Course title

Course code


Reference Frames, Coordinate Systems and Map Projections


Introduction to Geodesy: Topographic maps, elements of a map, map scale, relief representation, geodesy definition, branches and history.

Coordinate systems in Geodesy: Horizontal and vertical datum: important reference surfaces in geodesy: Geoid, ellipsoid and topographical surface, Everest, WGS84 and GRS80 ellipsoids, Geoid, Indian mean sea level, level surfaces and plumb line, deflection of vertical and Geoid undulations.

Geometrical Relationships of an Ellipsoid: Geometrical relationship of an ellipse, radius of curvature along the meridian and the prime vertical sections, mean radius of curvature, curves on an ellipsoid of revolution; normal section azimuths and geodesics, direct/inverse problems in geodesy.

Terrestrial Reference Systems: Terrestrial coordinate systems – geocentric and topocentric, various geocentric coordinate systems and reference frames; cartesian, ellipsoidal, natural and geodetic coordinate systems and their inter-relationships, WGS84, IGS and ITRF reference frames, polar motion and Earth rotation.

Map projections: Map projections: Introduction to map projections, purpose and methods of map projections and their classification, conformal projections – special reference to Lambert conformal conic, stereographic and transverse mercator, equivalent and equidistant projections, Indian grid system, UTM projection, methods of map projection transformations.



  1. Torge, W (2001). Geodesy. 3rd edn. Walter de Gruyter. Berlin. New York.
  2. Vanícek, P and Krakiwsky, E (1986). Geodesy: The Concepts. 2nd edn. Elsevier.