THE REFERENCE POINT
     News from and of the California Spatial Reference Center (CSRC)
                             HAPPY HOLIDAYS

No. 3.; Fall 2000 Next Council Meeting Rescheduled. The CSRC Coordinating Council meeting that was to be held in January 2001 has been postponed to February 20, 2001, due to scheduling conflicts involving several "key" participants. All Council members are encouraged to attend this important meeting. An invitation is also extended to others who have an interest in California's spatial referencing issues. The planned location of the meeting - University of California, San Diego (UCSD) at La Jolla - has not changed. Additional information will be distributed as the meeting date approaches. Tentative agenda items include a) funding issues and plans, b) proposed budget (spending plan), c) dedication of the CSRC building, d) issues regarding CSRC's constitution/bylaws, and e) election of certain officers and an executive board. Please send suggestions regarding agenda items, officers, and/or executive board membership to Bill Young, CSRC Chairperson, at byoung@deltanet.com. Your suggestions are welcomed and are imperative to maintain the vitality of CSRC - a "user based" organization. CSRC Contingent Travels to Washington D.C. At the request of National Geodetic Survey (NGS), six CSRC representatives traveled to Washington D.C. in July 2000 to meet with NGS's management and discuss issues pertaining to CSRC. The primary discussion items were a) status of NGS's height modernization program, b) current and potential funding for CSRC, c) updating crustal motion velocities, d) NGS's Cooperative CORS, and e) communications between NGS and CSRC. Throughout the meeting, NGS expressed a sincere desire that CSRC succeed and also a willingness to review policies and procedures that tend to impede this success. While in the Washington D.C., the CSRC members also met with several congressional staff members to promote funding for CSRC and height modernization. Contacts were made with staff from the a) House Appropriation Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Judiciary, b) Senator Dianne Feinstein's office, c) Senator Boxer's office, and d) Congresswoman's Lucille Roybal-Allard's office. The attending CSRC representatives concluded from these meetings that there was an interest, understanding, and support for these programs at the congressional level (see next newsletter item). It was during these meetings that the value of a letter writing campaign was learned. Several congressional staff members specifically stated that they were familiar with CSRC and height modernization, in part, as the result of CSRC's letter writing efforts. A sincere "thank you" to all that wrote letters on behalf of CSRC. House/Senate Committee Proposes $1.0 Million for CSRC. On October 26, 2000, CSRC learned that the House/Senate Conference Committee included $1,000,000 in the proposed FY2001 Federal Budget specifically for CSRC - a successful result (at least partially) to CSRC's letter writing campaign and on-site visits/meetings. The Conference Committee budget language also provides $19,634,00 for base programs, $500,000 for the South Carolina Geodetic Survey (as referenced in the Senate report), $1,000,000 for North Carolina for implementation of height modernization, and $250,000 for NGS to implement the National Height Modernization study. Although CSRC does not expect that these allocations will be revised, it must be noted that as of this date (12/21/00) the FY2001 Budget has not been signed by President Clinton. FY2001 began on October 1, 2000, but it was not until last week that the politicians reached agreement on an overall FY2001 Federal Budget. Since October 1, portions of the federal government have been operating under a series of "continuing resolutions". Although we may "savor" the partial success this year, it is far short of CSRC's total needs. The $1.0 million is not permanent funding; it is a one-time allocation (when received). Also, the $1.0 million only provides about one-third of the total estimated funding required by CSRC. And, to date, no direct funding has been received from the State level. The struggle to locate and attain permanent funding must continue. Your assistance is requested and required. Monthly Telephone Conferences Underway. During CSRC's meetings with NGS in July, Dave Zilkoski, NGS Deputy Director, suggested that CSRC and NGS initiate monthly telephone conference calls involving "key" individuals from CSRC and NGS. The conference calls began in August and, to date, have been held monthly on schedule. Dale Pursell, NGS's liaison person to CSRC, coordinates the conference calls. He also records and distributes minutes for each meeting, including an "on going" action item list. The conference calls have proven to be successful, especially in identifying the "real" issues involving NGS/CSRC. The conference calls will continue. If you want more information or are interested in listening in on the calls, contact Bill Young, CSRC Chairperson, at byoung@deltanet.com. Special Committee Meeting Held. On Sunday, November 19, 2000, a special committee meeting of selected CSRC members was convened by Chairperson Bill Young at his facilities in San Clemente. In attendance were six CSRC members (Yehuda Bock, Don D'Onofrio, Michael Duffy, Larry Fenske, Greg Helmer, and Bill Young) and Marti Ikehara, California's NGS State Geodetic Advisor. The primary purpose of the meeting was to develop a proposed "spending plan" (a proposed CSRC budget) in response to the tentative $1.0 million allocation from the House/Senate conference committee. This year, the federal Budget will be extremely late in approval, leaving minimal time to complete work efforts (spend the allocation) and prepare the required reports. In November, NGS encouraged CSRC to began efforts on drafting a spending plan so CSRC will be prepared when the money is received. (See next newsletter item for additional information on the proposed spending plan.) Other items discussed at the San Clemente meeting were a) CSRC's constitution/bylaws (University will not approve; the constitution/bylaws will be rewritten in a University "support group" format), b) new CSRC Coordinating Council members (potential new members were identified including representatives from adjacent states and interested seismic groups), c) next CSRC Coordinating Council meeting date (revised to February 20, 2001, to avoid conflicts in schedules), and d) California CORS criteria/agreement document (NGS and CSRC are resolving differences in the type of document and its detail; NGS is currently reviewing CSRC comments and the CSRC document). For a copy of the meeting minutes, contact Secretary Mike Duffy at mduffy@mwd.dst.ca.us. Proposed Spending Plan Developed and Submitted to NGS. At the November 19 CSRC special committee meeting (see above), a proposed "spending plan" was developed for this year's anticipated funding. The plan, which was subsequently refined by Dr. Yehuda Bock and Susie Pike (UCSD administrator), anticipates a $1.25 million income - $1.0 million federal funds, $150,000 Caltrans contracts, and $100,000 from other. The plan has eight work efforts as summarized below.

