Proposal for FGDC Approval for SDTS Part 5 with BIIF Extension


Development of Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS) Part 5: Raster Profile with Basic Image Interchange Format (BIIF) Extension.


June 4, 1997


FGDC Subcommittee on Base Cartographic Data (SBCD).


John Crowe, USGS/NMD Raster Data Standards Coordinator, (703)648-5596,


The objective of this project is to develop a profile of SDTS, through the convergence of the Draft FIPS Part 5 Raster Profile of SDTS and the ISO/IEC Committee Draft 12087-5 Basic Image Interchange Format (BIIF) raster transmission standards. This Raster Profile with BIIF Extension, will expand the applicability of the SDTS raster profile to broaden the utility of the SDTS transfer format, providing a vehicle to enhance data sharing and to reduce redundant data production.


The SDTS Part 5 Raster Profile with BIIF Extension contains specifications of a profile for use with geo-referenced two dimensional raster data, and excludes vector data and three dimensional and higher dimension raster data. It is intended to provide a common transfer format to be used for interchange of raster image and raster grid data among all members of the data producer and user community. This profile is intended to replace the existing Draft FIPS SDTS Part 5 Raster Profile. The SDTS Part 5 Raster Profile with BIIF Extension falls into the "Transfer Standard" type as defined by the FGDC Standards working Group (SWG) Standards Reference Model.


This profile will provide a common transfer format, independent of technology, to enhance data sharing for raster data. The inclusion of a BIIF extension in this SDTS profile provides an extended data format providing a container for raster, symbol, and text, along with a mechanism for including image-related support data. This profile will apply directly to two dimensional digital elevation data (X-Y with Z as an attribute) and digital orthoimagery, two key components of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure framework. It will enhance data useability by providing a foundation for interoperability in the interchange of raster data among diverse applications.

The inclusion of BIIF capabilities in SDTS Part 5 provides the benefit of an extended data format. This satisfies the following requirements:

    1. Provides convergence of civil and military raster standards.
    2. Provides a means whereby diverse applications can share imagery and associated information.
    3. Allows applications to exchange comprehensive information, allowing users to select only those data items that correspond to their needs and capabilities.
    4. Minimizes pre and post processing of data.
    5. Minimizes formatting overhead, particularly for applications exchanging a small amount of data over bandwidth-limited systems.
    6. Provides Transportable File Structure (TFS) as a mechanism to exchange PIKS image and image-related objects.
    7. Provides extensibility to accommodate future data, including objects.


Starting with the existing Draft FIPS Part 5 Raster Profile of SDTS and the most current version of BIIF, build an SDTS profile which provides the best of both standards for transferring two dimensional raster data while maintaining backward compatibility to existing raster profiles. The BIIF extension will be integrated with the existing Draft FIPS Part 5 Raster Profile of SDTS as an optional encoding of image data to include both raster grid and raster image data. The final product will be a profile which maintains the archival capabilities and focus of SDTS with optional extensions to allow inclusion of the imagery transmission focus of the BIIF. The BIIF extension provides a container for raster, symbol and text as well as a mechanism for inclusion of image related support data. The expanded capability of the new SDTS Part 5: Raster Profile with BIIF extension will broaden the applicability of the SDTS. The FGDC will provide the vehicle for wide participation and input from across the raster data user and producer communities.


Related standards which were used as reference in building the new SDTS Part 5: Raster Profile with BIIF Extension include the following. These standards will retain this relationship and may be used as reference, although they will be unaffected by the adoption of the proposed SDTS Part 5: Raster Profile with BIIF Extension.

    ISO/IEC 12087-5 - Information Technology Computer Graphics and Image Processing, Image Processing and Interchange Functional Specification Part 5: Basic Image Interchange Format. Committee Draft 23 November, 1996

    STANAG 7074/ AGeoP-3A - Digital Geographic Information Exchange Standard (DIGEST)

    DMA Technical Manual 8358.1 Datums, Ellipsoids, Grids, and Grid Reference Systems

    FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata June 1994

    GeoTIFF Draft Specification [, or mirror/]

    JIEO/JITC Circular 9008 - National Imagery Transmission Format Standards (NITFS) Certification Test and Evaluation Program Plan, 30 June 1993

    STANAG 4545 - NATO Secondary Imagery Format [Edition Study Draft 0.9]

The following standard, and profile, were used as reference for building the new profile. The SDTS Part 5: Raster Profile with BIIF Extension is intended to replace the current Draft Part 5: Raster Profile of the FIPS 173 SDTS Standard.

    FIPS PUB 173 - Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS) 28 August 1992

    Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS) - Part 5, Raster Profile (Draft)

Both of the following Draft FGDC Standards currently point to the FIPS 173 Draft Part 5: Raster Profile of SDTS. If the proposed SDTS Part 5: Raster Profile with BIIF Extension is adopted, both will be modified to point to the new profile.

    FGDC Draft Data Content Standards for Digital Orthoimagery (January 1997)

    FGDC Draft Data Content Standards for Digital Elevation Data (January 1997)


The SBCD will review the draft SDTS Part 5 with BIIF Extension in June of 1997. The SBCD will then submit the draft to the FGDC Standards Working Group (SWG) in July 1997. It is hoped that the SWG will review the draft, with the goal of determining it's suitability for public review, in an expedient fashion. Once approved, the standard will be in public review for a minimum of three months.


The Raster Convergence Working Group has provided development resources for the preparation of the initial draft standard and will provide resources to assist in the adjudication of comments from the public review and approval process. The SBCD will provide additional resources to promulgate this standard through the FGDC standards development process.


The primary participants in the development of the profile include NIMA and the USGS. Other contributors include the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC), the BIIF editorship, Geomatics Canada, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Geodetic Data Center (NGDC), and the Digital Geographic Information Working Group, which represents the Digital Geographic Information Exchange Standard (DIGEST) under the auspices of NATO. The membership of the SBCD will provide a broad sponsorship for this standard. The public review and comment period will include an aggressive program of outreach to ensure a broad level of participation from the geospatial data community. Any of the contributing bodies mentioned above may be called on to participate in the adjudication of public review comments and the redrafting of the standard. There is also potential to include representatives of the commercial/private sector, State and local governments, as well as the academic community in the continuing development of this standard.


The FGDC Steering Committee is the initial target authorization body for this standard. Once endorsed by the FGDC the intent is to seek ANSI endorsement of this standard.