Great idea for publicity but can I say from a geodesy perspective that this happens all day, every day and has done since 1989. It’s called the IGS (International GNSS Service) and it provides products that we all use if we need it, such as precise orbits, troposphere products, ionosphere products, clock products – all of which are used for precise point positioning services (PPP – CSRS - Canada) and AUSPOS (Australia) also uses this service. Both these services are free and you can use them. In fact my Head of School Chris Rizos sits on the governing board of the IGS and is the current President of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG).
Further, VLBI, SLR and DORIS also monitor the earth fulltime and provide the framework (International Terrestrial Reference Frame) for global datums (The IGS is a subset of the ITRF).
The IGS is further densified by CORS networks such as CORSnet-NSW, GPSNet in Victoria, the Japanese have 1300 CORS sites, Europe, Malaysia, New Zealand, Germany, USA etc etc etc…..
So whilst I agree this is an exciting idea and perhaps a good promotional opportunity, geodesists have been doing this for a while now and it underpins and indeed enables a lot of other science. Global sea level rise measurements would be impossible without the stable framework provided by geodesy. I would say this is more an example of crowd sourcing with all the associated idiosyncrasies.
Ok ok … lecture over.
BTW… 4th contact just finished on the Transit of Venus… sniff sniff… bye bye Venus. See you again in 2117.
Craig Roberts - 06/06/2012 - 07:34