Geospatial Standards

Army Geospatial Center
Published April 14, 2020
Updated: April 14, 2020
Standards flowchart

Standards and their Associated Organizations

We know geography is vital to decision making on the battlefield. What we don't always think about is the necessity to make the data sets behind the decisions of the highest possible quality. For instance, automobiles feel safe in part because we have learned that industry standard will require safety features.  We trust automakers we've never met because we know cars on the road will have brakes, signals, and ability to steer. The value of geospatial information system data to commanders will likewise depend on a shared standard within U.S. ground forces. The future dictates we reach a point when we trust without a thought about geospatial standards.

Army Geospatial Standards, Here's Why

Standards matrix
NSG-approved GEOINT Standard Profiles
Standards matrix
Current Standards
NSG-approved GEOINT Standard Profiles
Photo By: Doug Caldwell
VIRIN: 200414-A-JU052-1002
 Geospatial standards are the foundation of the Army Geospatial Enterprise. They are developed across a broad cross-community network of voluntary and mandatory standards organizations including the Department of Defense/National System for Geospatial-Intelligence and other Federal Agencies, Allies/Coalition Partners, Standards Organizations, and Non-governmental Organizations.


Standards behind every platform

The Army has partnered with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to develop NSG-approved geospatial standards for the AGE. Use of these standards provides Army Program Managers with detailed information on the implementation of the Standard Shareable Geospatial Foundation. In addition, they will improve cross-system interoperability.

The standards form the foundation for certifying that Army systems meet the Army’s geospatial standard and that they are able to exchange data among other certified systems. Standard compliance test tools ensure that systems conform to the standards. 



Shaping the future ... of standards

The Army Geospatial Enterprise not only uses existing standards, but actively shapes the future by participating in the development of new and emerging standards.

  • Open Routing Applications Programmer Interface (API)
  • 3D Geospatial Visualization
  • Next Generation Web Services
  • Portrayal
  • Vector Tiles
  • Large Container for Raster Tile basemaps


Warfighters bring everything together on the ground

The Ground-Warfighter Geospatial Data Model is a core component of the Army Geospatial Enterprise. The primary focus of the GGDM is to identify, understand and manage geospatial data entities, information concepts, structural relationships, and lineage information in a shareable, accessible common environment for ground forces.

The GGDM is the container into which ground-warfighter geospatial data elements may be collected, managed and reused. It consists of a logical data model (LDM) schema, a data dictionary, and physical data model that support enterprise-wide geo-services across Army and Warfighter Programs.

The GGDM supports multiple types of geospatial data.
The Ground-Warfighter Geospatial Data Model
The GGDM supports multiple types of geospatial data.
Photo By: Doug Caldwell
VIRIN: 200414-A-JU052-1003
 The GGDM is designed for the collection, maintenance, and dissemination of vector data including features such as roads, rivers, buildings, fences and bridges; and identifying attributes related to the features such as function, height, type, physical condition and operational status; and metadata describing the accuracy, content origin, and classification level.

The GGDM provides for unique ground-warfighter extensions falling outside traditional data products to be rapidly included into the model and be made available to ground-warfighter systems. It also features a tight-coupling with the National System for Geospatial-Intelligence allowing for greater interoperability and data sharing between the GGDM and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s National System for Geospatial Intelligence Topographic Data Store.