Australia is moving to GDA2020Are you moving with us?

Modernising Australia’s Datum

GDA2020 represents the largest single shift in Australia’s geocentric datum since 2000. If your organisation generates or integrates location data, now is the time to start building a strategy to move to GDA2020.

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 Watch this video to see why and how Australia’s datum is changing.

Stage 1 has begun, updating the fixed-plate datum to Australia’s location in 2020 – 1.8 metres north east of GDA94.

Stage 2 begins in 2020 implementing a datum that will continuously align Australia’s tectonic movement with satellite location technology.

Preparing for Australia’s tectonic move 1.8 metres north east

The change to GDA2020 will affect all organisations using spatial information including transport, agriculture, construction, mining, environmental protection, utilities management, insurance, banking, emergency services, telecommunications and scientific research.

Physical locations in Australia are identified using coordinates set by the Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA94) implemented in 2000.

Australia is moving 70 millimetres per year so by 2020, GDA94 will be out by 1.8 metres. GDA2020 will bring Australia’s coordinates to their correct geographic location.

Now that mapping and smart devices are accurate to within centimetres, migration to GDA2020 will be essential for precise real-time positioning.

The Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) is overseeing GDA2020. While the change is complex, with careful planning and expert knowledge you can ensure your organisation’s transition is managed easily and effectively.

GDA2020 will implement a datum which keeps Australia in-step with satellite positioning technology.

Five key considerations for GDA2020 migration:


Take time to consider the implications of multiple datasets, departments and stakeholders before migrating your data.


Prepare for volume and complexity of vector data, multiple epochs of imagery, LiDAR and elevation datasets. 


Update your map documents to reproject data and see how datasets overlap; recreate image caches.


Create new datasets for vector data, Enterprise Geodatabases, File Geodatabases, shape files, CAD files.


Test and analyse the results at all stages to ensure your data has migrated correctly. 

Esri Australia provides support and advice for migrating to GDA2020. For more information, call 1800 870 750 or email