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This module takes a look at the geodetic model and the role of gravity field on geodetic networks, i.e. spatial networks measured on the surface of the earth. It includes treatments of:
  • The role and importance of gravity in geospatial networks
  • The notion of equipotential surfaces and the geoid
  • Heights above the geoid and the normal ellipsoid
  • Solving the geodetic model and a review of the parametric least squares equations for network applications
  • The notion of a pre-analysis for network design
Overall, this module is meant to connect the dots between courses you may have taken in least squares, coordinate systems, and physical geodesy – with emphasis on geospatial networks.
Readings are also provided to help you understand and height systems and quantify the impact of gravity on 1D, 2D, and 3D networks.

My own notes and the desired outcomes

I’m still assuming that you’re building your own “perfect set of notes” as you go through this material – to make sure you have a succinct reference to help you be efficient on a test or in your future work. So, I’m sharing my own notes here with you to help with that.

I’m also sharing the desired outcomes. As in our previous modules, there aren’t cast as true learning outcomes, despite the title. Rather, I want you to think of the second document below as a list of questions and actions you can use to check yourself as you go through the learning process.

(Desired outcomes coming soon.)

The self-assessment problems

My usual practice in a course like this is to share some problems with you so you can assess your understanding of the material. These are embedded after the lessons below.

So, dig into these problems either after you’ve finished looking at the material or as you go. Hustle to figure out the answers. Leave no stone unturned. Get help if you need it. Like the notes, I’m going to assume you’re building the “perfect set of reference problems” to help you be efficient in a test or to look back at in practice.

If you’re taking this course from me as part of a university class then these are a great way to study. I can’t ask exactly the same questions on a test, of course, but I do generally design the problems in a way that you can expect to do as well in the formal assessments as you can do on these self-assessment questions.

And there’s also a lab that integrates quite closely with this material – especially the part on pre-analyzing a network by propagating the errors from the measurement space to the parameter space. It’s called: Preanalysis and ‘brute force’ iterative design of a trilateration network. I recommend doing this as you go through this module.

Okay, now get started by clicking through the lessons below!