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USGS Digital elevation Models (DEM)

Notice to users of USGS SDTS DEMS

Your software may not handle the SDTS DEMs available at the GeoCommunity web site. All SDTS DEMs available via the GeoCommunity were translated by the USGS according to the Federal Geographic Data Committee approved Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS), Part 5: Raster Profile and Extensions (FGDC-STD-002.5-1999). This standard replaced a draft SDTS Raster Profile standard which was used to translate all SDTS DEMs previously available from the USGS site. Some slight differences exist between the two standards which (if hard coded in GIS software from the draft standard) cause application failures when using the new SDTS DEMs. A discussion of the differences and an initial work around will be posted at in early August

If your software previously handled SDTS DEMs and cannot now handle those from GeoComm, please contact your GIS vendor. If you believe there may be a problem with an individual data set or if you need additional information about SDTS, please access the SDTS web site at or send email to

Problems Using SDTS 7.5' DEMs? - Read This Notice!

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If you develop DEM related products, scripts, extensions, or translators and would like to make them available to the public, please send e-mail to

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