Development of a Surveying and Mapping Guide for Transportation Projects

Many state and federal transportation agencies have their own surveying and mapping standards, which leads to inconsistencies in measurements used in the design and construction of transportation assets. A national surveying and mapping standard would ensure spatial consistency, improve efficiency, minimize errors, and reduce duplication efforts. There are some critical factors driving the need for consistent practices that may warrant consideration and adoption of a national standard: (1) The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) requires the U.S. DOT to promote, implement, deploy, demonstrate, showcase, support, and document the application of advanced digital construction management systems (ADCMS) to enhance project execution. (2) The National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), a coordinate system established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that defines latitude, longitude, height, scale, gravity, and orientation throughout the United States, is being modernized. The NSRS is required to be used by all federal agencies creating geographic information. Included in the NSRS modernization is the anticipated replacement of the North American Datum of 1983, the State Plane Coordinate System of 1983, and all existing NSRS vertical datums with new terrestrial reference frames and a new geopotential (vertical) datum. The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) announced that it will complete modernization of the NSRS by 2025. (3) The National Institute of Standards and Technology and NGS deprecated use of the U.S. survey foot on December 31, 2022. The international foot has been adopted for all applications throughout the United States, including the modernized NSRS. The U.S. survey foot is currently used by 44 states. Research is needed to identify the most effective and efficient surveying and mapping practices that may lead to adopting common practices that could be implemented in a nationwide standard. The objective of this research is to create a surveying and mapping guide for identifying positional accuracies of geospatial data used in transportation projects by state agencies and others that clearly specifies practices consistent with open data standards, the NSRS, and the deprecation of the U.S. survey foot. The guide will help agencies establish an appropriate level of accuracy for a given application and provide the details of practices that, if widely adopted, could ensure geospatial data are reliably and efficiently captured, shared, and reused.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $600000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-174

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Weeks, Jennifer

  • Start Date: 20231205
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01863191
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-174
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 1 2022 6:25AM