Geodetic system

From seabed to mountain peak, New Zealand’s geodetic system is the foundation for everything to do with ‘where’.

Surveyor on a commercial building site

New Zealand’s geodetic system is a network of trig stations and geodetic marks that span the country. They form the physical reference points for the exact location and measurement of all the features of New Zealand’s land and sea.

These underlying positions – coordinates – allow grids to be overlaid on maps so that locations can be accurately identified and distances measured. It provides a reliable platform upon which different information can be combined and compared.

Our geodetic data is the essential information used in creating maps and marine charts and in determining property boundaries. It’s data critical to the responsiveness of emergency services. It’s also vital for activities like construction and property development and the placement and location of utility services like power and gas. And it’s the information people rely on in daily life – for doing anything from tramping to driving.

Our job is to ensure this information is as accurate as possible. We make sure the methods used to measure, store and convert this data is sound and that what we do and how do it is compatible with international standards.

Looking for a geodetic mark? The LINZ Data Service holds simplified geodetic data layers, like marks, and you can search for coordinates, such as longitude and latitude, of any marks in New Zealand, its offshore islands and the Ross Sea region of Antarctica. 

We also provide an online conversions tool so that you can change data between datums and projections. The conversion process provides for meaningful ‘flat surface’ measurement – like on a map – but accounting for the earth’s curved surface.