Road Centerline Data Standards (Draft)

Last Updated:  March 2007

  • In December 2006, the North Dakota GISTC commissioned a study to determine the most feasible and cost-effective approach for developing and maintaining a statewide road centerline dataset. One of the deliverables of this study was a recommended set of standards for road centerline data. These standards are currently in draft form (512kb pdf).

Digital Parcel File Standard

Last Updated:  November 2007

  • The North Dakota Digital Parcel File Standard (550kb pdf) was created by various state and county employees with the voluntary assistance of engineering and consulting firms experienced in land parcel development. The North Dakota Digital Parcel File Standard may be updated as new topics arise.

North Dakota Coordinate System

Guidelines for Using ArcGIS Online

Last Updated:  January 2014

  • ArcGIS Online (AGO) is a cloud-based solution from Esri that can be utilized to share data, services, maps, and applications. This document has been developed for use by North Dakota state agencies to facilitate the use of AGO within an agency and to make it easier for information to be found by users inside and outside of state government. 

Administration and Configuration

  1. Content placed in the public domain of AGO may be used to develop third party applications and/or content unknown to the original publisher.  These applications and/or content may be misinterpreted as being official State of North Dakota information.  For this reason, it is important that these guidelines be followed, especially for public-facing maps and applications.
  2. The AGO home page should include the official banner (see the web development standard and see the banner page  for more information). Copy the code shown on the banner code page into the Home Page – Banner field of ArcGIS Online.
  3. A published entry for your AGO site in the ND GIS Hub Data Portal (contact GIS Coordinator for details) is recommended to facilitate people inside and outside of state government to find your AGO site.
  4. When publishing or uploading data to AGO consider the sensitivity of that data as well as the frequency of updates and maintenance to that data as these may have impacts to service credits. Please refer to your agency’s specific guidelines or policies regarding sensitive data and information.  Sensitive data, data to be shared with ArcGIS Desktop agency users, and regularly updated data should reside on the state GIS Hub. Such data can be made available to AGO using GIS Hub REST services.  Agency GIS coordinators can assist with the publishing of GIS data to the ND GIS Hub.
  5. Publishing your content to the North Dakota’s Visual ND AGO site is suggested to facilitate people inside and outside of state government to find your AGO site.  In addition, this is the primary method to share content with the Governor’s Office.
    1. Select the Share button in AGO then select one of the applicable Visual ND groups:  Applications, Data, Maps, Documents, or Web Sites
    2. If your map is to be made available to another AGO site, e.g., Visual ND, it is recommended to use “https” in the URL of the services that you use in your map to avoid users receiving warning messages
  6. Service credits are a means for metering usage of certain AGO functions. An agency needs to periodically review the usage of these.  Service credits can quickly be consumed using the following:
    1. Creation of tile caches
    2. Geocoding – for example, displaying spreadsheet address data
  7. Management of AGO accounts is a critical administrative function to ensure that passwords of proper strength are used and that user accounts are properly treated when users of those accounts leave the agency.
  8. In the State of North Dakota-Esri Master Purchase Agreement (MPA) the following is noted:
    1. Do not remove the Esri logo from maps
    2. AGO content cannot be used for commercial purposes
    3. Esri is not responsible for loss of data
    4. Login credentials are for designated Named Users only and may not be shared among individuals


  1. Descriptive information needs to include:
    1. Title
      1. Agency abbreviation – Title (e.g., NDITD – School Districts)
    2. Summary
      1. One sentence describing this map, data, service or application. Generally this information can come from the Description.
    3. Description
      1. Describe why this map, data, service, or application exists: for example, who did it, who was it done for, why was it done
    4. Access and Use Constraints
      1. Applicable to this data, map or service, e.g., “Not for navigation”
      2. Standard ND GIS Hub disclaimer:  The State of North Dakota has compiled this data according to conventional cartographic standards, using what is thought to be the most reliable information available. This data is intended to make results of research available at the earliest possible date, but is not intended to constitute final or formal publication. The State of North Dakota makes every effort to provide virus-free files but does not guarantee uncorrupted files. The State of North Dakota does not guarantee this data to be free from errors, inaccuracies, or viruses, and disclaims any responsibility or liability for interpretations or decisions based on this data.
    5. Tags (these are used to find the data, map, service, or application within
      1. North Dakota, ND, NDGIS
      2. Agency abbreviation, e.g., NDITD, NDDES, NDGFD, NDDA
      3. Descriptive words, e.g., K-12, schools
    6. Credits
      1. Agency abbreviation of data steward/publisher
      2. Agency abbreviations (state and federal who assisted)
      3. Others as appropriate, e.g., city or county, NDGISTC, ND GIS Hub
    7. Thumbnail images can be a great tool for quick identification of AGO content.  The suggested thumbnail size is 200 pixels wide x 133 pixels high.  Various tools to create the image include Snagit and FastStone
    8. User profile (publishers and users) information should include publisher contact information and agency information.  Consider including a photo or avatar.

GIS Hub Database Standards


Last Updated:  October 2001

  • The GISTC has adopted the minimum requirements of the FGDC metadata standard.
  • The ISO metadata standard is also an approved standard.

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 Organization

  • When possible, vector data stored on the GIS Hub geodatabase is organized by feature datasets to reflect major groupings of data, e.g., Transportation for all things related to transportation within the state
  • Within each feature dataset are the feature classes or layers
  • 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