Geodetic Control Unit

The role of the Geodetic Control Unit is to advance the provincial Canadian Spatial Reference System (CSRS), and to maintain and improve it as surveying and positioning technologies evolve.

This is done through the Alberta Survey Control (ASC) network, which serves as the provincial spatial referencing system of the CSRS.

Geodetic Control Products

Coverage consists of a network of approximately 29,500 Alberta Survey Control Markers (ASCMs) throughout Alberta, each distinguished by a brass tablet stamped with an identifying number.

  1. Positional data consist of both horizontal and vertical coordinates, as well as further details about the marker and its relationship to other markers within a defined area
  2. Survey Control Marker coordinates are published in geographical format (i.e., latitude and longitude)
  3. Coordinates are also available as Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) and/or 3-degree Transverse Mercator (3TM) mapping plane values

Products Available from Geodetic Control Unit

Alberta Survey Control (ASC) Products

The Surveys Section is a section within the Provincial Programs Branch, Lands Division of Alberta Environment and Parks. Under the authority of the Surveys Act, the Survey Section establishes and maintains the survey control component of the provincial spatial referencing system. This component includes a network of several thousand durable markers set permanently in the ground at an appropriate spacing throughout Alberta.

Coordinates and other Alberta Survey Control Marker (ASCM) attributes are maintained by the Surveys Section and are available in the form of specific products.

The Alberta Survey Control Products Manual describes the following products available from the Surveys Section:

  • ASCM Identification (ID) cards: contain detailed information on individual ASCMs, including horizontal position, elevation, gravity field data, location description, adjacent marker information and revision history. ASCM ID cards are only available on the North American Datum 1983 (NAD83) datum.
  • ASCM Preliminary ID card

These products are generated from the Multipurpose Alberta Survey Control Operations and Tasks (MASCOT) system. The MASCOT system also includes software to support the maintenance, densification and extension of the provincial spatial referencing system.

Index Cards are available through Alberta Registries online Spatial Information (SPIN) System website at:

For more information, see:

ASCM Condition Report

The Surveys Act and pursuant regulations require that Alberta Land Surveyors complete and certify an Alberta Survey Control Marker Condition Report form when dealing with Alberta Survey Control Markers (ASCMs).

Complete the form, sign it, then mail, fax or email it to:

Alberta Environment and Parks
Operations Division
Provincial Programs Branch
Surveys Section
Geodetic Control Unit
15th Floor - Oxbridge Place
9820 - 106 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J6
Phone: (780) 422-1291
Fax: (780) 427-1493
Email: DirectorofSurveys@gov.ab.ca

ASCM Rural Index Maps

The scanned Alberta Survey Control Marker (ASCM) index maps were created from the mylar-format ASCM index maps within the Surveys Section.

ASCM Index Maps are in digital format only providing a graphical representation of ASCMs on a 1:250,000 or 1:20,000 scale base map. Fifty rural maps of 1:250,000 scale are available, based on the National Topographic System (NTS) map grid and identified by latitude and longitude of the southeast corner (i.e., 53112, 58118 etc.).

ASCM index maps are a graphical representation of the provincial spatial referencing system. The index maps display the location of integrated ASCMs in relation to various base mapping features, including:

  • Airports
  • The Alberta Township System
  • Geo-administrative boundaries (municipal and Canada lands)
  • Hydrography
  • Railways
  • Road networks

In addition, index maps covering urban areas include street names and major facilities such as schools and hospitals. Only those markers with a marker condition of GOOD or ANOMALOUS are displayed on the index maps.

The index maps have been scanned and are available free of charge from the Surveys Section.

For more information, please see:

Special Cases of Scanned ASCM Index Maps

  1. Canal Rehabilitation (ASCM Index Map 50112)

    To ensure the completeness of ASCM index map information, a detail of the Canal Rehabilitation area within the 50112 rural index map has been included with the rural index map images. The Canal Rehabilitation area includes Townships 21, 22, and 23 and Ranges 26 and 27, all West of the 4th Meridian. The image is identified as:

Each file below contains a Readme text file and the associated index map image. These are compressed files: you will need special software to decompress them.

