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Geodetic Control

Geodetic Control supports accurate horizontal and vertical placement of all other layers, particularly Cadastral (by improving horizontal locations), Hypsography (by providing accurate elevations from Height Modernization), Land Cover, Orthoimagery, Soils and Wetlands from a combined campaign to acquire LIDAR data or other Remote Sensing data collected with accurate positions and elevations provided by Height Modernization.

Goals for Geodetic Control are to work with other theme efforts to provide accurate and accepted control data for Montana. Goals include improving GCDB accuracy enhancement in priority areas, advancing the Height Modernization program in Montana, promoting public access to public control data including GDCB, promoting the use of standards for reporting control data, developing an on-line database for storing, querying & accessing control data, potentially promoting legislation to require that control generated with public funds be submitted to the public database, promoting training and education opportunities to foster an understanding of the value and use of control.

Goals & Objectives

Theme goals for the next two years include:

  • An expanded educational effort promoting the value of geodetic control and the use of the Montana Control Point Database.
  • Integration of geodetic control as a reference layer in GIS databases.
  • Work with the boundary cadastral theme champions to insure non-duplication of efforts.

Status of Framework

Most objects depend on having an on-line Montana Control Point Database (MCDB) for control. The database is functional and housed at the Montana State Library. Licensed surveyors may contribute data by downloading the MCPD Input Spreadsheet below

  • MCPC Input Spreadsheet

  • Some education and outreach has occurred, on a limited basis. The responses have been positive regarding the willingness to contribute control point data.

    Major issues:

    • No major issues at this time.
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    • Tying this database to scanned corner records. Not addressed at this time, but dialog has begun on this.

    2009 – 2012 Stewardship Plan

    A strategic plan to densify control requires, as a first step, the creation of a Geodetic Control Database that documents existing control and serves as a tool to help identify areas in need of densification. An accumulation of the existing Geodetic Control in one single accessible database would likely result in literally thousand of points and may adequately cover the developed portions of Montana. Therefore, it seems prudent that before Montana develops and undertakes a project specifically aimed at densifying geodetic control, an initial effort be aimed at inventorying existing control. Initial efforts to populate a Geodetic Control Database should focus not only on the addition of newly created points, but perhaps more importantly, importation of existing control. Specific tasks for the 2012 time frame include:

    • Contract with a licensed land surveyor or licensed land surveying firm to administer the control database.
    • Educate the surveying community as to the existence and use of this database.
    • Continue to populate the database.
    • Develop a control densification plan for Montana.
    • Develop state standards for control data submission and dissemination.
    • Test the feasibility of linking scanned corner recordation records to the database.
    • Work with MDT and NGS to develop a Height Modernization program.

    History of Framework

    Efforts to elevate the awareness of geodetic control and coordinate geodetic control information across Montana began in the late 1990s with a core group of surveying and GIS representatives. This group has representatives from the Montana Department of Administration, Montana Department of Transportation, US Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, local government, the private sector. Since developing the strategic plan for Montana’s geodetic control this working group meets intermittently, typically via conference call, and communicates via email. Many of the members of the geodetic control working group are also on the executive committee for the Montana Height Modernization Program

    Stewardship Contact Information

    Theme Steward

    Montana State Library
    Geographic Information

    1515 E. Sixth Ave
    Helena, MT 59620-1800

    Geodetic Control Framework
    Theme Lead

    Bob Holliday
    Montana State Library

    Stu Kirkpatrick
    Department of Administration, ITSD
    Base Map Service Center

    910 Helena Ave.
    Helena, MT 59620-0115
    Fax: 406-444-1255
    Phone: 406-444-9013