[GRASS5] New USGS DEM data format

Michel Wurtz mw at teledetection.fr
Thu Aug 2 04:21:33 EDT 2001

Rich Shepard wrote:
>   I just learned that the US Geological Survey (USGS) has done two things
> less than desirable. First, they no longer provide data for free, especially
> the 30-m DEM data. It's only available now at one commercial site, that of
> GeoComm (URL avaialable upon request).

Uhh ? Becoming European ? ;-)

>   Second, and more importantly, they have changed the format of the
> elevation data within the DEM to "decimal meters" which I assume to be
> fractional meters. The elevations used to be only in integral feet or
> meters. So, on this basis, more accurate DEM data is a Good Thing. But, they
> changed the SDTS format to this, and ESRI's ARC/GIS-8 (and Maptitude-5.0)
> are the only software that can read and translate the new SDTS format.
> GeoComm, the only site at which these data are available, is an ESRI
> reseller. 

There is an article entitled "Recent changes in U.S. mapping data have
upset the GIS community" about this new USGS's strategy at


Michel WURTZ - DIG - Maison de la télédétection
               500, rue J.F. Breton
               34093 MONTPELLIER Cedex 5

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