Placing the cursor over each section in the map image will provide the filename and size.

To download the file:

  1. Place your cursor over the file
  2. Click the right mouse button
  3. Choose "Save target as..."

Rural Index Map 49110 - 963KB 49112 - 1190KB 49114 - 909KB 50110 - 893KB 50112 - 1362KB 50114 - 1234KB 51110 - 916KB 51112 - 1247KB 51114 - 1478KB 51116 - 1798KB 52110 - 899KB 52112 - 1296KB 52114 - 932KB 52116 - 1049KB 52118 - 1403KB 53110 - 1029KB 53112 - 1670KB 53114 - 1116KB 53116 - 1031KB 53118 - 1487KB 54110 - 960KB 54112 - 1029KB 54114 - 994KB 54116 - 640KB 54118 - 695KB 55110 - 481KB 55112 - 674KB 55114 - 715KB 55116 - 1038KB 55118 - 1062KB 56110 - 585KB 56112 - 544KB 56114 - 526KB 56116 - 809KB 56118 - 783KB 57110 - 447KB 57112 - 543KB 57114 - 489KB 57116 - 584KB 57118 - 455KB 58110 - 721KB 58112 - 2461KB 58114 - 650KB 58116 - 702KB 58118 - 530KB 59110 - 493KB 59112 - 1616KB 59114 - 1402KB 59116 - 522KB 59118 - 517KB

ASCM Urban Index Maps

The scanned Alberta Survey Control Marker (ASCM) index maps were created from the mylar-format ASCM index maps within the Surveys Section.

Seventy-three urban municipalities are available in 1:20,000 scale, each contained within one map sheet (with the exception of Edmonton, which contains nine map sheets, and Calgary, which contains 12 map sheets.).

ASCM index maps are a graphical representation of the provincial spatial referencing system. The index maps display the location of integrated ASCMs in relation to various base mapping features, including:

  • Airports
  • The Alberta Township System
  • Geo-administrative boundaries (municipal and Canada lands)
  • Hydrography
  • Railways
  • Road networks

In addition, index maps covering urban areas include street names and major facilities such as schools and hospitals. Only those markers with a marker condition of GOOD or ANOMALOUS are displayed on the index maps.

The index maps have been scanned and are available free of charge from the Surveys Section.

For more information, please see:

Special Cases of Scanned ASCM Index Maps

Fort McMurray and Medicine Hat ASCM Index Maps:

  1. Fort McMurray

    The Fort McMurray index map consists of FORT_MCMURRAY_UPPER.TIF, FORT_MCMURRAY_LOWER.TIF, and FORT_MCMURRAY.TIF. Most ofFort McMurray is included in the UPPER image. The scanning date and last revised date are included in the LOWER image.

    Both the UPPER and LOWER images have been included in the image data set. Also, the STS Branch has combined the UPPER and LOWER images to create a single TIFF image showing the whole Fort McMurray index map. There may be some distortion in the FORT_MCMURRAY.TIF image.

  2. Medicine Hat

    Similar to Fort McMurray, the Medicine Hat index map is divided into MEDICINE_HAT_LEFT.TIF and MEDICINE_HAT_RIGHT.TIF. The majority of the Medicine Hat index map is included in the LEFT image. The scanning date and last revised date are included in the RIGHT image.

    Both the LEFT and RIGHT images have been included, along with a combined image (MEDICINE_HAT.TIF - produced by STS Branch), in the data set. There may be some distortion in the MEDICINE_HAT.TIF image.

Each file below contains a Readme text file and the associated index map image. These are compressed files: you will need special software to decompress them.

Placing the cursor over the filename will provide the size.

