3-D Coordinates - A Universal Rectangular Coordinate System for a GIS and Other Spatial Databases

by Earl F. Burkholder,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Computing in Civil Engineering


Rules of solid geometry and 3-dimensional (3-D) rectangular coordinate systems are well known and used in many applications. Points on or near the earth's surface have long been described with rectangular coordinates; plane coordinates for horizontal position and elevation for the third dimension. When required to accommodate earth's curvature, standard practice is to describe horizontal position using geodetic coordinates of latitude/longitude. The third dimension is height above/below the ellipsoid. The 3-D geocentric coordinate system recommended for a GIS accommodates both local rectangular coordinates and geodetic latitude/longitude/height coordinates on a global scale without introducing distance distortions inherent in the use of a map projection.

Subject Headings: Geographic information systems | Spatial data | Databases | Geodetic surveys | Information systems | Mapping | Systems engineering | Geometrics

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


Return to search