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Mission & Tasks

Antenna of AGRS.NL in Westerbork
Benchmark of the NAPGPS base network
The grid of the 5th precise levelling programme


The Subcommission Geodetic Infrastructure and Reference Systems is the centre of management coordination and policy-preparing for the geodetic (basis) infrastructure of the Netherlands, in the international context and on a scientific basis. This includes the Netherlands part of the continental shelf. The geodetic infrastructure exists of the Netherlands realisation of the global (earth) en European geodetic reference systems and it is the reference for all practical and commercial applications and for scientific usage.

Function and government task

As distinct form the surrounding countries the Netherlands does not have a national institute for this function as Germany has the BKG, Belgium the INGB, France the IGNdF and Great Britain the Ordnance Survey. In the Netherlands there is cooperation between three participants: Delft University of Technology (geodetic sections of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering) and Departments of the Cadastre and the Survey Department of Rijkswaterstaat. The Subcommission Geodetic Infrastructure and Reference Systems of the Netherlands Geodetic Commission is the platform for this cooperation. By embedding in the NCG the coordination with other geodetic domains, like the monitoring of land subsidence and sea level change and the geodetic reference at the North Sea, is taken care of.

The geodetic basis infrastructure

  • The AGRS.NL (Active GPS Reference System for the Netherlands), the primary realisation of ETRS89 in the Netherlands.
  • The traditional reference frames RD (Rijksdriehoeksmeting; National Triangulation System) and NAP (Normaal Amsterdams Peil; the Amsterdam Ordnance Datum). Concerning RD, this is the first realisation or the GPS base network and the certified reference stations. Concerning NAP these are the underground benchmarks and the second-order levelling grid (including the GPS base network).
  • The 3-D reference systems ETRS89 and ITRS.
  • The geoid of the Netherlands and its surroundings.
  • The gravity network.
  • The connection of the Netherlands to the IGS (by station IGS Westerbork) and to the EPN (European Permanent Network).

The working field of the Subcommission

  • The coordination of decision making on defining the reference systems and making them available publicly by the Cadastre and the Survey Department of Rijkswaterstaat (ETRS89, RD en NAP en the geoid).
  • The representation of the Netherlands in the international organisations: the IAG-commission 1 (EUREF), IGIS and the Galileo-project.
  • The contribution to the NCG on the fields of the geodetic infrastructure and reference systems.
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