Hydrographic Data Content Standard for Coastal and Inland Waterways

Document number

not applicable

Maintenance authority

not applicable


Geospatial hydrography data for waterways, shorelines, coastlines, etc. that supports transportation applications has been specified as one of the key framework information layers for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).  The objective of this NSDI Hydrography Data Content Standard for Coastal and Inland Waterways (hereafter called the Hydrography Standard) project is to develop a nationally focused hydrographic data content standard for spatial data that supports safety of navigation.  When complete, this standard will provide a consistent catalog of terms and definitions (semantics) to ensure uniform interpretation of information across a variety of organizations that develop and use hydrographic feature data and applications.  This standard is based upon a well known logical data model for geospatial data of features, attributes, and domain values that is consistent with the Spatial Data Transfer Standard/Federal Information Processing Standard (SDTS/FIPS 173 part 2).


The scope of this Hydrography Standard project first focused on developing a catalog of hydrographic feature terms and definitions pertaining to navigation of coastal and inland waterways.  In that the guidance from the NSDI concentrated on transportation/navigation, the team limited the scope to information relating to charting and electronic chart display applications.  This standard will not address data distribution formats, extraction criteria, or accuracy reporting methods beyond inland and coastal waterways.  This standard does not currently address hydrographic symbology.  However, in future versions/releases of this standard it is planned to add this standard symbology information.

Sponsored by

Marine and Coastal Spatial Data SC

Project history

Proposal  FGDC Standards Working Group
Public review draft
Marine and Coastal Spatial Data SC