Local Coordinate System

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A local coordinate system is a system defined for a survey. Many numerical models work in local systems, and don't care how that system relates back to global coordinate systems (UTM, State Plane etc.). If a portion of the data for a project is referenced to a global coordinate system, and a portion is in a local system, a transformation to convert all the data to a single system must be defined. This can be done by defining the location and orientation of the origin of the local system with reference to the global system. This allows the data to be referenced back to the global system or to another local system.

Three scenarios are possible when dealing with local coordinate systems:

  1. Global to Local – When converting from a global to a local coordinate sytem, the global coordinates of the origin of the local coordinate system must be defined using the Local Origin button in the lower portion of the dialog. This dialog can also be used to enter the angle of rotation of the local coordinate axes relative to the global coordinate axes. The angle is measured ccw from the positive x-axis.
  2. Local to Local – When converting from one local coordinate system to another local coordinate system, the same approach is used as when converting from a global to local coordinate sytem. The Local Origin dialog is used to define the coordinates of the origin of the new coordinate system relative to the old coordinate system.
  3. Local to Global – When converting from a local to a global coordinate sytem, the Local Origin dialog is used to coordinates of the local coordinate system (which is the old system in this case) relative to the new global coordinate sytem.

See also