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As the need to share spatial data increases, more than agreement on a common format is needed to ensure that the data is meaningful to both the importer and the exporter. Effective data transfer also requires common definitions of spatial features. To achieve this, part 2 of the Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS) provides a model for a spatial features data content specification and a glossary of features and attributes that fit this model. The model provides a foundation for standardizing spatial features. The glossary now contains only a limited subset of hydrographic and topographic features. For it to be useful, terms and definitions must be included for other categories, such as base cartographic, bathymetric, cadastral, cultural and demographic, geodetic, geologic, ground transportation, international boundaries, soils, vegetation, water, and wetlands, and the set of hydrographic and topographic features must be expanded. This paper will review the philosophy of the SDTS part 2 and the current plans for creating a national spatial features register as one mechanism for maintaining part 2.
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Spatial features register: toward standardization of spatial features