The observed elevation differences between geodetic benchmarks are processed through least-squares adjustments to determine orthometric heights referred to a common vertical reference surface, which is the reference sea level. In this way, height values of all benchmarks in the vertical control portion of a surveying agency are made consistent and can be compared directly to determine differences of elevation between benchmarks in a geodetic reference system that may not be directly connected by lines of geodetic levelling. This important vertical geodetic control system is made possible by a universally accepted, reference sea level.