NOAA Helps ‘Rescue’ Century-old Data from the Grand Canyon

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Surveyors from NOAA and the U.S. Geological Survey recently teamed up to update hundreds of geodetic control points in and around the Grandy Canyon. If you want to determine where you are (in the Grand Canyon or anywhere in the U.S.), you need a known starting, or reference, point. Take a bunch of these points, and you have a spatial reference system. In the U.S., the National Spatial Reference System ensures that all U.S. positioning information, including every map made by any government agency, fits together. Surveyors and others depend on the NSRS to ensure that positional coordinates are correct when creating or improving maps, setting property boundaries, planning and designing roads and bridges, and simply trying to predict if your backyard will flood the next time it rains.

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