Since the 1960's individuals and organisations throughout the world have been building geographic databases used in conjunction with geographic hardware and software systems to collect, analyse, display and archive digital data. Through the years it was recognised that efficiencies could be gained if the geographic database built by one group could be used by multiple users across different computer systems and formats. Therefore, it was acknowledged that spatial database transfer standards were needed to facilitate the exchange and transfer of digital geographic data.
Throughout the 1980's several organisations worldwide began working on the problem of producing spatial database transfer standards. As this work was initiated, research workers began to informally compare notes and developments. The International Cartographic Association [ICA], recognising the worldwide importance of standards, organised a Standards Working Group. The initial goal of this working group was to produce a monograph reporting on the present state of development in digital database transfer standards.
This book is a unique collection of reports by individual nations and international organisations that describe existing geographic standards and summarize efforts to develop geographic database transfer standards worldwide.