News from and of the California Spatial Reference Center

Spring 1999

Newsletter Initiated - This newsletter is being distributed as an aid to keep you advised of the California Spatial Reference Center (CSRC) actions and events. Future, additional issues will be prepared and distributed as needed -- and as volunteers are available to compile.

1st Annual Meeting of CSRC Planned - The first meeting of the CSRC Coordinating Council is scheduled for Thursday, July 8 in Sacramento. Our host for this meeting will be Garry Weldon, Council representative for the California Department of Water Resources. Thanks Garry. Garry reports that the meeting will be held in the San Joaquin Room within the Department of Water Resources Training Center located at 1721 13th Street (13th and R Streets). The meeting is to begin at 10:00 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 3:00 p.m. An aggressive agenda has been planned and includes such important items as the Chairperson's Annual Report, adoption of a Constitution and Bylaws, election of officers and Executive Board, discussion of funding issues, and various reports. All Coordinating Council members are urged to attend.

Interim Appointments Made - Bill Young has been interim director of CSRC since its initial formation in the fall of 1997. During the last two years, Bill has devoted considerable energy and time to make CSRC a reality and without his determination and persistence, there would be no CSRC. Bill recently retired from the Riverside County Flood Control District after a 39-year career. The last 25 years of his career, he was chief of the District's Surveying and Mapping operations, which included GIS in recent years. In addition to Bill, Mike Duffy of the Metropolitan Water District (MWD), has served CSRC from its inception as secretary. He is an original supporter of the CSRC concept and has faithful documented the meetings and actions of the CSRC to date. Mike, who has been a surveyor for 21 years, is currently manager of MWD's Geometronics Section. He represents the District on the CSRC Coordinating Council.

Dr. Yehuda Bock, a long time advocate of cooperation between the scientific and surveying communities, has been selected as interim CSRC Director. Currently, Dr. Bock is the Director of the Scripps Orbit and Permanent Array Center where he has become a leading expert in GPS matters, including the operation of large networks that consist of Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS). Just recently, CSRC retained Don D'Onofrio has a spokesperson for the Center. Don recently retired from the National Geodetic Survey after a 38-year career, the last eight years as California's State Geodetic Advisor. As California's Advisor, Don has been instrumental in bringing the many diverse surveying-related groups together to recognize and address common spatial reference issues. Don has, and will continue to, educate surveyors and others on GPS issues and the functions of the CSRC. He is available to speak to groups upon request; contact Don at

Draft Constitution and Bylaws Prepared - Larry Fenske, with assistance from Don D'Onofrio, has completed preparation of the draft CSRC Constitution and Bylaws. Larry and Don recently retired from Caltrans and the National Geodetic Survey, respectively, and are Coordinating Council members within the "Other, Non-Designated Professional" subgroup. The draft Constitution is a brief document that establishes the mission and objectives of the Center and outlines the Center's governing bodies and basic operational procedures. In contrast, the Bylaws is a detailed document that specifies the election, duties, meetings, etc. of the officers, Executive Board, and Coordinating Council. In addition, the Bylaws outline the concepts and components of the CSRC geodetic network and the Center's budgetary requirements. Copies of the Constitution and Bylaws were distributed via e-mail by interim Chairperson Bill Young on June 25. These documents are vital to the successful operation of the Center and all Coordinating Council members are requested to review these documents before the July 8 annual meeting. If you need a hard copy, please contact Larry at

Coordinating Council Positions are Being Filled - Interim Chairman Bill Young reports that 26 persons have been appointed to the Coordinating Council and this number continues to increase as organizations and agencies select their representatives. The Coordinating Council, which consists of 11 subgroups, is planned to eventually have 50 to 60 members. Bill added that many of the unfilled positions are "at large" members that are to be appointed by the Executive Board. The Executive Board, the day-to-day managerial body of CSRC, will be elected by the Coordinating Council and will be composed of one member from each Council subgroup plus the elected Chairperson and Vice Chairperson -- a total of 13 members.

Young Meets with Congressional Staff - On June 4, interim Chairperson Bill Young and Gary Magnuson, an aide to the National Geodetic Survey, conducted a series of meetings with staff members of California's two Senators and two members of the House of Representatives from southern California. The primary purpose of the meetings was to discuss and promote "height modernization" efforts, an issue closely related to the mission and objectives of the CSRC. The meetings were held at the local offices of the senators and representatives.

A number of individuals assisted Bill and Gary in these presentations. At the meeting with Representative Ron Packard's staff person, John Canas aided by explaining the height modernization efforts in Orange County. During this meeting, it was stated that letters from cities, counties, and special districts in support of height modernization efforts were essential to obtaining additional funding. Phil Giurbino, County of San Diego, and Frank Fitzpatrick, Manitou Engineering, assisted in the meeting with Representative Randy Cunningham's staff person. Tony Pratt from the City of Los Angeles aided Bill and Gary when they met with the staff person from Senator Feinstein's office. And during the meeting with Senator Boxer's office, Tony Pratt again assisted with the presentations along with Dave Stone from the Riverside County Flood Control District.

CSRC Permanent Funding Remains an Issue - Permanent funding for the CSRC remains an unresolved issue. Temporary funding has been obtained in the form of a $100,000 grant from the National Geodetic Survey and a $137,000 (annual) contract from Caltrans. The latter is for specific work. Interim Chairperson Bill Young, with the assistance of others, has been actively pursuing funding at both at the state and national level. The most viable sources at this time appear to be a federal allocation, through the National Geodetic Survey, specifically for CSRC and an augmentation to the Monumentation Preservation Fund (a state program) with a portion of the augmentation "earmarked" for the CSRC. Although these options remain viable, both are far from being realized. Permanent funding for the CSRC will be a critical topic at the first annual meeting on July 8. All Coordinating Council members are urged to review funding alternatives and be prepared to suggest possible solutions.

Basic Network Adjustment is Completed - Just recently, the CSRC completed the network readjustment of the "basic" (framework) stations within the California Spatial Reference System. This adjustment is being performed in partnership with the National Geodetic Survey (NGS). The CSRC adjusted coordinate values will now be compared with those determined by NGS. Discrepancies (if any) will be resolved and the final results will be published by NGS as part of the National Spatial Reference System. This network adjustment included 78 Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS), those that were active and healthy at the time, and 146 conventional stations. The conventional stations were mostly High Precision Geodetic Network (HPGN) stations with some added NAVD88 benchmarks to strengthen the vertical component of the network. The adjustment is based on observations that were performed by NGS (with assistance from others) during June, July, and August of 1998. The epoch of the new adjustment will be July 1, 1998. CSRC reports that the average one-sigma precision of the coordinates of the HPGN stations in the solution is: 2.3 mm in the north, 2.4 mm in the east, and 9.9 mm in the vertical component. The California CORS precision is: 1.7 mm, 1.8 mm, and 4.2 mm in the north, east, and vertical component, respectively. (Note: This information was extracted and summarized from a report authored by Dr. Yehuda Bock and Matthijs van Domselaar.)