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Projections are important! While the above hoax image (created for an Autodesk advertisement) shows issues with engineers not using correct measurements.

This example illustrates how different the last Australian projection from 1994 is from the new one created in 2020. Moving north 7 cm a year, the Australian plate is one of the fastest-drifting plates in the world. Do you want to become a case study in why correct projections matter?

If you’re interested in geography or maps, you may have heard of something called “GDA94” or “GDA2020.” These are both ways that geographers and mapmakers use to measure and locate places on the Earth’s surface. But what’s the difference between GDA94 and GDA2020? 

GDA stands for “Geocentric Datum of Australia.” This is a set of coordinates that help us find specific locations on a map or on the Earth’s surface.

GDA94 was created in 1994 and has been used in Australia for a long time. It was based on measurements and technology from that time, so it was only as accurate as the technology at the time allowed. This could sometimes cause problems when trying to find exact locations, especially as technology improved and we could measure things more precisely.

GDA2020, on the other hand, was created in 2020 and is a more updated and accurate version of GDA94. It uses newer technology and more precise measurements to make sure that locations are marked more accurately. This means that if you’re trying to find your way around or locate a specific place, GDA2020 is going to be more accurate and reliable than GDA94.

Another difference between GDA94 and GDA2020 is that GDA2020 is more compatible with newer technology. GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) devices are becoming more and more popular, and GDA2020 is better at working with them to give you an accurate location. 

Finally, GDA2020 is the new standard in Australia. This means that any new maps or geographic data that is collected will be based on GDA2020 instead of GDA94. This is because GDA2020 is more accurate and reliable, and it helps to make sure that everyone is using the same system to find locations.

While it may not seem like a big deal, having accurate location data can be important for all sorts of things, from finding your way around to helping emergency services respond to a crisis. As technology continues to improve, it’s likely that we’ll see even more updates to the way we measure and locate places on our planet.

What projections do I have?

Most of the data that you have in your library should be in the 1994 system and will also have world wide projections such as WGS84. Mangoesmapping has developed and deployed a semi-automated process to catalog all your data.

Using this we can see:

  1. What projection each dataset is in?
    Some clients have 10’s of different projections.
  2. Where is it located?
    Your location data can be on different drives, deep within your folder structure
  3. When was it created and last accessed?
    Some clients have data that’s not been accessed since the late 90’s.
  4. How many features, file size and duplicate records?
    The file may exist with the same name but different numbers of features and access history.

We can help you to locate duplicates/triplicates and more so that you end up with a list of files that can be cleaned. 

In one case we reduced the data storage requirements for one client by more than 70%.

We can produce a searchable list of files showing key information in an online google sheet which reduces time to find data.

How do we convert to the current system?

Using the results of the Mangoesmapping GeoMetadata script and system we can automate the conversion while also cleaning up the data so that only files that are required are put into a logically organised system. We can also use this opportunity to start using databases or universal standards such as geopackages.

How much will this cost?

It depends on multiple factors such as the number of files to convert, whether you want to choose and re-organise the data in the same go, if you want to move the database, clean up duplicates, etc. We can share our custom software for you to run and then provide a quote to you.

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