The Definitive Guide to Coordinate Reference Systems

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Your free, easy-to-understand primer for all things CRSs.

Even for veteran surveyors, the topic of coordinate reference systems can be confounding. Concepts like “vertical datums” and “orthometric heights” can seem difficult to crack without a master’s degree in geodesy. 

But anyone who deals with topographic surveys—from the survey managers themselves to engineers and project managers—might at some point be called upon to answer questions about their site’s CRS. 

Which is why we’ve put together The Definitive Guide to Coordinate Reference Systems!


In this handy ebook, we’ll lay out in layman’s terms some of the basic concepts concerning the world of coordinate systems, including:

  • Why we need coordinate reference systems
  • The problem with projecting 3D surfaces onto 2D maps
  • How we use ellipsoids and geoids
  • Using vertical datums to calculate elevation
  • Why surveyors prefer local coordinate systems

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