Proposal for an FGDC Standard for Digital Elevation Data


Development of a Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Standard for Digital Elevation Data


FGDC Subcommittee on Base Cartographic Data (SBCD)


The objective of this standard is to define the land surface digital elevation theme of the digital geospatial data framework and envisioned by the FGDC. It is the intent of this standard to set a common baseline that will ensure the widest utility of digital elevation data for the user and producer communities through enhanced data sharing and the reduction of redundant data production.


The standard will describe processing, accuracy, reporting, and applications considerations for digital elevation data.


This standard will aid in the accomplishment of Executive Order 12906, Coordinating Geographic Data Acquisition and Access: The National Spatial Data Infrastructure, which calls for the implementation of a national digital geospatial data framework. As stated in the Executive Order: "the framework shall include geospatial data that are significant, in the determination of the FGDC, to a broad variety of users within any geographic area or nationwide". Digital elevation datat is one of the categories which meet these criteria. No national standard for digital elevation data currently exists.


Starting with the existing draft developed by the SBCD, the FGDC will invite wide participation and input from across the digital elevation data user and producer communities.


Related standards include the following:

    The Spatial Data Transfer Standards (FIPS 173)
    The FGDC Digital Geospatial Metadata Content Standard
    The National Map Accuracy Standard
    The draft FGDC National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy


The SBCD submitted a draft Standard for Digital Elevation Data to the FGDC Standards Working Group on September 6, 1996.


The SBCD has provided development resources for the preparation of the initial draft standard and will provide resources to adjudicate comments from the public review and approval process.


The primary participants are the members of the SBCD. 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. Particular emphasis will be focussed on involving the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the Management Association of Professional Photogrammetric Surveyors, and the National Digital Elevation Program Members, as well as other interested parties as they are identified.


The FGDC Steering Committee is the target authorization body for this standard.