Estonia switches from Russian to European vertical reference system

Estonia is giving up the Kronstadt Tide Gauge as its main reference point for measuring vertical elevation and altitude, and instead joining the European Vertical Reference System based on the Amsterdam Ordnance Datum. The step takes the country from the Russian to the European geodetic reference system.

Minister of the Environment Siim Kiisler (IRL) signed off on the necessary changes, ERR’s online news reported on Thursday. Preparations for the change had taken a long time, but in time for its 100th anniversary, Estonia was now finally changing systems, Kiisler said.

He added that moving from the Kronstadt Gauge to the Amsterdam Ordnance Datum meant a 15 to 24-centimeter elevation increase depending on the area. For example, Suur-Munamägi, at 317.2 m Estonia’s highest point, would now be 317.4 m above sea level, Kiisler explained.

The Kronstadt Tide Gauge serves as the reference point for altitude and elevation in Russia as well as in plenty of countries that used to belong to the Russian empire or the Soviet Union at some point. It is still widely used in Europe’s eastern countries, including Slovakia, Czechia, and Hungary.

According to director general of the Land Board, Tambet Tiits, the change was necessary for several reasons. “The Baltic elevation system of 1977 is obsolete, for instance, inaccurate physical parameters were used in its specification, and then there’s the wish to be in one and the same system with Europe. These reasons led to the decision to prepare everything necessary for the changeover to the European Vertical Reference System,” Tiits said.

He added that already by the year 2000 some 47 percent of all of the state’s elevation markers had been damaged, which had since made defining elevation both time-consuming and expensive. A state vertical network had been set up in the meantime that allowed for GPS referencing as well.

Most of Europe’s countries are already using the European system referencing the Amsterdam Ordnance Datum, including most countries in the region, e.g. Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania. With the introduction of the European reference system cross-border construction projects involving Estonia will no longer necessitate conversions.

A three-month transition period has been set for the system switch. In addition, all ongoing construction projects can still use the old reference system until Jan. 1, 2018.

Read more news on the city site of Tallinn.

If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
No rates yet
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Chairman of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and one of the owners of construction group Nordecon, Toomas Luman, finds that a prime ministerial candidate should first and foremost be able to answer the question of what will become of the demographic crisis in Estonia. The businessman sees controlled introduction of foreign labor as the solution. A digital construction cluster was created in Estonia a few years back to bring innovation to the s...
Last year saw 27,125 registered offenses, up 0.5 percent from the year before. Violent crime was up by 12 percent to 8,249 offenses. PHOTO: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire / Press Association Images / Scanpix Growth was biggest for domestic violence – the police launched criminal proceedings in 3,607 cases that constitutes an increase of more than one-third – annual growth of 37 percent from 2,632 cases in 2017. At the same time, reports of domestic violence we...
TALLINN - Ahead of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, tens of thousands of British citizens have chosen the citizenship of some other country, but only one Brit has recently chosen an Estonian citizenship. Spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior told BNS that only one British citizen submitted an application for Estonian citizenship last year and the applicant was also granted the citizenship. Before that, no Brits had soug...
TALLINN - Experts from Finland, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands highlighted the importance of decentralization and granting local governments greater decision-making powers at a conference titled "Strong local government -- strong state?" in Tallinn on Wednesday.  All Nordic countries have chosen a model granting local governments significant decision-making powers, thus the central government does not prescribe how local governments are to fulfill the...
The language learning application Drops by game developer Planb Labs, established in Estonia by Hungarian founders, was named Google Play's best app of 2018. With the number of downloads surpassing 10 million, Drops was named Google's app of the year as the revenue of Planb Labs, a company registered in Estonia, increased fivefold, CNBC said. The developer's revenue grew from €335,000 in 2017 to €1.7 million in 2018. The company's shareholders include Hung...
TALLINN - The Estonian Health Board has banned the distribution of chlorine dioxide, also marketed as the Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS), the A-component of an unused product, meaning the sodium chlorite solution, must be taken to a hazardous waste collection facility. Ester Opik, head of the Health Board's North regional department, said that the banning of the distribution of the product was caused by the fact that MMS, distributed as a cosmetics produ...
Nature cannot abide a vacancy, as the saying goes. If just one year ago, Estonia was battling the sale of MMS and the practice of giving it to children, a new “miracle cure” called Advanced TRS has appeared on the market now. Even though the make-up of the substance is different, the promise to cure autism and cleanse the body of heavy metals, which kind of extreme detox is accompanied by severe side-effects, sounds all too familiar. TRS is recommended to...
Allied NATO battalions will soon mark two years serving in the Baltics. They have worked better than expected but would need prepositioned heavy weaponry and a functional contingency plan in case of a crisis, a report by the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) finds. “We do not know how Russia would have acted had we not welcomed allies in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017. I’m afraid they would have tested our resolve,” one of...
The time of filing income tax returns is nearly upon us. The new income tax system, in effect since last year, will obligate many women who went on maternity leave toward the end of the year to make additional income tax payments, while those who give birth in the middle or at the beginning of the year have no such obligation. What this means is that some women will owe the state simply for giving birth “at the wrong time”. Laura Roop, who went on maternit...