Proceed to GeoCommunity Home Page

SpatialNewsGIS Data DepotGeoImaging ChannelGIS and MappingSoftwareGIS JobsGeoBids-RFPsGeoCommunity MarketplaceGIS Event Listings
HomeLoginAccountsAboutContactAdvertiseSearchFAQsForumsCartFree Newsletter

Sponsored by:


GIS Data Depot

GIS Software



GIS Careers

GIS Events



SpatialNews Daily Newswire!
Subscribe now!

Latest Industry Headlines
Blue Marble Releases Geographic Calculator 2017 with New Quality Control Tool for Seismic Survey Data
OGC Seeks Comment on Candidate InfraGML Part 7 Land Division Standard

Latest GeoBids-RFPs
Cartography Training-VA
A & E Services-OR
Remote Sensing-UT
Surveying and Mapping-WA
GPS Locators-MN

Recent Job Opportunities

Recent Discussions
DEM to DTM in Inroads
GZ File
LiDAR-derived DEM
space syntax
DEM data for Israel
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 (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 since it supports ANSI SDTS vector and AutoCAD formats, as well as other formats...

Also, a new recent option is FME from Safe which will translate both geometry and attributes from SDTS to AutoCAD.

MapInfo Professional

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 adds SDTS raster (DEM) capabilities to MapInfo.

For SDTS vector data, including SDTS DLG data, there are a number of translators, including:
  • GeoMorph:
  • GIS Tools:
  • Safe FME:

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:

User Guides

Back to FAQ

Sponsored by:

For information
advertising rates
Click Here!

Copyright© 1995-2014 MindSites Group / Privacy Policy

GeoCommunity™, Wireless Developer Network™, GIS Data Depot®, and Spatial News™
including all logos and other service marks
are registered trademarks and trade communities of
MindSites Group