, including the deformation of databases.  Learn how to avoid that.  

SESSION 3 - LEAST SQUARES CONCEPTS.  Long used in statistics, this tool is key in transformations, for example. 

Learn how to use it and how to read the results.  

SESSION 4 - GEOIDS.  Where do elevations come from?  Learn how gravity is king.  

SESSION 5 - ELLIPSOIDS.  These mathematical models of earth are the basis for all positioning.  Learn how.  

SESSION 6.  GPS.  What does GPS actually measure?  How does it achieve accuracy?  

SESSION 7 - PRECISION AND ACCURACY.  Mapping is full of accuracy or precision statements, but who knows

what they mean?  How does one communicate this properly when talking about data bases?  

SESSION 8 - PROJECTIONS.  This foundation for all local, national and world-wide positioning efforts eludes

many.  However, it is not that complicated.  

SESSION 9 - PROJECTIONS MATH.  A look behind the scenes of projections helps strengthen an understanding of

what is being achieved mathematically.  

SESSION 10 - HORIZONTAL DATUMS.  A datum is the origin of a reference system.  Horizontally, they normally

refer to some geographic position.  Learn how they relate to various projections.  

SESSION 11 - VERTICAL DATUMS.  Datums also exist vertically, for elevations.  See how.  

SESSION 12 - PLSS AND GIS.  Any legal description of land parcels requires a statement abouts its position within

the Public Land Survey System.  This is needed in GIS, surveying and engineering.  

SESSION 13 - LIDAR.  It is used to collect and process point clouds that are employed by many communities

for planning and project management.  See how.   

SESSION 13 - PHOTOGRAMMETRY 1.  The use of aerial photography is used extensively for interpretation of

conditions on the ground, or the precise mapping of ground detail.  Whether this is done from the ground,

from drones or from airplanes, the principles are the same.  

SESSION 15 - PHOTOGRAMMETRY 2.  This session gives and insight into the more technical aspects of the science.  


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