Geodetic Datum
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Geodetic Datum
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A datum consisting of five quantities, the latitude and longitude and
elevation above the reference spheroid of an
initial point, a line from this point, and two constants which define the
reference spheroid. Azimuth or
orientation of the line, given the longitude, is determined by astronomic
observations. Alternatively, the datum may be considered as three rectangular
coordinates fixing the origin of a coordinate
system whose orientation is determined by the fixed stars, and the
reference spheroid is an arbitrary coordinate surface of an orbiting
ellipsoidal coordinate system.
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A geodetic datum forms the basis for the computation of horizontal
control surveys in which the curvature of the earth is considered.
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References
This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use