Many organizations using GIS need to integrate data from
multiple sources, organizations, and formats. GIS software requires technology
to support conversion from or direct access to multiple geographic data sets in
multiple formats. ESRI has played an active role in building this interoperable
technology into its products and actively participated in open standards
development to ensure that GIS data created by our products can be openly
accessed and supports open standards at all levels.
Supported Data Formats
ESRI software supports over forty
data formats via data converters or via direct read. View
the ArcGIS Desktop
Product Sheet [PDF-863
KB] for a detailed list of supported data formats for ArcView,
ArcEditor, and ArcInfo.
also supports other technology standards that allow for
direct data access including simple features as SQL, OLE
COM, XML, and GML.
ArcGIS Desktop products (ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo)
allow you to create, manage, and edit metadata stored in
XML representation of FGDC Content for Digital Geospatial
Metadata or of ISO 19115 Metadata Standard.
Metadata Services enable users to create a central, online
metadata repository that facilitates publishing and browsing
metadata over the Internet. The metadata documents stored
as ArcIMS Metadata Services can then be accessed using any
client that communicates using ArcXML, such as
ArcCatalog is the geographic and tabular data management,
creation, and organization application for ArcGIS Desktop.
ArcIMS Metadata Explorer: A set of Java Server Pages (JSP)
that can be used to build a customized, browser-based
means of searching for metadata.
Z39.50 Clients: Z39.50 is a national standard that defines
a protocol for computer-to-computer information retrieval.
ISO 239.50 Clients: ISO 239.50 is an international standard
that defines a protocol for computer-to-computer information
ArcGIS Data Models
geodatabase architecture allows the creation of common or
essential data models for specific industries and applications.
ArcGIS data models provide ready-to-use nonproprietary frameworks,
built on the accepted standards, for modeling and capturing
the behavior of real-world objects in a geodatabase. For
more information, visit ArcGIS
Open Published Data Format
Shapefile spatial data format is open and published by ESRI.
A shapefile stores non-topological geometry and attribute
information for the spatial features in a data set. Shapefiles
can support point, line, and area features. This file format
is growing in adoption and capability to accommodate more
complex spatial data; ESRI will announce and publish changes
as they are developed. ESRI encourages developers and users
to create interchange capabilities to both read and create
ESRI Shapefile Technical Description [PDF-123 KB] provides
all the technical information necessary for writing a computer
program to create shapefiles without the use of ESRI software
for organizations that want to write their own data translators.
ESRI also offers a variety of data
resources to support your applications, including online
data sets and online data subscriptions via the Geography Network Canada, the Geography
Network, and data from a variety of vendors
that are ready to be used with ESRI software. The majority
of ESRI's software also includes the ESRI Data & Maps CDs,
a set of ready-to-use data which are regularly updated.
For more information, visit ArcData.