AH2922 Map Projections and Reference Systems 9.0 credits

Kartprojektioner och referenssystem

Concepts of map projections. Definition and transformation of different types of geodetic reference systems.

  • Educational level

    Second cycle
  • Academic level (A-D)

  • Subject area

  • Grade scale

    A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

At present this course is not scheduled to be offered.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing this course, students should 

  • understand coordinate systems used in geodesy and navigation
  • be able to compute geodetic lines on the reference ellipsoid
  • have insights on different types of map projections and their characteristics
  • understand how different geodetic reference systems are constructed
  • know how to make transformation among different reference systems

Course main content

  • Geomtery of the reference ellipsoid
  • Coordinate systems on the ellipsoid
  • Computation of geodetic lines
  • Classification of map projections. 
  • General projection theory
  • Deformation characteristics.
  • Gauss-Krüger projection and UTM. Azimuthal projections
  • Gravity, geoid and height systems
  • Astrogeodetic triangulation networks
  • Geodetic astronomy: celestial coordinates, concept of time and astronomical positioning
  • Earth rotation: polar motion, precession and nutation
  • Geodynamics: tectonics, postglacial rebound and earth tide
  • Celestial vs terrestrial reference systems (frames)
  • Existing reference frames: ITRF, WGS 84, EUREF 89 and Swedish geodetic networks
  • Least squares estimation of Helmert transformation parameters


Lectures: 36h



  • A completed Bachelor of Science in Engineering or 180 credits academic studies in the field of Technical Science, Economics or Planning and documented proficiency in English corresponding to English B.

  • AH1816 Geodetic Surveying and AH2921 Adjustment theory or equivalent


Fan (2008). Theoretical Geodesy. KTH.


  • LAB1 - Laboratory work, 4.0, grade scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 5.0, grade scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Written exam (TEN1; 5c)

Approved laboration (LAB1;  4c)

Offered by

ABE/Geodesy and Satellite Positioning


Huaan Fan <huaan.fan@abe.kth.se>

Add-on studies

AH2914 Physical geodesy

AH2923 Global Navigation Satellite Systems


Course syllabus valid from: Autumn 2010.
Examination information valid from: Autumn 2008.