#geodesy #cartography #transformations #geography

bin+lib geodesy

A platform for experiments with geodetic transformations and data flow

5 unstable releases

0.9.2 Jan 24, 2023
0.8.0 Jun 19, 2022
0.7.1 Aug 30, 2021
0.3.0 Jul 29, 2021

#104 in Science

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// Find the UTM coordinates of some Scandinavian capitals
use geodesy::preamble::*;
fn main() -> anyhow::Result<()> {
    let mut context = Minimal::new();
    let utm33 = context.op("utm zone=33")?;

    let cph = Coord::geo(55., 12., 0., 0.); // Copenhagen
    let sth = Coord::geo(59., 18., 0., 0.); // Stockholm
    let mut data = [cph, sth];

    context.apply(utm33, Fwd, &mut data)?;
    println!("{:?}", data);


Rust Geodesy (RG), is a platform for experiments with geodetic software, transformations, and standards. RG vaguely resembles the PROJ transformation system, and was built in part on the basis of experiments with alternative data flow models for PROJ. The actual transformation functionality of RG is, however, minimal: At time of writing, it includes just a few low level operations, including:

  • The three, six, seven, and fourteen-parameter versions of the Helmert transformation
  • Horizontal and vertical grid shift operations
  • Helmert's companion, the cartesian/geographic coordinate conversion
  • The full and abridged versions of the Molodensky transformation
  • Three widely used conformal projections: The Mercator, the Transverse Mercator, and the Lambert Conformal Conic projection
  • One equal area projection: The Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area (LAEA) projection.
  • The Adapt operator, which mediates between various conventions for coordinate units and order

While this is sufficient to test the architecture, and while supporting the most important transformation primitives and three of the most used map projections, it is a far cry from PROJ's enormous gamut of supported map projections (which, however, is partially supported through a bridge to the proj projection program). So fundamentally, RG is a geodesy, rather than cartography library. And while PROJ benefits from four decades of reality hardening, RG, being a platform for experiments, does not even consider development in the direction of operational robustness.

Hence, viewing RG as another PROJ, or PROJ RiiR, will lead to bad disappointment. At best, you may catch a weak mirage of a potential shape of jazz to come for the PROJ internal dataflow.

That said, being written in Rust, with all the memory safety guarantees Rust provides, RG by design avoids a number of pitfalls that are explicitly worked around in the PROJ code base, so the miniscule size of RG (as measured in number of code lines) compared to PROJ, is not just a matter of functional pruning, but also a matter of development using a tool wonderfully suited for the task at hand.

Also, having the advantage of learning from PROJ experience, both from a user's and a developer's perspective, RG is significantly more extensible than PROJ, so perhaps for a number of applications, and despite its limitations, RG may be sufficient, and perhaps even useful.


Dataflow experimentation is just one aspect of RG. Overall, the aims are fourfold:

  1. Support experiments for evolution of geodetic standards.
  2. Support development of geodetic transformations.
  3. Hence, provide easy access to a number of basic geodetic operations, not limited to coordinate operations.
  4. Support experiments with data flow and alternative abstractions. Mostly as a tool for aims (1, 2, 3)

All four aims are guided by a wish to amend explicitly identified shortcomings in the existing geodetic system landscape.


The documentation is currently limited, but take a look at:


Rust Geodesy: Copyright 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 by Thomas Knudsen knudsen.thomas@gmail.com.

Licensed under either of

at your option.


Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.


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