Geodetic Community FAQs

What is GeodesyML?

The Geodesy Markup Language (GeodesyML) is a standard way of describing (encoding) and sharing geodetic data and metadata. In the same way people from all over the world speak different languages, so do geodesists. For example, some people use the term ‘GNSS station’ and others use the term ‘GNSS site’. GeodesyML is a common language. By mapping your database to GeodesyML, when your data is shared with others, it is easy for the user to discover and combine with other data.


Why does the geodetic community need GeodesyML?

The geodetic community is frequently called upon to provide data, products and services to support a broad spectrum of government, industry, science and societal applications. Coupled with this is the ubiquitous uptake across society of accurate and reliable Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) information. In order to service these user demands in a robust way, geodetic data and the associated metadata need to be standardised, discoverable and interoperable. The continual increase in the volume and complexity of data means we also need to generate, transfer and use data and metadata via a machine readable form. In order to achieve these stated goals it is clear that the time has come to develop a XML-based standard for geodesy.


Is GeodesyML a finished product?

GeodesyML is currently available as a beta release and we encourage you to have a close look at the structure and content of GeodesyML. We hope you can provide us with feedback or even assist with development.


Is GeodesyML aligned with international standards?

Yes. Recognising that despite the huge impact of geodesy on society, geodetic data is a small subset of spatial data, and an even smaller subset of Earth observation data. The developers have therefore aligned GeodesyML to existing international standards (i.e. ISO and OGC) so that data and metadata from the geodetic community aligns closely with existing initiatives in these larger communities.

For more information on this topic, please see the blog post International Standards and GeodesyML


Who is using GeodesyML?

In recognition of the benefits described above, the IGS Central Bureau, UNAVCO, Geoscience Australia and Australian jurisdictional governments are currently testing machine-to-machine transfer of IGS Site Logs using GeodesyML.


What types of data and metadata does GeodesyML deal with?

GeodesyML currently handles geodetic data and metadata relating to equipment, site logs, measurement, adjustment, quality, monuments, reference frames and data lineage. Although GeodesyML is limited to GNSS data and metadata at this time, further development in other fields of geodesy are anticipated in the future.


What is an XML-based standard?

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a way of storing data in a structured way that is both human and machine readable. Storing data in this way is optimal for machine-to-machine transfer and validation of data and metadata.


Who developed GeodesyML?

GeodesyML has been developed by staff from Australian and New Zealand government geodetic agencies with input from the International GNSS Service Data Center Working Group participants. GeodesyML adopts, or has built upon, the excellent work done by Scripps Orbit and Permanent Array Center (SOPAC) in their XML schema for Geodesy.


Are there alternatives to GeodesyML?

Some existing standards are available (like SOPAC) which assist with information retrieval or the transfer of a limited set of geodetic metadata. However, there is a need for a new standard compliant with international standards to allow for sharing and collation of large amounts of geodetic data and metadata, captured and stored by any number of custodians in a range of different database types using proprietary software.