Other than its application, can we say the reason of common adoption of WGS84 is due to its accuracy?

  • 3
    WGS84 isn't more accurate that NAD83. It just happens to be valid all over the earth, as compared to NAD83, which is valid only in North America. Jan 11, 2013 at 5:08
  • Agree with @Devdatta. WGS84 is universal compared to the other one, which is better suited for local applications. NAD83 would be more accurate when compared to WGS84.
    – ujjwalesri
    Jan 11, 2013 at 7:07

1 Answer 1


In addition to Devdatta's answer - that its valid all over the world - there are some other considerations about WGS84:

  • Its the "native format" for GPS.
  • Its defined in a way that terrain can move underneath it for such things as tectonic movement measurements (of course, that is a disadvantage too, if you were hoping that your terrain does not move over time).
  • We've all already agreed to use it for many things (e.g. for ICAO air charts, and as a transform-to-and-from common format). That is related to the reasons above, but now it is a justification in-and-of itself.

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