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Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS)

What is SDTS?

The Spatial Data Transfer Standard, or SDTS, is a robust way of transferring earth-referenced spatial data between dissimilar computer systems with the potential for no information loss. It is a transfer standard that embraces the philosophy of self-contained transfers, i.e. spatial data, attribute, georeferencing, data quality report, data dictionary, and other supporting metadata all included in the transfer.

Purpose of SDTS

The purpose of the SDTS is to promote and facilitate the transfer of digital spatial data between dissimilar computer systems, while preserving information meaning and minimizing the need for information external to the transfer. Implementation of SDTS is of significant interest to users and producers of digital spatial data because of the potential for increased access to and sharing of spatial data, the reduction of information loss in data exchange, the elimination of the duplication of data acquisition, and the increase in the quality and integrity of spatial data. SDTS is neutral, modular, growth-oriented, extensible, and flexible--all characteristics of an "open systems" standard.

The SDTS provides a solution to the problem of spatial data transfer from the conceptual level to the details of physical file encoding. Transfer of spatial data involves modeling spatial data concepts, data structures, and logical and physical file structures. To be useful, the data to be transferred must also be meaningful in terms of data content and data quality. SDTS addresses all of these aspects for both vector and raster data structures.