[gis_info] ASPRS\CaGIS GeoBytes - Sep 25, 2015 - New Positional Accuracy Standards for Digital Geospatial Data

David Alvarez davidalvarez76 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 31 19:05:22 PDT 2015

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The new ASPRS accuracy standards fill a critical need for map users and map
makers alike. For centuries, map scale and contour interval have been used
as an indication of map accuracy. Users want to know how accurately they
can measure different things on a map, and map makers want to know how
accurate maps need to be in order to satisfy user requirements. Those
contracting for new maps depend on some form of map accuracy standard to
evaluate the tradeoff between the accuracy required vs. how much time and
expense are justified in achieving it, and then to describe the accuracy of
the result in a uniform way that is reliable, defensible, and repeatable.

The new ASPRS standards address recent innovations in digital imaging and
non-imaging sensors, airborne GPS, inertial measurement units (IMU) and
aerial triangulation (AT) technologies. Unlike prior standards, the new
standards are independent of scale and contour interval, they address
higher levels of accuracies achievable by the latest technologies (e.g.
unmanned aerial systems and lidar mobile mapping systems), and they provide
enough flexibility to be applicable to future technologies as they are

*Finally, the new standards provide cross references to older standards, as
well as detailed guidance for a wide range of potential applications. *

David Alvarez


Winston Churchill
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