American Association for Geodetic Surveying Seeks Input on Geodetic Certification Program

Frederick, MD, Mar 8, 2016 - The American Association for Geodetic Surveying (AAGS) announced it has undertaken an effort to explore creating a geodetic certification program.  The purpose of geodetic certification would be to provide official recognition that a person has the working knowledge and skills to understand and solve practical problems in applied geodesy.

The vision is that the geodetic certification program would be similar to other existing certifications, such as the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) Certified Photogrammetrist, the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) GIS Professional, and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and The Hydrographic Society of America (THSOA) Certified Hydrographer.

“As geospatial technology continues to advance and gain wider adoption, geodesy is becoming an increasingly important part of the geospatial framework,” said AAGS past president Michael Dennis, RLS, PE. “To that end, we are exploring the concept of creating a program that officially recognizes professionals with a minimum level of geodetic competence.”

To gain input from industry professionals, AAGS created an online questionnaire about the program and invites all those involved with geospatial technologies to contribute. The questionnaire is available at

The questionnaire is intended to serve multiple purposes:

  • Establish an appropriate body of knowledge for applied geodesy
  • Determine the level of support in the geospatial community
  • Identify areas of interest and existing status of geodetic knowledge
  • Provide guidance on creating and prioritizing educational content
  • Show the breadth and depth of the field of geodesy
  • Raise awareness of the proposed program

The questionnaire also helps lay the foundation for creating a certification program and consists of 50 questions.  The first ten are general questions, and the remaining 40 are divided among the eight topic areas listed below.

  1. Geometrical Geodesy and Reference Systems
  2. Map Projections
  3. Physical Geodesy
  4. Astronomic and Celestial Coordinate Systems
  5. Global Navigation Satellite Systems
  6. Statistics and Least Squares
  7. Geodetic Observation Procedures and Practices
  8. Standards, Specifications, and Guidelines

AAGS is seeking input from a broad cross section of geospatial practitioners, including surveyors, engineers, GIS professionals, photogrammetrists, programmers, and any others who use geodetic methods and calculations to combine, manipulate, and analyze spatial data.

The proposed geodetic certification program is being developed in cooperation with the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS).  Participation of other professional geospatial organizations is currently being solicited as part of program development.

About AAGS

The American Association for Geodetic Surveying (AAGS) aims to lead the community of geodetic, surveying, and land information data users through the 21st century. To achieve this goal, AAGS will develop new educational programs, including presentations, seminars, and workshops on topics related to geodetic surveying.  AAGS will also author articles and papers informing our member of the latest scientific and technological developments, and how to implement them in the most cost-effective and efficient manner.


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