Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS), Part 6: Point Profile

Project Title

Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS), FIPS 173 Part 6, the Point Profile

Submitting Organization

Federal Geodetic Control Subcommittee (FGCS) of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)


This profile shall provide for the transfer of higher precision geographic point data in compliance with SDTS, FIPS 173.

Scope of Project

Part 6, the Point Profile, contains specifications for a SDTS profile for use with geographic point data only, with the option to carry high precision coordinates (by increasing the number of decimal places or significant figures) such as those required for geodetic network control points can be attained. (This profile is a modification of Part 4, the Topological Vector Profile, and follows many of the conventions of that profile.) Geographic point data herein describes real-world features, rather than a symbolized map graphic. The data may be derived from a cartographic product (map), but the scope of the Point Profile is to convey high precision point data, such as data derived from high precision geodetic network control surveys, rather than information about geographic features displayed on maps. The profile does not include the transfer of topological structures.


The existing Topological Vector Profile cannot transfer the high precision coordinates required for geodetic network control points. The geodetic community also requires the ablilty to transfer only point data. The Point Profile transfers only point data and includes an option to carry high precision coordinates.

As stated in Executive Order 12906, dated April 13, 1994, the FGDC shall coordinate the Federal Government's development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The Executive Order is intended to strengthen and enhance the general policies described in OMB Circular No. A-16. The Point Profile supports the development of the NSDI in a consistent manner by providing a means to directly convey geographic point data consistently between user platforms.

The Point Profile of the SDTS also meets the general FGDC responsibility stated in OMB Circular No. A-119 for developing standards for implementing the NSDI, in consultation and cooperation with State, local, and tribal governments, private and academic sectors, and, where feasible, the international community. It also meets the responsibilities stated in OMB Circular No. A-16 to develop standards through the FGDC to ensure that the transfer of geospatial point data between all agencies is compatible.

Methodology Description

The FGCS approves and supports the development of the Point Profile of the SDTS. An existing draft of this point profile was completed July 1996, and will be used to initialize the pending review process of this proposal. The FGCS will also suggest changes to the SDTS maintenance authority, when received from other FGDC subcommittees and working groups in order to maintain this Point Profile for the FGDC user communities.


The Point Profile will provide for a consistent method to convey geographic point data as directed by Executive Order 12906 and OMB Circular No. A-16.

Potential Participants

The FGCS will lead the development of this standard. Participants will include the FGDC subcommittees and their user communities.

Development and Completion Schedule

The Point Profile may be reviewed and approved by the FGDC Standards Working Group and the FGDC subcommittees for release as a modification to the SDTS in cooperation with the SDTS maintenance authority.


Existing resources are presently adequate for the FGCS to support the maintenance and release of this SDTS modification.

Relationship to Other Standards

The Point Profile as developed under this proposal will provide consistency in the conveyance of geographic point data between the FGDC members; will support related standards to collect, process, and/or transfer geographic point data including additional profiles, such as Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) profiles; and will be in compliance with SDTS FIPS 173.