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Struve Geodetic Arc

Struve Geodetic Arc
Ensemble of memorable sites
The northernmost station of the Struve Geodetic Arc is located in Fuglenes, Norway.
Countries Estonia, Belarus, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Moldova, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine
Landmarks Fuglenes, Staro-Nekrassowka, others
Seas Arctic Ocean, Baltic Sea, Black Sea
Length 2,821,853 m (9,258,048 ft), north-south
Author Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve
Founded Geodetic Arc
Date 1855
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Name Struve Geodetic Arc
Year 2005 (#29)
Number 1187
Region Europe and North America
Criteria ii, iii, vi
Map of the Struve Geodetic Arc where red points identify the World Heritage Sites.
Tartu Old Observatory, the first point of the arc.
alt text
The commemorative plaque of the arc in Felshtyn, Ukraine

The Struve Geodetic Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through ten countries and over 2,820 km, which yielded the first accurate measurement of a meridian.[1]

The chain was established and used by the German-born Russian scientist exact size and shape of the earth. At that time, the chain passed merely through two countries: Union of Sweden-Norway and the Russian Empire. The Arc's first point is located in Tartu Observatory in Estonia, where Struve conducted much of his research.[1]

In 2005, the chain was inscribed on the World Heritage List as a memorable ensemble of the chain made up of 34 commemorative plaques or built obelisks out of the original 265 main station points which are marked by drilled holes in rock, iron crosses, cairns, others.[1]

Measurement of the triangulation chain comprises 258 main triangles and 265 geodetic vertices. The northernmost point is located near Hammerfest in Norway and the southernmost point near the Black Sea in Ukraine. This inscription is located in ten countries, the most of any UNESCO World Heritage.[1]


  • Chain 1
    • Norway 1.1
    • Sweden 1.2
    • Finland 1.3
    • Russia 1.4
    • Estonia 1.5
    • Latvia 1.6
    • Lithuania 1.7
    • Belarus 1.8
    • Moldova 1.9
    • Ukraine 1.10
  • Results 2
    • Historical 2.1
    • Modern 2.2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5











19 topographic points of the Struve Geodetic Arc are located in Belarus.[3]

  • "Tupischki" (Tupishki) in Oshmyany district ()
  • "Lopati" (Lopaty) in Zelva district ()
  • "Ossownitza" (Ossovnitsa) in Ivanovo district ()
  • "Tchekutsk" (Chekutsk) in Ivanovo district ()
  • "Leskowitschi" (Leskovichi) in Ivanovo district ()


  • "Rudi" near Rudi village, Soroca district ()




At publication in 1858, the flattening of the earth was estimated at one part in 294.26. The earth's equatorial radius was estimated at 6,378,360.7 metres.[1]

In 2005 the work was repeated using satellite navigation. The new flattening estimate was one part in 298.257 222 101 and the equatorial radius was 6,378,136.8 metres.[1]

An earlier survey, in 1740, had given flattening at one part in 178 and an equatorial radius of 6,396,800 metres.[1]


Northernmost point: Hammerfest (Fuglenes): 70° 40′ 11.23″ N[1]

Southernmost point: Ismail (Staro-Nekrassowka): 45° 20′ 02.94″ N[1]

Difference in Geodetic Latitude: 25° 20′ 08.29″[1]

Distance in kilometres: 2,821.853 ± 0.012[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage,Dronningensg 13, P.O.Box 8196, Dep. 0034, Oslo, Norway (2005), Norwegian Points on The Struve Geodetic Arc (pamphlet)
  2. ^ "Mapscroll". Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  3. ^ "Landmarks, historic and cultural, and natural sites of the Republic of Belarus on the UNESCO World Heritage List". Land of Ancestors. National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus. 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 

External links

  • Listing on UNESCO website
  • A UNESCO article about the chain
  • FIG – Proposal to UNESCO for the Struve Geodetic Arc to become a World Heritage Monument
  • J.R. Smith. The Struve Geodetic Arc
  • Latvia Struve arc webpage
  • Estonian souvenir sheet and first day cover dedicated to Struve and Struve Geodetic Arc (2011)
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