Australia has drifted about 5 feet

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Australia Has Drifted About 5 Feet

The Australian government plans to update the country's longitude and latitude coordinates as the land mass has drifted nearly five feetsince a survey 22 years ago.

This northerly movement, estimated to be about 2.75 inches a year, is caused by underlying tectonic activity, notes the BBC.

As such, a team with Geoscience Australia plans to re-calculate the current coordinates and replace the ones recorded in 1994.

Science Alert points out that the discrepancy likely doesn't affect everyday map users but could make a difference with technologies that rely on precise locations like autonomous vehicles.

Dan Jaksa of Geoscience Australia confirms this, telling the BBC, "If you want to start using driverless cars, accurate map information is fundamental."

According to ABC News, the new coordinates will be published in 2017 and, "...based on projections to 2020."

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A photo taken on September 22, 2014, shows fish swimming through the coral on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The 2,300-kilometre-long reef contributes AUS$5.4 billion (US$4.8 billion) annually to the Australian economy through tourism, fishing, and scientific research, while supporting 67,000 jobs, according to government data. According to an Australian government report in August, the outlook for the Earth's largest living structure is 'poor', with climate change posing the most serious threat to the extensive coral reef ecosystem. AFP PHOTO/William WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
A photo taken on September 22, 2014, shows fish swimming through the coral on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The 2,300-kilometre-long reef contributes AUS$5.4 billion (US$4.8 billion) annually to the Australian economy through tourism, fishing, and scientific research, while supporting 67,000 jobs, according to government data. According to an Australian government report in August, the outlook for the Earth's largest living structure is 'poor', with climate change posing the most serious threat to the extensive coral reef ecosystem. AFP PHOTO/William WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
A photo taken on September 22, 2014, shows a turtle on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The 2,300-kilometre-long reef contributes AUS$5.4 billion (US$4.8 billion) annually to the Australian economy through tourism, fishing, and scientific research, while supporting 67,000 jobs, according to government data. According to an Australian government report in August, the outlook for the Earth's largest living structure is 'poor', with climate change posing the most serious threat to the extensive coral reef ecosystem. AFP PHOTO/William WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
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