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How are private companies implementing SDTS?


This section contains information provided by companies that are implementing SDTS. Companies are listed in alphabetic order. Hypertext links and references to non-USGS products and services are provided for information only and do not constitute endorsement or warranty, express or implied, by the USGS, USDOI, or U.S. Government, as to their suitability, content, usefulness, functioning, completeness, or accuracy.
Version 5.0 of 3D Nature's World Construction Set photorealistic terrain modeling, visualization, rendering, and animation software (http://www.3dnature.com) is capable of reading and using SDTS DEM files.
Advanced Topographic Development and Images (ATDI) provides the ICS Map Server package that allows import and export of SDTS DEMs, re-projection, tiling, and generic management and manipulation of cartographic data. ICS Map Server is a software system designed to manufacture and manipulate digital cartography. Import your SDTS data directly into ICS Map Server, merge multiple files, overlay the DTM with an image (USGS Topo Quad or DOQQ Orthophoto) and export a complete project in another format.

For additional information visit ATDI, call, or email Katie Miller at 703-433-5450. You may also call the cartography department directly and speak with Emmanuel Grenier at 703-433-5453.


Applications Software Technologies, Inc.'s GIS Solutions group has developed SDTS translators for the TVP and TNP profiles. These translators are part of the GeoMorph product. GeoMorph can preview and translate GIS data between fifteen (15) different desktop mapping formats, including MapInfo MIFF (MIF/MID), AutoCAD r12 DWG and DXF, Microstation IDGS(DGN), ESRI Shape(SHP), and SDTS. The GeoMorph system will allow you to view free government SDTS data and import it into your favorite Windows mapping package, or to convert your mapping files into SDTS format.

Companion products currently in development will allow software developers to add file formats to the growing list of formats GeoMorph supports, and to put GeoMorph's Import/Export technology directly into their applications, so they can support all of the supported file formats as if they were the application's native format.

For more information about GeoMorph or Applications Software Technologies, Inc. Please visit their web site at: http://www.aztechcon.com/geomorph or call them at (920)499-0533.


Avenza Software Marketing Inc. supports SDTS in its MAPublisher 2.0, which imports popular GIS formats into high end graphics programs for cartographic and graphics management, and final EPS output. At this time, SDTS import is vector only. All other MAPublisher imports -- USGS DLG, AutoCAD DXF, MapInfo mid.mif, ArcView shape, ARC/INFO generate, and geo-referenced TIFF and JPEG -- are imported with all database attributes intact and editable. Completed files can be saved as PDF for cross-platform or Internet upload.

MAPublisher is available for Adobe Illustrator (Macintosh) and Macromedia FreeHand (Windows 95/NT). Avenza is a third-party developer for Adobe and Macromedia.

Visit http://www.avenza.com or email info@avenza.com


Cad Easy Corporation's DTM programs for AutoCAD R14 or 2000 have been upgraded to accept DEM files made using the SDTS2DEM.EXE and SDTS2DEM32.EXE converters. Previous releases would only accept an original DEM file from the USGS. Subsequent releases are expected to read the appropriate DDL file directly without conversion. The converters, tar and gzip programs, and directions for using them are included with all Cad Easy DTM programs.

EasySurf Release 5 (dated 3/7/2000) for AutoCAD R14 and 2000, is an affordable full blown 2D & 3D DTM earthworks package with all the capabilities of packages costing thousands more. Inputs can come from virtually any source, survey data, DEM files, 2D or 3D contours and now SDTS.

EasySite Release 2 (due for release July, 2000) is a revolutionary new graphics presentation tool for Architects, Landscapers, Designers, Contractors, Builders, Planners, Civil Engineers, Surveyors, anyone wishing to create and render a 3D-site model. EasySite liberates your creativity, allowing you to play with the terrain, test alternative designs, and create rendered presentations in minutes. EasySite runs in AutoCAD Release 14 and 2000. EasySite accepts virtually any input imaginable to create the original surface, and with the second release, will accept files converted from SDTS.

For more information about EasySite, EasySurf or our other programs, please visit theirweb site at: http://www.cadeasy.com or call (800)627-3279.


Collins Software has implemented an SDTS import into Maverick Professional 7.0. For more information visit their web site at http://www.CollinsSoftware.com.
DSpatial is an open-source software development project that is working towards providing a geospatial analysis toolkit for users of the Delphi programming environment. The first raster format to be supported by DSpatial was SDTS-RPE. The SRPE code was written from the ground up in Delphi, and consists on an ISO8211 parser, a generic SDTS module reader, and an RPE profile reader which provides the user-interface to the code. While the RPE profile is not completely implemented, it does successfully read the 1:24,000 DEMs released by the USGS.

DSpatial is released at no cost under the MPL 1.1 license and is available at http://dspatial.sourceforge.net/ (source code only, no binaries).


