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Methodology Work Group Charter


The Federal Geodetic Control Subcommittee (FGCS) has periodically reviewed, revised, and reprinted the "Classification, Standards of Accuracy, and General Specifications of Geodetic Control Surveys" and the "Specifications to Support Classification, Standards of Accuracy, and General Specifications of Geodetic Control Surveys." The latter publication was revised in June 1980. A newer publication that combined the two previous publications, "Standards and Specifications for Geodetic Control Networks," was published by FGCS in September 1984. These publications provide the basic information to guide organizations in accomplishing surveys that meet the provisions for inclusion in the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), formerly the National Geodetic Reference System.

Recent and anticipated technological advances in surveying mandate prompt and effective action in the development of additional specifications and related information to assist in the integration of surveys into NSRS. The standards developed and published by FGCS are recognized and used by both private and public surveying organizations for planning, cost estimates, and validation of results.



The Methodology Work Group's primary mission is to revise, update, and prepare for publication, various publications dealing with the standards of accuracy and general specifications for geodetic control and related surveying activities to support the geodetic control networks, as well as lower-order control surveying for cadastral, topographic, hydrographic, bathymetric, and related resource and facility mapping activities of Federal agencies. Review of these publications shall be ongoing and revisions or new publications shall be prepared as appropriate.

Based on the studies of this Work Group, additional tasks may be assigned by FGCS related to surveying methods or techniques. The Work Group shall maintain close coordination with other FGDC subcommittees and work groups to ensure their work meets all Federal surveying requirements, as well as the Vertical Reference Systems Work Group, the Instrument Work Group, and the Fixed Reference Stations Work Group. Ultimately, the output of the Methodology Work Group should reflect the information developed by these work groups. In addition, the Methodology Work Group may require test data or analyses that would be furnished by one of the other work groups.

The major output of this Work Group will be publications dealing with Federal surveying standards, but additional reports or recommendations on surveying methodology may also be required.



The Chair of the Work Group normally will be from NOAA, National Geodetic Survey, and the members shall be subject-matter specialists on surveying standards, specifications, or methodology. The Chair shall be appointed by the FGCS Chairperson, with the concurrence of the agency representatives. Appropriate nonfederal subject-matter specialists may assist this Work Group with the concurrence of FGCS.


Operating Procedures

The Work Group shall meet as often as necessary, but not less than twice each year, as directed by the Work Group Chair, to consider directives from FGCS. The Work Group shall submit proposed changes in surveying standards and specifications to FGCS for approval prior to publication. Other reports or studies on methodology prepared by the Work Group shall also be submitted to FGCS for approval and/or action. The Work Group will serve the Federal surveying community and related disciplines as follows: 

  1. Provide users with up-to-date guidance on surveying standards and specifications resulting in surveying projects which serve a variety of different needs.
  2. Instruct surveying organizations in the implementation of new methodology.
  3. Support recommendations submitted to FGCS.

The FGCS Chairperson shall propose a timetable for review and/or revision of the standards and specifications to the Work Group Chair. After the initial Work Group meeting, the schedule may be revised through agreement between the FGCS Chairperson and the Work Group Chair.



The FGCS member agencies have supported the activities of these personnel while engaged in coordination functions; such support would be expected for the Work Group members. The FGCS Secretariat will assist in arranging meeting sites, preparing records of meetings, and finalizing reports and plans for public release.

Last Updated: Feb 02, 2011 11:39 AM
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