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WISCORS (Wisconsin Continuously Operating Reference Stations)

Overview | WISCORS information | Benefits of CORS network | Partnerships


The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Geodetic Survey Unit is developing a statewide Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reference station network. This network, called the Wisconsin Continuously Operating Reference Stations (WISCORS) Network, consists of permanent GNSS sites, which provide real-time correctors to mobile users. These mobile users that are properly equipped to take advantage of these correctors can position in the field to the 2 centimeter accuracy level in real-time. The program is partnering with state and local governments, federal agencies and educational institutions.

The WisDOT Geodetic Survey Unit is responsible for enhancing and maintaining the vertical and horizontal geodetic control infrastructure across the state of Wisconsin. The establishment and operation of this permanent GNSS CORS network in Wisconsin will help us accomplish our mission.

WISCORS information

  • CORS are established at an approximate 50 kilometer spacing.
  • The network is operated and controlled by network software running on servers located in Madison.
  • The network software is necessary to configure and monitor the quality of data from the reference stations, compute correctors, and then provide the corrections to field users.
  • Corrections are provided in real-time to properly equipped mobile users via cell phone or wireless modem.
  • Full GNSS-capability: CORS stations track both the United States (GPS) and Russian (GLONASS) satellite constellations.
  • GNSS data from reference stations is archived and available on-line for users who desire to post-process collected data.

Benefits of CORS Network

  • Eliminates the need and cost for another receiver which acts as a base.
  • Eliminates the resource time associated with equipment setup at the base site.
  • Greatly enhances consistency of coordinate determination.
  • Reduces the need for permanent monumentation on a local level.
  • Reliability and redundancy is ensured.


WisDOT's Geodetic Survey Unit is partnering with other state and local government agencies, as well as educational institutions on the implementation and development of the system. Through cooperative agreements, partners contribute facilities, power, Internet access, and possible GNSS hardware to the program. WisDOT has supplied most of the GNSS hardware; all of the network software components; nearly all of the supplies and materials to construct the CORS monuments; and all information technology (IT) components to operate the system.

Related Information:

National Geodetic Survey (NGS)

Wisconsin State Cartographer's Office

Trimble's VRS (Virtual Reference Station) info

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