ERDAS has developed a prototype encoder and decoder for the Raster Profile and has sample data sets available for review. The availability of the SDTS translators will make it possible to bring data from a number of raster formats, such as DOQ or DEM, into the IMG format, and then produce SDTS datasets or vice versa. The SDTS Raster encoder and decoder will be included with ERDAS Imagine Version 8.3, which is expected to be released August 1996. ERDAS Imagine Version 8.2, which is available now, contains a TVP translator. The following enviroments are supported:

SUN OS - SUN Solaris
HPUX - Dec Alpha
Silicon Graphics SGI - IBM RS/6000
Windows NT - Windows 95

For more information contact Larry Warnick, phone 404-248-9000, ext. 2257, or e-mail warnick@erdas.com


Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) has included in Version 7 of the ARC/INFO product an SDTS translator. In addition to the SDTSIMPORT and SDTSEXPORT commands, there are two commands, SDTSINFO and SDTSLIST, to obtain general information about the transfer and list out individual modules within a transfer. Only Version 7.04 and later are capable of transferring multiple files in a single transfer. ESRI's white paper on SDTS is available via anonymous ftp at: ftp://ftp.esri.com/pub/marketing/white_papers (Download the free Adobe Reader)

This file is in .pdf format, and gives good step by step instructions on importing SDTS files.

SDTS Support


Fortner Software developed an SDTS Raster Profile Translator for use with their Noesys Visualization Pro software package. Noesys runs on Windows NT/95-98 and Power Macintosh systems and and will let you read, visualize, and translate SDTS raster data. Current Noesys 1.3 users can download a beta SDTS Translator free.

With a menu-driven interface, Noesys easily opens technical data in a spreadsheet-like window and performs a wide variety of analysis and visualization of the data. Translate data from a selection of formats including text, binary, TIFF, HDF, SDTS, DTED and more. Also available from Fortner is the Noesys Software Development Kit (SDK) for creating custom translators for proprietary formats.

To learn more about Fortner Software and SDTS, visit their web site at: http://www.fortner.com. You can e-mail them at info@fortner.com or call (703) 478-0181. All sales of Noesys are through their distributor, Research Systems, Inc. Research Systems can be reached at http://www.rsinc.com. You may also call (303) 786-9900 or email sales@rsinc.com.


Geomantics is a software development company, based in the Scottish Highlands, specializing in the application of graphical solutions to real world, particularly geographical, problems. Genesis II is landscape visualization software that, currently cannot directly import SDTS DEMs. Use of the sdts2dem.exe utility included with GenesisII allows conversion of SDTS DEMS into standard DEM format. Visit Geomantics for more information.

Golden Software, Inc., has implemented SDTS import modules for the DLG (TVP) and DEM (RPE) profiles. DLG files are used by Golden Sofware's Surfer, MapViewer, and Didger programs to represent basemap data. SDTS DEM data can be directly imported into Surfer for contouring, vector fields, shaded relief, 3D visualization, volumetrics, and extensive surface analysis.

In addition to SDTS data, Golden Software applications also import USGS DEM and DLG files, ESRI Shape files, AutoCAD DXF, MapInfo MIF, Windows WMF, and dozens of raster formats including TIFF, BMP, and JPG. They support exporting to most of these formats as well.

To learn more about Golden Software or download a working demo, visit Golden Software's website, e-mail info@goldensoftware.com, or call 800-972-1021 or 303-279-1021.


Infopipe Information Services, Inc. announces the release of the SDTS Topographic GRID to Geographix Isomap Tool This tool converts readily available SDTS-Topographic Data to Geographix Isomap Format. The data is ready for input and use in IsoMap with no need for additional gridding. The tool is designed for any systems compatible with Windows Office 97 (Windows NT 4.0, Windows 95 and Windows 98). GeoGraphix®, WellBase, and LeaseMap are trade names of GeoGraphix®.

Visit http://www.infopipe.com or for more information contact Darrell Connelly, phone 303-986-6933, FAX 303-980-8744, or email darrell@infopipe.com


Intergraph supports SDTS/DEM data translation in GeoMedia 3.0 with the recent release of MFworks for GeoMedia. MFworks for GeoMedia will translate SDTS/DEM to GeoTIFF format which maintains the geo-referencing of the data. For more information, see: http://www.intergraph.com/geomedia/mfworks

Intergraph supports two forms of SDTS data using the MGE product line. MGE Terrain Analyst (MTA) supports USGS DEM data in SDTS format. This product provides an SDTS to DEM translator. The converted DEM data can then be output to standard grid file format and used in Intergraph products that support DTM data. MTA is available for Windows NT and Windows 95. For more information about the MTA SDTS/DEM Translator, see: http://www.intergraph.com/mge/mta.asp

