The Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) was set up by the Convention of the Metre and has its headquarters near Paris, France. It is financed jointly by the Member States of the Convention and operates under the exclusive supervision of the CIPM.
BIPM's mandate is to provide the basis for a single, coherent system of measurements throughout the world, traceable to the International System of Units (SI). This task takes many forms, from direct dissemination of units (as in the case of mass and time) to coordination through international comparisons of national measurement standards (as in length, electricity and ionizing radiation).
On the BIPM web site look for:
Brochure du SI en français
This is the principal reference for 'Le Système International d'Unités SI'.
This 79 page official and authoritative version of the SI brochure is in French, and it is freely downloadable in pdf format.
SI brochure in English
This is the reference in English for 'The International System of Units SI'.
This 74 page official English translation of the SI brochure is also freely downloadable in pdf format.
Supplément 2000 : additions et corrections à la 7e édition (1998)
Supplement 2000: addenda and corrigenda to the 7th edition (1998)
This is 10 page pdf file, in French and English, updates the 7th edition of the SI brochure.
The National Measurement Institute (NMI) is responsible for establishing and maintaining Australia’s units and standards of measurement and it coordinates Australia’s national measurement system.
NMI provides services to industry and research organisations in physical, chemical and biological measurement. It also provides training in measurement science.
Founded in 1901, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a non-regulatory federal agency in the U.S.A. It is a part of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration. NIST's mission is to develop and promote measurement, standards, and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade, and improve the quality of life.
From automated teller machines and atomic clocks to mammograms and semiconductors, innumerable products and services rely in some way on technology, measurement, and standards provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
On the NIST web site look for:
NIST Special Publication 330
This is the USA edition of the authorized English translation of the 'The International System of Units (SI)' from the original Le Système International d'Unités (SI). This includes the interpretation of the SI for the United States, published by the Secretary of Commerce in the Federal Register notice (see below) as well as background information contained in the SI brochure.
NIST Special Publication 811
This guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI) expands on NIST SP 330 and aims to help readers with practical implementation of SI. It also draws from pertinent international standards outside SI. It also includes a conversion table and guidance on SI writing style issues.
DoC/NIST Federal Register notice: Metric System of Measurement: Interpretation of the International System of Units for the United States
This notice in the Federal Register interprets the SI for the federal government of the United States. When the federal government of the USA refers to the 'metric system', this is what they mean. This file, with its errata sheet can be freely downloaded in pdf format (Lok for 63 FR 40334-40340, 1998 July 28).
American National Standards Institute, 11 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036 USA.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private, non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system.
The Institute's mission is to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity.
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08855 USA.
The IEEE and its predecessors, the AIEE (American Institute of Electrical Engineers) and the IRE (Institute of Radio Engineers), date to 1884.
From its earliest origins, the IEEE has advanced the theory and application of electrotechnology and allied sciences, served as a catalyst for technological innovation and supported the needs of its members through a wide variety of programs and services.
The U.S. Metric Association (USMA), Inc. is a national non-profit organization, founded in 1916. It advocates U.S. conversion to the International System of Units that is known by the abbreviation SI (ess-eye). SI is also called the modern metric system. The process of changing measurement units to the metric system (i.e. SI) is called metric transition or metrication.
This site contains information on the SI metric system and information on the status of metric transition (metrication) in the United States. Information is also available on USMA's accomplishments, activities, and resources, as well as links to non-commercial Websites with additional metric system information.
There is also an active mailing list with members who discuss current (and relevant) metrication issues on a daily basis. You can access the USMA mail list archive at:
to see if you would like to become a member of the list.
This web site of the UK metric association (UKMA) contains:
- an explanation of why it is in Britain's interest to complete the changeover to the international metric system as soon as possible
- a demonstration of how the metric system is much easier to use than obsolete imperial
- accurate information to correct misunderstandings and debunk myths about metric
- practical help for people unaccustomed to metric
- sources and references for researchers and journalists
Dr Metric writes:
I demonstrate the obstacles we place before our (UK) children every day - most children in the world are not even aware of these. Why the fact that British children are behind in mathematics is not due just to general malaise about mathematics in society. How a generation and a half of children and young adults have struggled with measurement, a core activity in the mathematics syllabus.
Dr Metric's message is clear, 'Don't duel with dual'
This is another site maintained by the UKMA that promotes discussions about the metric system and the metrication process. It specifically favors discussion about the situation in the UK.
This is another mailing list (misc.metric-system newsgroup) for discussing metrication issues. It is accessed through Google.
This web page is concerned with metrication (adoption of SI (metric) units) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where it is laboratory policy to conduct all research in SI metric units at all times, to record all measurements in metric units (e.g., in databases), and to report (publish) all research results in metric units.
Hart Scientific, a division of INSCO, is the calibration laboratory for all types of measurement devices. Hart Scientific provides ISO accredited calibration services for research equipment, laboratory equipment and measurement weights.
We are a trusted name for providing professional electrical services.
Metrication web sites
For metric supplies go to
http://www.metricmetal.com/index.htm for the Parker Steel Company where they have 'Metric size metals only'
For metric courses go to
The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) specializes in short course technical training in space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, and signal processing to organisations in the USA such as: NASA, Department of Defense, and aerospace contractors.
Or go to one of these sites and type the word, metric, in the search box.
http://www.macraesbluebook.com for the USA.
http://www.ctidirectory.com for Canada.
Other World Wide Web metrication resources
Enter these words and word groups into a search engine like Google or Yahoo.
Some of these links will lead you to free metric information that you can download. For example, the brochure, 'The International System of Units (SI)' also known as the 'Metric Bible' is available from BIPM, and it is especially valuable, and it's free.
BIPM SI brochure
Executive Order 12770 of 1991
Federal Register notice: Metric System of Measurement
IEEE/ASTM SI 10-2002
Mendenhall Order of 1893
Metric Act of 1866
Metric Conversion Act of 1975
NIST HB 130
NIST HB 44
NIST SP 330
NIST SP 811
And finally, here is a link that is not really about metrication or the metric system at all. It is a web site for people who have an interest in the cross cultural influences between Australia and the USA. It is called 'An Aussie in America' and you can find its home page at: