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New FGDC-Compliant USGS SDTS 7.5' DEMs available on-line at GeoCommunity

A non-compliant profile identifier was used in the USGS SDTS DEMs that were released to the public at the GeoCommunity GIS Data Depot in July 2001.

The compliant USGS SDTS DEMs are now available (beginning October 2, 2001) from the GIS Data Depot.

Non-compliant data have been purged and are no longer being distributed. The issue of non-compliance was with the profile identifier name only and did not affect the integrity of the data.

Please note that the GIS Data Depot is not responsible for the non-compliant identifier name. The USGS is the maintenance authority for SDTS and continues to be the technical contact for the data and is responsible for policy regarding data distribution.

You will also notice a change in the naming convention regarding the FGDC-compliant dataset and the tar file. For example, the Dixon, Missouri quad's .tar file name is 1626663 (preceded by GeoComm's unique download instance identifier) and the .ddf names are 7364. This change is the result of USGS maintenance requirements and does not affect the data. For more information, please see this notice: New FGDC-Compliant SDTS 7.5' DEMs available at GeoCommunity site (

If you experience problems ingesting the new FGDC-compliant data (available beginning October 2, 2001), please contact your software vendor to find the latest information about software upgrades or patches. Users who rely on free or public domain software might check the Web discussion lists for the latest solutions. However, if you believe there is an error in the USGS data, please send email to the SDTS mailing list at

Agreement Background

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has entered into an agreement with the GeoCommunity to serve updated, SDTS format, Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) through the GIS Data Depot at for no charge. The 7.5' SDTS DEM data are also available for purchase via premium (fast) download and on CD-ROM from GeoCommunity.

The decision to provide SDTS DEMs through the GIS Data Depot is consistent with the USGS goal of making more public domain data available at no charge while enabling the private sector to have a greater role in the distribution of USGS data. SDTS DEMs placed on media in response to customer orders will be sold by the GeoCommunity at a price less than the USGS currently charges.

The GeoCommunity will continue to receive SDTS versions of the DEMs as they are made available by the USGS. Native format DEMs are still available for sale from USGS on various media and via FTP.

If you have additional questions or comments, please contact us at Please monitor the SDTS Home Page for further news and updates on this issue. USGS SDTS web site.

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