Coordinate Referencing

The Nova Scotia Coordinate Referencing System (NSCRS)

The Nova Scotia Coordinate Referencing System (NSCRS) is the underlying infrastructure that allows all geographic information in Nova Scotia to be represented in a global coordinate system. The NSCRS allows the location of places and features on earth to be described mathematically.

How the Program Works

Geographic Information Services is responsible for the NSCRS program. Our goals are to:

  • develop and maintain a spatial reference standard and the infrastructure for spatial referencing activities in Nova Scotia

  • provide an authoritative source for all land-related measurements

  • provide the framework for provincial base, property and thematic mapping programs


Nova Scotia Passive Control Stations

A network of over 23,000 control monuments was installed across Nova Scotia in the early 1970’s. Today, professional Land Surveyors use these control monuments to measure features of interest that are located nearby.  Property parcel boundaries, buildings, assets and other features can all be measured and mapped by relating their location to the location of the control monument.

View NSCRS Data (coordinate values, detailed station info, sketches & photos).


Nova Scotia Active Control Stations (NSACS)

The NSACS network contains 40 active survey monuments installed across Nova Scotia.  Permanent GPS equipment is installed at each survey monument.  Each station actively collects and broadcasts information about its location. This combination of a survey monument with permanent GPS equipment is referred to as an "Active Control Station" (ACS).  The real time data produced by this system enables high precision positioning and can be accessed via internet from NSACS NRTK Data Service Providers.

Source Matters

The real world can be mapped by using a coordinate referencing system.  The system makes use of gridlines to assign coordinates to objects on the ground. The NSCRS is the foundation system for mapping Nova Scotia.

As a key element of the Nova Scotia Geospatial Infrastructure (NSGI), NSCRS provides the authoritative trusted source of coordinate referencing information accessible to government & public.