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digital mapping

Factoring in the Geocentric Datum Australia (GDA2020)

DPE is working with the Department of Customer Service Spatial Services team to ensure the EPI datasets are in alignment with the Digital Cadastral Database (DCDB), particularly in regard to changes driven by the Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020 (GDA2020).

What is GDA2020?

Australia defines its geographic coordinates (for maps and measurements) based on a tectonic-plate reference; that is, Australia sits on its own tectonic plate that is moving approximately 7cm every year. These coordinates, until recently, were derived from GDA94, the nationally accepted coordinate-reference system, which was adopted in 2000.  

Given the advances in digital technology since then (global navigation satellite systems), and that Australia’s tectonic plate has moved 1.5-1.8 metres, there was a need to update the GDA system to bring our local coordinates in alignment with the global system. 

GDA2020 was adopted in NSW in 2020. This datum directly impacts all spatial datasets in Australia, including the Digital Cadastral Database (DCDB), which is managed by the Department of Customer Service Spatial Services team. The DCDB is currently supported in both GDA94 and GDA2020, but the EPI datasets managed by DPE are still based on GDA94.

What is DPE doing to align its EPI datasets with GDA2020 and what is the impact of this initiative on councils?

DPE will develop strategies to align its EPI datasets with GDA2020 through 2022. It will then migrate these datasets to the GDA2020 format.

Please note, the Department will continue to use GDA94 in the interim. However, it will accept EPI datasets from councils in both formats (GDA94 or GDA2020). Similarly, when the Departments is providing EPI datasets to councils it can do so in either format. This approach will provide greater flexibility for councils transitioning to GDA2020 at their own pace.

The Department will refresh this page as the project progresses.

To learn more about GDA2020, click here to be redirected to Spatial Services’ website.

A ‘GDA2020 Forum for LGAs’ is also available. Access can be requested via the Spatial Services customer hub.