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North Dakota GIS Hub Database Standards

Storage - Coordinate System and Datum

The North Dakota GIS Hub geodatabase stores spatial data in a geographic coordinate system, using the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83). The North Dakota GISTC believes that this is the best, all-purpose coordinate system and datum that allows maximum flexibility for GIS professionals and their GIS and GPS software within North Dakota, as the state has two UTM zones and two State Plane zones.

The North Dakota GISTC recommends the use of the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88) for data containing elevations.


Data must include metadata which meets FGDC, ISO or North Dakota metadata standards

Please see the metadata section for additional information.

Data Organization

Vector data stored on the GIS Hub geodatabase is organized by data sets, called feature datasets in geodatabase terminology, that reflect major groupings of data, e.g., Transportation for all things related to transportation within the state.

Within each feature data set, resides the layers, or in geodatabase terminology, feature classes.

Raster data is stored on the GIS Hub geodatabase strictly by name, as the geodatabase lacks the ability to organize raster data as it does the vector data.

Naming Conventions

Names used on the GIS Hub were chosen by the North Dakota GISTC to be both succinct and descriptive. Layers have a maximum of 30 characters in their name, exclusive of the "ndhub" schema prefix.

Special characters or blanks cannot be part of the layer name.

Consistent and unique layer names, e.g., consistent - use RoadsCounty and RoadsCity, to assist in creating a sorted list; unique - there can only be one "counties" layer in the entire database.

Where adjectives are combined with the name, a “_” will separate the two, e.g., RoadsCounty becomes Roads_County.

Suffixes of “_pts,” “_line,” “_poly” will be used only when they are used to distinguish specific data types, e.g., water_line (rivers) and water_poly (lakes) or cities_pts (city point locations) and cities_poly (city boundaries).


Data must include projection information.

Data that coincides with the state border should match the GIS Hub state boundary layer

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