a series of improvements to WGS 84 <were><have been> developed

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JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Source:

The World Geodetic System 1984 (a technical report by the National Imagery and Mapping Agency).

Sample sentence:

The global geocentric reference frame and collection of models known as the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS 84) has evolved significantly since its creation in the mid-1980s. The WGS 84 continues to provide a single, common, accessible 3-dimensional coordinate system for geospatial data collected from a broad spectrum of sources. Some of this geospatial data exhibits a high degree of ‘metric’ fidelity and requires a global reference frame which is free of any significant distortions or biases. For this reason, a series of improvements to WGS 84 were developed in the past several years which served to refine the original version.

Question:

The above sample sentence is the original. I wonder if the bolded parts work in the sentences below (if I substitute one of them for the original):

1. For this reason, a series of improvements to WGS 84 have been developed in the past several years which serve to refine the original version.

2. For this reason, a series of improvements to WGS 84 have been developed in the past several years which have served to refine the original version.

3. For this reason, a series of improvements to WGS 84 have been developed in the past several years which have refined the original version.


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, JJXR. None of the suggested substitutions for the original tenses seem to convey the same idea.

    For this reason, a series of improvements to WGS 84 were developed in the past several years which served to refine the original version.
    This sentence tells me that the development and the refinement are no longer happening. These things happened in the past. Your substitutions don't convey this idea clearly. Instead, they give me the impression that some development or refinement may still be occurring.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the response, owlman5.

    I'm confused by the sample sentence. It starts with "...the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS 84) has evolved significantly since its creation in the mid-1980s...", which talks about what has been achieved in the time period leading up to now. For that reason, I would expect the present perfect at the end of the passage as well: they're presenting the current result which has present effect.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    For that reason, I would expect the present perfect at the end of the passage as well: they're presenting the current result which has present effect.
    I can't explain the reason for the authors' switch of tenses in that language, JJXR. I can only tell you that the present perfect tense does not convey the same idea that the past simple does. When people wrote the passage you quoted, they probably gave no particular thought to the tenses they used. I am pretty sure that they weren't expecting that passage to become the subject of your intense scrutiny and grammatical analysis many years later.
     
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