NOAA 2002-R436
Contact: Glenda Tyson
NOAA News Releases 2002
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Ceremony at University of Utah site on October 7th

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Utah Council of Land Surveyors and the city of Salt Lake will dedicate a geodetic reference station to commemorate the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics that will serve as a visual reference point for surveyors, map-makers and outdoor enthusiasts trying to find exact locations using longitude, latitude and elevation. NOAA is an agency of the Commerce Department.

The commemorative reference station is fully functional, with a precise, identifiable ground location whose accurate horizontal position and height have been computed by NOAA's National Geodetic Survey using global positioning system (GPS) measurements, an integral part of the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) that determines the official location and height of objects. Data for the marker was loaded into the NGS database and is available to the public at

"This reference station will not only serve as a reminder of the roles played by surveying and mapping professionals during the planning and development of the 2002 Olympics, but as a tool for everyone providing precise positioning data," said Charlie Challstrom, director of NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey. “This station provides a real-world, concrete explanation to the abstract coordinate system of longitude meridians and latitude parallels."

The NSRS, a coordinate based system, uses latitude, longitude and elevation to determine the exact position, height, distance, and gravity of any point in the United States. Managed by NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey, this information is essential for ensuring the reliability of transportation, communication, and defense systems, land records, mapping and charting, public utilities, coastal zone management, and a multitude of scientific and engineering applications.

The positioning of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics geodetic reference station began in February 2002 and was a joint effort between NOAA, the University of Utah, the City and County of Salt Lake and the Utah Council of Land Surveyors. The ceremony will take place today, October 7th on the campus of the University of Utah. Take TRAX to the “Rice Eccles Stadium” stop. Walk up to 500 South (Foothill Drive) near Guardsman’s Way on the campus. The monument will be on your left.

NOAA is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation's coasts and oceans. NOAA Ocean Service, which includes NGS, balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

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