AIRDRIE.zip DRUMHELLER.zip MAGRATH.zip
BARRHEAD.zip EDMONTON_A.zip MD#7.zip
BEAUMONT.zip EDMONTON_B.zip MEDICINE_HAT.zip
BLK_DIA_TURN_VAL.zip EDMONTON_C.zip MORINVILLE.zip
BONNYVILLE.zip EDMONTON_D.zip OKOTOKS.zip
BOW_ISLAND.zip EDMONTON_E.zip OLDS.zip
BROOKS.zip EDMONTON_F.zip OYEN.zip
CALGARY_A.zip EDMONTON_G.zip PEACE_RIVER.zip
CALGARY_B.zip EDMONTON_H.zip PICTURE_BUTTE.zip
CALGARY_C.zip EDMONTON_J.zip PINCHER_CREEK.zip
CALGARY_D.zip EDSON.zip PONOKA.zip
CALGARY_E.zip FAIRVIEW.zip RAYMOND.zip
CALGARY_F.zip FORT_MACLEOD.zip RED_DEER.zip
CALGARY_G.zip FORT_MCMURRAY.zip REDCLIFF.zip
CALGARY_H.zip GIBBONS.zip ROCKY_MTN_HOUSE.zip
CALGARY_J.zip GRAND_CENTRE.zip SLAVE_LAKE.zip
CALGARY_K.zip GRANDE_CACHE.zip SPRUCE_GROVE.zip
CALGARY_L.zip GRANDE_PRAIRIE.zip ST_PAUL.zip
CALGARY_M.zip GRIMSHAW.zip STETTLER.zip
CAMROSE.zip HANNA.zip STONY_PLAIN.zip
CANMORE.zip HIGH_LEVEL.zip STRATHMORE.zip
CARDSTON.zip HIGH_PRAIRIE.zip SWAN_HILLS.zip
CARSTAIRS.zip HIGH_RIVER.zip TABER.zip
CLARESHOLM.zip HINTON.zip THREE_HILLS.zip
COALDALE.zip INNISFAIL.zip VEGREVILLE.zip
COCHRANE.zip LAC_LA_BICHE.zip VERMILION.zip
COLD_LAKE.zip LACOMBE.zip WAINWRIGHT.zip
CROWSNEST_PASS_EAST.zip LEDUC.zip WESTLOCK.zip
CROWSNEST_PASS_WEST.zip LETHBRIDGE.zip WETASKIWIN.zip
DRAYTON_VALLEY.zip LLOYDMINSTER.zip WHITECOURT.zip

Geodetic Fact Sheets, Guides and Manuals

Fact Sheets

The Surveys Section, Geodetic Control Unit has published the following one-page fact sheets, which can be found on the Open Government Portal at:

The fact sheets provided on the Portal are as follows:

  • Fact Sheet 01 - North American Datum 1983 (NAD83) Data Products
  • Fact Sheet 02 - Impact of NAD83 Adoption
  • Fact Sheet 03 - Introduction to NAD83
  • Fact Sheet 04 - NAD83 (CSRS) Data Products
  • Fact Sheet 05 - Introduction to NAD83 Canadian Spatial Reference System (CSRS)
  • Fact Sheet 06 - Impact of NAD83 (CSRS) Adoption
  • Fact Sheet 07 - Canadian Base Network (CBN)
  • Fact Sheet 08 - Alberta Survey Control Marker (ASCM) Index Maps
  • Fact Sheet 09 - Grid Bearings and Astronomic Azimuths
  • Fact Sheet 10 - Mapping Planes in Alberta

Digital Data Format Requirements

Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) Baseline Guidelines

The Geodetic Control Unit issues two key documents:

The Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) Calibration Baseline Lengths listings give the pillar-to-pillar (slope distance) baseline length values for the four EDM calibration baselines in Alberta (Lethbridge, Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie). These values are based on precise measurement and adjustment undertaken by Geodetic Survey Division of Geomatics Canada (NRCan). All of the baselines are re-measured and adjusted, and new values published on a five-year basis. Please note that on each listing, there is an adopted date that signifies when the slope distances were formally published by the Surveys Section.

