FGI creates coordinate and height reference system for Saimaa canal

18.10.2016
Staff from the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute FGI wearing yellow high visibility clothes and from Meritaito Oy wearing orange high visibility clothes doing precision levelling. Cruising on the canal is one end-user of the new height system, the 82-metre Prima Fortuna.

The Finnish Transportation Agency has commissioned FGI at the National Land Survey to create a reference system for coordinates and heights for the locks on the Finnish side and the leased area of the Saimaa canal. The reference system for coordinates and heights is the same as those used in Finland, N2000 and EUREF-FIN, respectively.

This information is needed when, for example, the Saimaa canal's locks are repaired. In such cases it is important that the entire renovation project follows the same system.

The lease for the leased areas of the Saimaa canal was renewed for 50 years in 2012. A project called Älykäs Saimaa (Smart Saimaa) aims to develop the Saimaa canal and to ensure the safety of traffic on the canal.

─ The project poses a challenge because we are working outside the Finnish border zone, says Hannu Koivula, who led the project at FGI. ─ The references are on the Finnish side and we cannot attach the other end to anything.

Precision levelling done from the Finnish side

─ The idea was to create a height system for the leased area through precision levelling and to create pairs of coordinate points at each lock for future construction work.

At the same time, a framework for the coordinate reference system was measured in the leased area and 31 new fundamental benchmarks were set.  The length of the levelling loop was 58 km and the closing error 1.8 mm. In the GPS survey, the recommendation for the public administration JHS 184 was followed as appropriate.

The GPS survey took eight days. Precision levelling was done between 18 April and 27 May 2016. The final report has been sent to the Finnish Transportation Agency.

Additional information

Senior Research Scientist Hannu Koivula, phone +358 50 430 1639, firstname.lastname@nls.fi