Q15: I was wondering if you have any additional information on STDS data, Metadata, DLG and DEM's?
Here is some GIS specific information on importing SDTS data for
ArcView, ArcInfo, AutoCAD, and MapInfo, since these seem to be the GIS's
that people ask most about.
ArcView -- for both (1) SDTS DLG's and (2) SDTS DEM's
1 -- SDTS vector (DLG) data to ArcView
The best current SDTS DLG to ArcView information is at
from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They explain how to go from SDTS DLG to ArcView
with both geometry and attributes.
Commercial translators that will go from SDTS DLG's to ArcView ShapeFiles include:
- GeoMorph from ActiveWare at
- DLG2SHP from GIS Tools at
FME from Safe at http://www.safe.com (Safe may provide an evaluation copy at no charge.)
2 -- SDTS raster (DEM) and point data to ArcView
For SDTS DEM data there is an SDTS Grid Import extension to ArcView that
imports SDTS grid data (DEM's) into ArcView in one step, all within the ArcView
interface. The URL is
and Mike Price has an article in the July 1999 issue of ArcUser at
Direct SDTS support within Map Objects is also a future possibility.
Arc/INFO 7.2.1 can currently import SDTS vector (DLG), raster (DEM), and
point (NOAA control) data. See
These SDTS capabilities will be directly implemented in Arc/INFO 8.0.
A detailed document and useful AML routine for using SDTS DLG data in Arc/INFO is online at
Some additional tutorial and translator documents are at
AutoCAD and AutoCAD Map 2000 from Autodesk
AutoCAD does not yet have direct import capabilities for SDTS data.
Direct import capabilities are planned based on developments by FME.
For information on translating the online USGS DLG data from ANSI SDTS vector
format to AutoCAD (DXF) format see the document "SDTS Translation Routines" at
then see section 5: SDTS TO AUTOCAD DXF (note that the free conversion tool
from BLM supports geometry but not attribute information.)
Another option is to use the GeoMorph translator product from AZTECH/ActiveWare
http://www.active-ware.com/ since it supports ANSI SDTS vector and AutoCAD formats,
as well as other formats...
Also, a new recent option is FME from Safe http://www.safe.com/new_format.htm
which will translate both geometry and attributes from SDTS to AutoCAD.
MapInfo does not have direct import capabilities for SDTS data, but direct
capabilities to natively read SDTS raster and vector data are expected soon
based on developments for MapInfo by FME.
Vertical Mapper software http://www.northwoodgeo.com/ adds SDTS raster (DEM)
capabilities to MapInfo.
For SDTS vector data, including SDTS DLG data, there are a number of translators, including:
- GeoMorph: http://www.active-ware.com/geo/index.html
- GIS Tools: http://www.gistools.com/
- Safe FME: http://www.safe.com/
Instructions for translating SDTS DLG data into MapInfo format are also
included in the SDTS translation document at:
Lots of great MapInfo information from Bill Thoen can be viewed at:
and now at:
ALSO, here is the address of the USGS ftp site. This site has user guides for
these products and file format descriptions:
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