  1. California CORS Data Portal - Expand current system capabilities to provide a full service, online data portal for CORS coordinates and metadata. Total proposed budget: $150,000.
  2. Height Modernization: CORS NAVD88 Heights - Provide a data set of NAVD88 heights for the California CORS network. Total proposed budget: $200,000.
  3. California Spatial Reference Network Master Plan - Design and document the proposed California Spatial Reference System geodetic control network (a single horizontal and vertical network). Total proposed budget: $50,000.
  4. Height Modernization: South San Francisco Bay - Continue the height modernization project that begin in 1998; expand the current network by about 30 stations using NGS 2-cm Ellipsoid Height Guidelines. Total proposed budget: $200,000.
  5. Southern California Real-Time GPS Network - Develop and demonstrate a real-time, three-dimensional GPS network capability in collaboration with Orange County. Total proposed budget: $300,000.
  6. Height Modernization: Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) - Apply the techniques developed in the scientific community to the problem of defining a vertical reference system for CSRC; primary focus will be Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Total proposed budget: $100,000.
  7. California CORS Densification - Perform site selection and construction of CORS in areas needed for geodetic control purposes, but not desirable for geophysical science; likely densification areas include four sites in the Central Valley. Total proposed budget: $150,000.
  8. Masters of Science Program Development - Develop a professional Masters degree program at UCSD (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) in Spatial Referencing and Geodesy that is tailored to the CSRC's mission. Total proposed budget: $100,000.

On December 4, 2000, the proposed spending plan was submitted to NGS for comments. UCSD Allocates Space for CSRC. UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography recently allocated space to CSRC. The four-room bungalow (identified as T31) is located on the Scripps campus on a cliff overlooking the Pacific (a great view). CSRC personnel, including Matt van Domselaar and Brent Gilmore, have already relocated to T31. The building will be dedicated on February 20, 2001, during the CSRC Coordinating Council meeting. A wooden CSRC sign to be posted outside the bungalow is being constructed. Hector Mine Adjustment Nearing Completion. The Hector Mine survey consisted of 66 ground stations in the Mojave Desert (mostly east of Barstow). Included in the processing were some 150 or more CORS in southern California or Nevada. As of mid-December, the comparison of NGS results and CSRC results is in the final stages. Currently, there is a systematic trend in the northing coordinates, which differs by no more than 5mm, that is being examined. This may result from different approaches in how NGS and CSRC treat constraints when computing coordinates. Representative Julian Dixon Dies - Rep. Julian Dixon, an early supporter of the CSRC, died on December 8, 2000. For 22 years, he has represented the west Los Angeles Congressional District. CSRC to Provide Panel Discussion at GIS Conference - CSRC has been accepted to present a panel discussion on "the role of CSRC in GIS activities" at the annual California Geographic Information Systems Conference. The conference will be held in Sacramento on February 21 - 23, 2001 (starting the day after the CSRC Coordinating Council meeting). The panel discussion is scheduled for 1 1/2 hours and will included representatives from CSRC and the GIS profession. The CSRC representatives will also provide a brief update on the status of CSRC's funding. This Issue Editor: Larry Fenske (lfenske@jps.net)Contributing Authors: Bill Young, Dr. Yehuda Bock, Marti Ikehara, Don D'Onofrio