Note: Historically, the FGDC had an active standards management process as part of its funded activities. Currently, only minimal engagement with external standards organization is supported. The Geospatial Data Act of 2018 (GDA) directs the FGDC to “establish and maintain geospatial data standards” and includes broader applicability and related funding use restrictions requirements for FGDC agencies. To support the mandates, the FGDC (committee) will review and establish a revised approach to standards management that is appropriately resourced to meet the intent of the GDA. Note that FGDC standards information may date to 2017 with updates pending the revised FGDC approach to standards management.

Standards facilitate development, sharing, and use of geospatial data and services. The FGDC develops or adopts geospatial standards for implementing the NSDI, in consultation and cooperation with State, local, and tribal governments, the private sector and academic community, and, to the extent feasible, the international community.

Federal agencies that collect, use, or disseminate geographic information and/or carry out related spatial data activities shall use FGDC-endorsed standards both internally and through their activities involving partners, grants, and contracts.

Non-Federal agencies are encouraged to use FGDC-endorsed standards to facilitate data sharing.



There are numerous benefits of standards.


Find answers about FGDC Standards.

Standards Policies


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The FGDC Standards WG works with other Federal standardization activities and external standards organizations to ensure the best possible technical foundation for data and web services, consistent with standards policies. 

Standards under review


News / Announcements

  • Visit Overview of the FGDC standards program for a brief history and highlights of the FGDC standards program. 
  • The INCITS membership cycle begins December 1, 2017.    OMB Circular A-119 (2016) directs Federal agencies to (1) use voluntary consensus standards in lieu of government unique standards and (2) participate in voluntary consensus standards bodies.  It also expresses a preference for for international standards.  INCITS Technical Committee L1 serves as the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO Technical Committee 211, Geographic information/Geomatics.  To join INCITS L1, visit Apply for Membership,