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Difference between WGS84 and ETRS89

Difference between WGS84 and ETRS89

What are the differences between WGS84 and ETRS89? This is a question that many people have asked, but there is not a simple answer. The two systems use different datums, which affects how coordinates are calculated. Additionally, the coordinate systems use different reference ellipsoids, which can cause slight differences in latitude and longitude measurements. Finally, the two systems use different conventions for representing coordinate values. All of these differences mean that it is not always straightforward to convert coordinates from one system to another. However, with some knowledge of the differences between WGS84 and ETRS89, you should be able to make accurate conversions.

What is WGS84?

WGS84 is the World Geodetic System of 1984, a coordinate system used by GPS devices. WGS84 is based on a global ellipsoid, and it divides the earth into latitude and longitude lines. WGS84 is the most commonly used datum in GPS devices, and it is also used by Google Maps.

WGS84 has a number of advantages over other coordinate systems, including its worldwide compatibility and its accuracy. WGS84 is used by GPS devices because it provides a consistent way to measure position anywhere in the world. In addition, WGS84 is constantly being updated with new data, ensuring that its measurements are as accurate as possible.

What is ETRS89?

ETRS89 is a geodetic reference system used by the European Union. ETRS89 is very similar to WGS84, the standard used by GPS systems. The main difference between the two systems is that ETRS89 uses a different datum, or reference point. ETRS89 is based on the GRS80 ellipsoid, while WGS84 is based on the WGS72 ellipsoid. In addition, ETRS89 has a slightly different origin point than WGS84.

As a result, ETRS89 is not directly compatible with WGS84. However, it can be converted to WGS84 with a simple transformation. ETRS89 is the officially recognized geodetic reference system for the European Union, and is increasingly being used for mapping and surveying purposes.

Difference between WGS84 and ETRS89

  • WGS84 (World Geodetic System 1984) and ETRS89 (European Terrestrial Reference System 1989) are two geodetic systems used for mapping the earth. While WGS84 is used by the United States Department of Defense, ETRS89 is the geodetic system used by the European Union.
  • The main difference between WGS84 and ETRS89 is that WGS84 uses the GRS80 ellipsoid, while ETRS89 uses the GRS67 ellipsoid. As a result, WGS84 is more accurate than ETRS89 in high latitudes.
  • However, ERS89 is gradually being replaced by WGS84, as it is more widely used and accepted. In addition, WGS84 is being updated on an ongoing basis, while ETRS89 remains static. For these reasons, WGS84 is generally considered to be the more up-to-date and reliable of the two geodetic systems.


The difference between WGS84 and ETRS89 can be a bit confusing, but it’s important to understand the differences when working with geographic data. Thankfully, we have an easy-to-use tool that will help you convert coordinates from one system to another.

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