BPSGGOS Bureau of

Products and Standards


The Bureau of Products and Standards (BPS) supports GGOS in its goal to obtain consistent products describing the geometry, rotation and gravity field of the Earth. A key objective of the BPS is to keep track of adopted geodetic standards and conventions across all IAG components as a fundamental basis for the generation of consistent geometric and gravimetric products. Another key objective is the work towards the definition of Essential Geodetic Variables (EGVs), which shall be performed in close cooperation among the Committee on EGVs, the GGOS Science Panel and representatives of the other IAG components. In collaboration with the GGOS Coordination Office, the other IAG components and the United Nations Global Geodetic Centre of Excellence (UN-GGCE), the BPS also contributes to outreach activities in the form of user-friendly descriptions for geodetic science data products, social media posts and the creation of videos about geodesy in non-specialist language.

The objectives of the BPS may be divided into two major parts:

Geodetic Products

The IAG strives to provide geodetic products at the highest level of accuracy and consistency which fundamentally requires that common standards, conventions and (geo)physical models are used for the data analysis. The BPS contributes to this goal by evaluating the adopted standards and conventions across all IAG components and by regularly updating the BPS inventory. In collaboration with other IAG and GGOS components, the BPS focuses on the classification of geodetic products and on the generation of user-friendly descriptions, which have been implemented at the GGOS website (ggos.org). The BPS also supports the GGOS Coordination Office in the development of the GGOS Portal. The GGOS Portal will serve as a unique search and access point (one-stop shop) for geodetic data and products to ensure a better discoverability, user-friendly interfaces, easy-to-understand descriptions, a comprehensive overview of data sources, and interoperability with IAG Service data products and external portals (e.g., GEOSS, EOSDIS, EPOS, GFZ Data Services). In close collaboration with the UN-GGCE and the IAG Services, the BPS takes part in the mapping of the global geodesy supply chain for the generation of geodetic products, focusing on the five areas: Evidence, resources, governance, capacity, and awareness. This work includes the assessment of costs, users and societal benefits of geodetic products. Furthermore, the BPS shall initiate steps to identify user needs, gaps and requirements, and shall contribute to the development of new products, required to address important geophysical questions and societal needs.

Standards and Conventions

A long-term objective is to keep track and to foster homogenization of adopted geodetic standards and conventions across all components of IAG to ensure consistent geodetic results. Towards reaching these goals, the BPS has compiled an inventory of standards and conventions used for the generation of IAG products which needs to be regularly updated to keep its content up-to-date and to reflect the latest developments regarding standards and conventions. The BPS inventory presents the current status, identifies gaps and inconsistencies, and highlights open issues, providing recommendations regarding the consistent application of standards and conventions. To accomplish these tasks, the BPS interacts with the IAG Services, the IERS Conventions Centre and external stakeholders involved in standards and conventions such as the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Commission A3 “Fundamental Standards”’, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and its Technical Committee (ISO/TC 211), the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) and its Subcommittee on Geodesy (SCoG), and the UN-GGCE. The BPS shall propagate standards and conventions to the wider scientific community and promote their use, proposing new standards when necessary. In this context, the BPS promotes the development of a new geodetic reference system (GRS20XX) based on the best estimates available for the major parameters of a geocentric level ellipsoid and contributes to the Working Group “Consolidation of a best estimate GRS based on the adopted W0 of the IHRF”.