The Guidelines for Electronic Distance Measurement Calibration Baseline Surveys in Alberta describe the four EDM calibration baselines in the province of Alberta, as well as how to undertake an EDM calibration baseline survey. The guidelines have been developed to assist users in verifying that their EDM equipment is working within the EDM manufacturer’s stated specification for scale error and constant error. They also include requirements for submission of EDM calibration survey data to the Surveys Section for evaluation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE
All users of the Alberta EDM calibration baselines are responsible for any damages to any property (public or private) that may occur when using the baselines. In addition, users should exercise normal traffic safety precautions while conducting calibration surveys. Any damage or activities which may result in damage to the baseline must be reported to the Surveys Section.

Guidelines for Alberta Survey Control Using GPS

This manual is a primary reference for municipalities and contractors who wish to establish and integrate survey control markers into the provincial spatial referencing system. The manual is a recompilation and update of the previous Specifications, Standards & Guidelines for Alberta Survey Control, (Chapter 5: GPS Surveys), August 28, 1992.

The specifications and guidelines contained in the manual are intended for surveys of the Alberta Survey Control (ASC) network (provincial spatial referencing system) using the Global Positioning System (GPS). These specifications and guidelines have been developed to provide the information necessary to achieve two- and three-dimensional, second-order relative positioning using GPS.

GPS products available from the Geodetic Control Unit:

NAD27 ASCM Listings

Only those markers with published NAD27 coordinate values on or before May 31, 1994, have been included in these North American Datum 1927 (NAD27) coordinate listings for Alberta Survey Control Markers (ASCMs).

Note:
ASCMs integrated into the provincial spatial referencing system after May 31, 1994, contain integrated North American Datum 1983 (NAD83) coordinate values only. Therefore, no transformed (NAD83 to NAD27) coordinated values are included in the listings for these markers. However, users can derive NAD27 coordinate values by transforming integrated NAD83 geographic or Transverse Mercator coordinates to NAD27 using the National Transformation version 2.0 (NTV2).

For more information, please see:

Data File Descriptions

For user's convenience, the NAD27 data have been broken into four Microsoft Excel format data files. The four files comprise ASCMs within the Municipal Integrated Surveying and Mapping (MISAM) areas of Calgary, Edmonton, the other 71 MISAM municipalities combined and the rural (non-MISAM) areas combined.

Each file has been sorted by the ASCM number. However, users can manipulate the data to fit their own needs using the various functions within Microsoft Excel. Also, each file’s compilation date is shown on the first line of the file. For each ASCM listed, the following information (data types) is given:

For more information on each of the data types provided within the four files, see the Alberta Survey Control Products Manual in the Alberta Survey Control (ASC) Products section.

NAD83 (CSRS) Subset Data

This document describes the subset of Alberta Survey Control Marker (ASCM) based on the Canadian Spatial Referencing System (CSRS) derivation of the North American Datum 1983 (NAD83).

Note:
This listing is current to September 6, 2006. For information on changes to the subset and/or the most current data, please contact the Geodetic Control Unit as given below.

Data File Descriptions

The data set consists of:

  • NAD83 (CSRS) ASCM Subset Data- Apr 2009 (96 pages, <1 MB)
    Includes both urban (former MISAM) and rural (former non-MISAM) control markers that make up the NAD83 (CSRS) ASCM subset
  • Readme- May 14, 2013 (3 pages, <1 MB)
    PDF file with the information of this web page

The Excel spreadsheet is sorted by the ASCM number as defined in column A of the listing. However, users can manipulate the data to fit their own needs using the various functions within Microsoft Excel. In addition, the file's compilation date is shown on the first line.

ASCM information highlighted in red indicates that the marker is a part of the Canadian Base Network (CBN) in Alberta.

For each ASCM listed, the following information (data types) is given:

Sample of Index Maps

Sample Urban and Rural Alberta Survey Control Markers (ASCM) Maps

Contact Us

For more information on any of these products, contact:

 

Page Information

Updated: Sep 21, 2018