Estonia Is About to Get a Little Taller
It's switching to new system that will add 8 inches to highest point
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2017 3:00 PM CDT
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Tallinn is the capital of Estonia.   (Getty Images / KavalenkavaVolha)

(Newser) – Over the next three months, the Baltic country of Estonia will become a little bit taller. That's because it has decided to change how it measures heights above sea level, converting from an old Russian system to something called the European Vertical Reference System, reports the Postimees newspaper. The upshot is that elevations across the country will be upped by 6 to 9.5 inches depending on the location. The country's highest point, Suur-Munamagi, which is essentially a big hill with a lookout point on top, will accordingly add 8 inches to its height above sea level, putting it at 1,041 feet, reports the BBC.

"The Baltic elevation system of 1977 is obsolete," says Estonian Land Board official Tambet Tiits. "And then there's the wish to be in one and the same system with Europe." Another wrench: half of the country's current elevation markers suffered damage that has made the process of establishing elevation even more cumbersome. Most countries in Europe—including regional neighbors Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland—already use the European system, which references Amsterdam's Ordnance Datum, reports ERR. Authorities expect a three-month transition period and will phase out the Russian system by the first day of 2018. (Estonians are the third tallest humans on the planet.)

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