SDSFIE-M — Metadata
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The Spatial Data Standards for Facilities, Infrastructure, and Environment (SDSFIE) Metadata standard, or SDSFIE-M is a community standard for geospatial metadata and is a profile of the National System for Geospatial-Intelligence (NSG) Metadata Foundation, or NMF. NMF is, in turn, a profile of ISO 19115:2003/Cor 1:2006 (Geographic Information – Metadata). Version 1.0.2 is currently released in DISR emerging status.

The just approved version of SDSFIE-M (2.0) defines a National System for Geospatial-Intelligence (NSG) Application Schema (NAS) 8.0 Profile (and, specifically, profiles the ISO 19115-1:2014, ISO 19115-1:2014/Amd1:2018, ISO 19115-2:2019, ISO 19157:2013, and ISO 19157:2013/Amd1: 2018, includes elements added by the GeoPlatform Profile of ISO 19115-1, and incorporates elements for the documentation of Controlled Unclassified Information being incroporated into the Intelligence Community Technical Specification XML Data Encoding Specification for Information Security Marking (IC-ISM)). The IGG hopes to acheive a mandated status for SDSFIE-M 2.0 in the DISR 20-1 cycle.

SDSFIE-M is specifically applicable to the Installation Geographic Information & Services Community of Interest (IGI&S COI) as listed in the United States Department of Defense (DoD) Metadata Registry, and having a corresponding IGIS namespace. The SDSFIE supports the ability of the IGI&S COI to describe its spatial data holdings (e.g. those structured according to the Spatial Data Standard for Facilities, Infrastructure, and Environment). Complete and current geospatial metadata is also essential to meet the goals of DoD Instruction 8320.02 summarized as “making data and services more visible (discoverable), accessible, understandable, trusted, and interoperable.”

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There are two specifications that describe SDSFIE Metadata:

  1. SDSFIE Metadata Conceptual Schema (SDSFIE-M)
    SDSFIE-M is a conceptual schema. The purpose of a conceptual schema is to capture the concepts and relationships of a domain model in a form which is agnostic to the eventual choice of an implementing technology. Due to this level of abstraction, compliance with SDSFIE-M cannot be tested directly. Therefore, developers seeking to implement an SDSFIE-M compliant system shall first locate or develop a conformant implementation specification (see SMIS below). SDSFIE-M-conformant implementation specifications provide a validated specification for implementing the SDSFIE-M when employing a specific technology. The implementation specification then serves as a requirements specification that guides system development. Demonstration of compliance of the system with the implementation specification and then conformance of the implementation specification with SDSFIE-M shall constitute demonstration of compliance of the system with SDSFIE-M.
  2. SDSFIE-M Implementation Specification (SMIS)
    The SDSFIE Metadata Implementation Specification (SMIS) specifies an Extensible Markup Language (XML) encoding of the SDSFIE Metadata (SDSFIE-M): Conceptual Schema that is conformant to ISO/TS 19139 Geographic information – Metadata – XML schema implementation, the XML Data Encoding Specification for Information Security Marking Metadata (DES.ISM.XML), and the XML Data Encoding Specification for Need-To-Know Metadata (DES.NTK.XML) for use in the documentation, discovery and exchange of geospatial datasets in the I&E community. This encoding shall be used to document geospatial datasets for cataloguing, discovery and retrieval.

    NOTE: Future releases of SDSFIE-M (starting with 2.0) will not include an implementation specification, but will include the schemas under the label SDSFIE-M Implementation Schemas (SMIS)

To develop a clear and comprehensive understanding of what data assets they possess, Federal Agencies are required to create an Enterprise Data Inventory (Inventory) that accounts for all data assets created or collected by the agency. This includes, but is not limited to, data assets used in the agency’s information systems. The Inventory must be enterprise-wide, accounting for data assets across programs and bureaus, and must use the required Project Open Data (POD) metadata schema available on Project Open Data (Project Open Data website).

SMIS is much more comprehensive than the POD metadata schema, therefore the IGI&S Governance Group (IGG) has developed a crosswalk for converting SMIS metadata documents to POD metadata documents. A crosswalk already existed between ISO 19115 (19139) metadata and POD v1.1 (ISO 19115 to PODS Crosswalk). However, there was ambiguity in that crosswalk that had to be resolved before an automatic conversion can be accomplished. The resulting crosswalk is available here:

SDSFIE Metadata Conceptual Schema(SDSFIE-M)

SDSFIE-M consists of a single document and is availble at the following location:

NEW! The conceptual schema for SDSFIE-M 2.0 was recently approved by the IGG and is availble at the following location:

SDSFIE-M Implementation Specification (SMIS)

SMIS consists of a single document and a set of schemas. The schemas have recent bug fixes (APR 2017) and are posted as version All are availble via SDSFIE Online at the following locations:

The schemas for SDSFIE-M 2.0 will be released once it is possible to release the IC ISM specifications on which it depends.

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Implementation Guidance
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SDSFIE-M is applicable to (and mandated for use by) the Installation Geospatial Information and Services (IGI&S) user community, as defined in DoD Instruction (DoDI) 8130.01. This standard is intended to describe IGI&S spatial data holdings and services (e.g. those structured according to the SDSFIE Vector (SDSFIE-V) standard).

The SDSFIE Implementation Guidance defines the general requirement for IGI&S metadata and expresses, as a series of rules, other implementation requirements for SDSFIE-M such as the need for metadata to be accessible, the requirement to establish milestones and deadlines for the implementation of SDSFIE-M mandated versions, and the need for Components to develop their own implementation plans.

Please be sure to check with your Component IGI&S program for details of the implementation guidance specific to your Component.

Information security is a very important topic with respect to metadata and the SDSFIE-M Implementation Guidance provides rules concerning how information security markings shall be expressed for both metadata and the resources that the metadata describes.

Geospatial metadata is best created and maintained via automated tools. The SDSFIE-M Implementation Guidance includes a rule that any tool that is developed by an IGG member organization must conform to the rules defined in this guidance.

Version 2.0 of the SMIG will be released once it has been finalized and adopted by the IGG.

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Tools & Workflows
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As stated above, automated tools are essential to the creation and maintenance of metadata. The following is a list of tools that might be useful to those implementing SDSFIE-M:

  • SDSFIE-M Metadata Style for ArcGIS — A metadata style configures ArcGIS to create and maintain the metadata you want. Choosing a metadata style is like applying a filter to an item's metadata. The style controls how you view the metadata and also the pages that appear for editing metadata in the Description tab in ArcGIS. The current SDSFIE-M Metadata Style for ArcGIS is designed to support SDSFIE Metadata Implementation Schema (SMIS), version Therefore, the style will determine how metadata is exported and validated for that standard. The links below provide access to Windows installers of the style for the listed ArcGIS for Desktop versions:
  • The SDSFIE-M Metadata Style for ArcGIS, Version 2.0 is under development and shuold be available for beta testing on or about 23 November 2019.
  • SMIS-to-POD Converter — The DISDI Program Office has created a conversion between SMIS v1.0.2 and POD v1.1 as defined above. There are two tools available to support such conversions:
    • smis2pod.xsl — An EXtensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Transformation for SMIS 1.0.2 XML documents that results in a POD v1.1 "data.json" file.
    • SMIS2POD Service — A services that takes an SMIS 1.0.2 XML document or a zipped collection of SMIS 1.0.2 XML documents and returns either a "data.json" file or a "catalog.json" file.
  • More on the way... the Army is developing an Army Metadata Editor Tool (AMET), stay tuned to the IGI&S AKO site for more information.

Last updated - 25 APR 2017