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


Standards Under review

  • FGDC collaborating partner the Open Geospatial Consortium is requesting comment on the OGC Abstract Specification Topic for Discrete Global Grid Systems (DGGS).  The comment period closes on April 7, 2017.  See for more information, including how to submit comments.


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. 

News / Announcements

  • The list of FGDC-endorsed standards developed within the FGDC and the list of externally developed FGDC-endorsed standards have been consolidated into a single list. Visit Inclusion of abstracts and keywords should facilitate search and discovery of standards. A search box to identify groups of standards (for example, standards by NGDA data theme) is in the works.

Use of standards update

  • The above image shows how the standards update is publicized and response to the standards update. There have been nearly 250 views of this graphic on Linkedin; there are often 70 views of the announcement that a a new standards update has been published.
  • Standards white paper has been published on the FGDC web site.  This PDF document provides a brief history of the FGDC standards program and highlights over the years.  It contains a list of works cited, complete with URLs to access the documents.