North Dakota Geological Survey


North Dakota Global Positioning System Information


1993, the North Dakota Geological Survey and the United States Geological Survey initiated an effort to establish a Global Positioning System (GPS) community base station (CBS) in North Dakota. In cooperation with the ND Dept. of Agriculture, the NDIC Oil and Gas Division, the ND Dept. of Health - Environmental Health Section, the ND Dept. of Transportation, the ND State Water Commission, and Bismarck State College, a GPS community base station was established in late 1993 and became fully operational in early 1994. The community base station, located in Schafer Hall, on the campus of Bismarck State College, is managed by the North Dakota GPS Steering Committee.

In late 2001, a cooperative effort by the ND GPS Steering Committee, Trimble Navigation, and Frontier Precision upgraded the base station to a Trimble 5700 CORS geodetic-grade receiver, Zephyr geodetic antenna, and Trimble Reference Station (TRS) software.  Shortly after the site was upgraded the site became a member site of the National Geodetic Survey’s Cooperative CORS (Continuously Operating Reference Station) network.  The DAT files are mirrored to the National  Geodetic Survey (NGS) and data can also be accessed through their website.  The base station is identified as BSMK in the CORS network.

The base station collects data from visible satellites, and stores data in 5 second files. Files are created for each hour of operation. The base station operates continuously and data is stored until storage area is full.  Data can be obtained in two ways via the internet: with your web browser on the CORS site or with ftp. Internet access is free and data can obtained 24 hours-a-day at select internal. The coordinates of the Bismarck base station antenna (ARP) were determined by the National Geodetic Survey and the base station is an A order site.  
The coordinates are (NAD 83 Coordinates):

46 49 16.02787 North Latitude (DMS)
100 49 0.04267 West Longitude (DMS)
552.001 meters Ellipsoid Height

For testing receivers and as a local reference for the Bismarck base station, the North Dakota GPS Steering Committee has established an A order ground monument that is part of the National Geodetic Survey's Eastern Strain Network and also a point on the North Dakota High Accuracy Reference Network (HARN). Located on the SE corner of the Bismarck State College Bowl, the coordinates of this A order point are (NAD 83 Coordinates):

46 49 15.28955 North Latitude (DMS)
100 49 09.61215 West Longitude (DMS)
532.467 meters HAE

The Bismarck base station operates with a mask angle of 5 degrees. Users of base station data are cautioned to operate their mobile receivers with a mask angle greater than 5 degrees to reduce the possibility of tracking satellites not visible to the Bismarck base station. The base station operates and names files on UTC, not local time.

If you have questions about the Bismarck base station contact:

Jim Martel
North Dakota Geological Survey
600 E. Boulevard Ave
Bismarck, ND 58505-0840
F:   (701) 328-8010
P:  (701) 328-8019

While every effort will be made to collect and store quality data during scheduled hours, neither the GPS Steering Committee nor the North Dakota Geological Survey assumes any responsibility or liability for the availability or quality of base station data.

As mandated by Executive Order 2001-06 the GIS Technical Committee will act as a clearinghouse of GIS activities.

Since its creation, the GIS Hub has been the accumulation and dissemination point for spatial data in North Dakota and the NDGS Clearinghouse no longer exists. In early 2006, the transfer of all data which had been located on the NDGS Clearinghouse to the GIS Hub was accomplished.

The NDGS GIS Center still acquires, creates and distributes (through the NDGS itself or the GIS Hub) digital spatial data that conforms to national mapping standards.