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The ongoing efforts to create a more accessible and user friendly Spatial Data Transfer Standard include the development of a Profile for Vector Data and the development of a library of public domain software tools to support the encoding and decoding process. A profile is, in effect, a limited subset of the standard. The best way to use the standard is to first define a profile containing a limited number of the standard's options and then to design encoding/decoding software around those options. Limiting the standard's optionality will make it easier to develop encoding/decoding software. The success of any standard depends upon acceptance by the user community. Accordingly, the development of a library of software tools is being coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey. When complete, the library will assist users in interfacing with the standard. The software tools will include the capability to encode and decode specific vector data formats into and out of the standard's Vector Profile. With the formal National Institute of Standards and Technology review of the standard coming to a close on July 10, 1991, the likelihood that the standard will be approved as a Federal Information Processing Standard in early 1992 is high. Having such a standard in place is a great/step forward and will allow users to transfer digital spatial data sets in a variety of formats between dissimilar computer systems. The standard's conformance requirements must be understood by all Federal agencies distributing or using spatial data.
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Spatial Data Transfer Standard and efforts to develop a federal Profile for Vector Data