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The Centenary of the Netherlands Geodetic Commission

GS 23, N. van der Schraaf (Editor), The Centenary of the Netherlands Geodetic Commission

N. van der Schraaf (Editor)

Nederlandse Commissie voor Geodesie 23, Delft, 1979. 228 pagina's.
ISBN-13: 978 90 6132 029 6. ISBN-10: 90 6132 029 1.


Last year the Netherlands Geodetic Commission decided to mark its hundredth anniversary, 20th February, 1979, with some kind of celebration. In the hundred years of its existence the Commission has not sought much publicity for its work. It is true that the publications and annual reports of the Commission, issued at home and abroad, put its work on record, but the vital role of the Commission in advancing geodesy in The Netherlands and encouraging international cooperation in geodesy was, and still is, too little known by many geodesists. Consequently, the centenary of the Commission provided a welcome opportunity to make its work better known.

The celebration itself had a dual character, firstly, a one-day symposium and secondly, the publication of a memorial volume. The themes chosen for the symposium, held 15th March 1979 were, geodesy in its relation to geophysics, astronomy and satellite geodesy, and the mathematical developments associated with these topics. Besides the addresses and lectures delivered during the symposium, the memorial volume contains a detailed account of the work carried out by the Commission, or under its auspices, during the last hundred years. In addition, the volume contains articles in which personal and ex-officio members give their views on certain scientific aspects of geodesy and its application by the various government geodetic services. Related scientific fields are also discussed.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who contributed to the success of the symposium or submitted articles for the memorial volume. In particular, mention should be made of the assistant-secretary of the Commission, Mr. N. Van Der Schraaf who, in a comprehensive article, has recorded the history of the Commission and, as editor of the memorial volume, spared neither time nor pains to present this publication in its present form. The valuable help of Mr. J. Carr (Langport, Somerset, U.K.) in revising the
English idiom is gratefully acknowledged.

Finally, many thanks are due to the firm W. D. Meinema for the fine craftsmanship they showed in printing the memorial volume.

G.J. Bruins


  • Part I. Centenary celebration. 15th March 1979
  • Opening address by the president of the Commission. Prof.Ir. G.J. Bruins  9
  • Address by the president of the International Association of Geodesy. Prof.Dr. T.J. Kukkamäki  17
  • Lecture by P. Melchior - Interrelationship between geodesy, geophysics and astronomy  19
  • Lecture by L. Aardoom - Selected topics in satellite geodynamics  29
  • Lecture by A. Bjerhammar - Mathematical ties between different fields in geodesy and geophysics  37


  • Part II. History of the Netherlands Geodetic Commission by N. van der Schraaf
  • Introduction  51
  • Terms of reference and organization of the Commission  52
  • Triangulation  59
  • Base measurements  70
  • Astronomical observations  73
  • Pendulum observations and gravity measurements  77
  • Precise levelling  84
  • Tidal observations  87
  • International relations  88


  • References  94
  • Appendix I - Members of the Netherlands Geodetic Commission 1879 - 1979  101
  • Appendix II - Publications issued by the Netherlands Geodetic Commission during the period 1879 - 1979  117
  • Appendix III - Dutch text of the report on Stamkart's triangulation  121


  • Part III. Papers submitted by members and former members
  • L. Aardoom -Techniques of precise satellite positioning for geodesy and related applications; an account of work in The Netherlands  133
  • W. Baarda - Mathematical geodesy in relation to the Netherlands Geodetic Commission  147
  • M.J.M. Bogaerts - Land information systems  155
  • G. van Herk - On some advancements recently made in astronomy  161
  • A.R. Ritsema - Geodesy, crustal dynamics and earthquake prediction  165
  • A.J. van der Weele - Geodesy and photogrammetry  173
  • G.A. van Wely - Research in the Department of Surveying and Photogrammetry of the Agricultural University, Wageningen  179
  • G.F. Witt - Geodesy for planning purposes  185
  • H.A.L. Dekker - Service of Cadastre and Public Registers  189
  • E. Kolk - The history of the Topographic Service and its geodetic activities  197
  • J.C. Kreffert - The Hydrographic Service of the Royal Netherlands Navy  207
  • J. Veldkamp - The Netherlands Geodetic Commission and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute  213
  • A. Waalewijn and H. Rietveld - The Netherlands Geodetic Commission and the Department of Public Works (Rijkswaterstaat)  221
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