Intergraph also supports SDTS vector profile data. The software translates any valid SDTS data to and from the MGE environment on Windows NT and Windows 95. The translator and a metadata editor are available free of charge through Intergraph's ftp node, with MGE Nucleus license. For more information about the MGE SDTS Translator, see: http://www.intergraph.com/mge/sdts.asp

Or contact David Young at dvyoung@intergraph.com


Manifold System Release 5.00 Professional Edition is a general purpose GIS package that fully supports SDTS format in all forms. Manifold works with vector drawings, raster images, raster surfaces, terrain elevation data seen in 2D (shaded relief, slope or aspect) or 3D views using SDTS data. Manifold automatically reads all known forms and variations of SDTS, including SDTS DEM data in "old" and "new" versions. Manifold will extract and use all data in SDTS files, including metadata, and will automatically link tables and maintain relations between tables and objects in vector drawings.

Please visit http://www.manifold.net for more information on Manifold System GIS software.


MapInfo Professional V6 software adds support for SDTS vector data, along with VPF, and AutoCAD 2000--fix for "Survey Feet" problem when importing. MapInfo Professional V6 offers new internet support: hotLinks, HTML image maps, metadata browser; 3D Viewing: rotate, pan, zoom, query, drape and print and good news for database support: Oracle 8.1.6, MS Access 2000, MS Access multi-user. Additional output controls have been added; improved object processing; advancements in geocoding; enhanced cartographic legend; and better projections. Version 6 accommodates new raster file formats: ECW from ER Mapper and VMGrid from Northwood Technologies; and new and improved tools including new rotate symbols and labels tools.

MapInfo Professional includes a built-in geocoder, more than 540 MB of data and an extensive collection of pre-designed maps. MapInfo easily integrates with other mapping applications.

For further information please visit MapInfo at: http://www.mapinfo.com
You may also call 1-800-FASTMAP or email techsupport@mapinfo.com


Research Systems, Inc. markets ENVI, the Environment for Visualizing Images, which offers direct support for most common data types. ENVI offers import of SDTS-format vector files and SDTS DEMs as well as other industry-standards file formats including: ArcView Shape Files (industry-standard .dbf format), ArcInfo Interchange (uncompressed), DXF, USGS DLGs and others. It also provides support for common formats such as NITF, CIB, DTED, HDF, and more.

Version 3.2 adds even more power to ENVI's display paradigms, refines many of ENVI's existing functions, and introduces significant new capabilities. This release enhances ENVI's powerful hyperspectral and spectral information extraction technology. In addition, refinements to ENVI's integrated raster/vector analysis environment allow users to easily extract information from any type of remote sensing data, build GIS layers and attributes, use simple queries to establish relations between image characteristics and vector layers, and construct finished publication-quality image maps. ENVI also supports real-time GPS inputs.

ENVI is "Powered by IDL", the Interactive Data Language, so you can expand ENVI's features and create your own routines. ENVI works the same on PC, Mac, UNIX and Linux operating environments.

Visit Research Systems for more information and to download software and data. For additional information visit Better Solutions Software . IDL is a registered trademark of Research Systems, Inc. ENVI is a registered trademark of Better Solutions Consulting, LLC.


Safe Software, Inc. has added reading support for SDTS by offering the FME® Universal Viewer. This allows SDTS data to be read directly into any application using FME® objects. Alternatively, SDTS data can be translated into any of the over forty GIS, CAD and database formats supported by Safe's stand-alone FME® spatial data translation products. Using Safe's FME Objects technology, reading support for SDTS can easily be added to any third party application. This is accomplished by embedding FME Objects directly into the application.

Support has been added for SDTS Topological Vector Profile (TVP) and the SDTS Raster Profile for reading Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data. SDTS support will also be included in several of Safe's FME products including FME Professional, FME for ESRI, FME for Smallworld and FME Enterprise for Unix.

For more information, visit: Safe Software, Inc. or contact info@safe.com
2017 - 7445 132nd Street
Surrey, BC V3W 1J8 CANADA
Tel: 604-501-9985 x224
Fax: 604-501-9965


TatukGIS supports the reading of SDTS data in all of its software products, including its free GIS Viewer, GIS Developer Kernel toolkit (SDK), and GIS Internet Server products. The free GIS Viewer and trial versions of the other products can be downloaded from the TatukGIS web site at www.tatukgis.com.

TatukGIS products also support just about every important GIS/CAD vector and raster image format.


UNISYS is developing SDTS translators using the TVP format. Unisys provides services to support or implement SDTS in the TVP. Also there are services available for project management which can help in defining feature classes which conform to the metadata standards. The status of development is as follows:

SDTS to SYSTEM 9 - Complete and available
SYSTEM 9 to SDTS - Complete and available
GINA to SDTS - Complete and available
OSNTF to SDTS - Complete and available
SDTS to SpatialWare - In development

Visit UNISYS


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