SDSFIE-V — Vector

The Spatial Data Standards for Facilities, Infrastructure, and Environment (SDSFIE) Vector standard, or SDSFIE-V is the vector data model which current users recognize as “SDSFIE”, including the most recent versions 2.6, 3.0, 3.1, and 4.0. Prior releases of SDSFIE-V used a physical data model based on a specific geodatabase format. Starting with SDSFIE-V Version 3.1, the Vector was developed using a platform-independent logical data model (LDM) that promotes interoperability and follows accepted industry practices. The SDSFIE-V standard includes the current SDSFIE Specification Document, as well as the current “Gold” Logical Data Model and all approved, published Component Headquarters-level Adaptation Logical Data Models.

SDSFIE-V 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 IGI&S namespace. The SDSFIE supports the ability of the IGI&S COI to standardize its vector data holdings according to a common core logical data model, the so-called SDSFIE-V Gold standard. Components may then adapt the Gold standard for their specific requirements according to the SDSFIE-V Implementation Guidance.

SDSFIE-V Gold is the core vector data model for DoD, and contains the common data elements resulting from the SDSFIE modeling efforts across all installation, environment, and civil works business mission areas. Elements are any individual component of the SDSFIE LDM including Feature Types, Feature Geometries, Attributes, Enumeration or Domain Values, and Associations or Relationships. SDSFIE Gold defines a specific set of elements that have been identified as the core spatial data requirements by teams of DoD installations and environment Subject Matter Experts (SME).

The SDSFIE-V specification documents have been submitted and validated by the GEOINT Standards Work Group (GWG) and, as a result, SDSFIE 3.1 is a mandated IT standard registered in the DoD Information Technology Standards Registry (DISR). DISR is the official DoD online repository of Information Technology (IT) standards, governed by the Joint Enterprise Standards Committee (JESC).

In February 2016, the IGG approved the SDSFIE-V 4.0 Gold model. With a starting point of SDSFIE 3.1 Gold, the 4.0 was developed through 2 years of effort gathering requirements from the Components, including nearly 100 meetings involving 14 different SME groups, with the SDSFIE-V WG reviewing change requests and adjudicating model changes for the final draft.

The SDSFIE-V 4.0 specification documentation was submitted as an emerging IT standard into the 17-1 DISR Cycle. The GEOINT Standards Work Group (GWG) and the Joint Enterprise Standards Committee (JESC) concurred , as a result, SDSFIE-V 4.0 is an emerging IT standard registered in the DoD Information Technology Standards Registry (DISR).

In accordance with direction from the Assistant Secretary of Defense (memorandum dated February 9, 2017) and per DoDI 8130.01, SDSFIE-V v4.0 is mandated for use across the DoD. The content of the SDSFIE has been reviewed, and coordinated through the Geospatial-Intelligence Working Group (GWG) and the Application Schemas for Feature Encoding Focus Group (ASFE FG). A DISR Change Request was submitted for the 17-2 DISR Cycle to move SDSFIE-V v4.0 to Mandated status.

Users should communicate with their SDSFIE Component Manager/Representative about implementation of the SDSFIE-V standard.

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SDSFIE-V Gold is hierarchically structured as a Logical Data Model and is specified in a document and a "platform independent model" (PIM) stored in the SDSFIE Registry and made available for viewing view the Browse/Generate tool described below. The SDSFIE-V specification documents are available from the Data Sharing Environment at the links below:

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Implementation Guidance & Adaptations
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SDSFIE-V 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 Spatial Data Standard for Facilities, Infrastructure, and Environment-Vector (SDSFIE-V)).

Each DoD Component within the IGG is able to develop a strategy that establishes guidelines for implementation of SDSFIE through the use of Adaptations. The IGG recently reviewed and revised the SDSFIE-V implementation guidance. The currently in-force implementation guidance is linked below:

The SDSFIE-V Implementation Guidance defines the rules for implementation of "headquarters" adaptations of SDSFIE-V. The implementation guidance includes a series of rules, other implementation requirements for SDSFIE-V such as the requirement to establish milestones and deadlines for the implementation of SDSFIE-V mandated versions, and the need for Components to develop their own implementation guidance and plans.

SDSFIE 4.0 Gold captures the core geospatial data needs for I&E requirements. Each DoD Component may profile (delete elements) or extend (add elements) SDSFIE Gold in the creation of an Adaptation specific to the needs of the Component. For example, the US Army Corps of Engineers Adaptation will be known as “USACE HQ 4.0” and includes SDSFIE Gold elements as well as all additional geospatial data elements necessary for the USACE mission. DoD Organizations and contractors must follow the Adaptation guidelines developed for the DoD Component in which they work.

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

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Tools & Workflows
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As stated before, the SDSFIE-V 4.0 Gold is hierarchically structured as a Logical Data Model and not necessarily intended for direct implementation. Implementation (i.e. use of the specification in information systems) shall primarily occur through a workflow defined on the SDSFIE Online website and called “generation” (conversion of a Logical Data Model to a Physical Data Model). Prior to Generation, the IGI&S community is expected to develop a physical implementation tailored to their DoD Component through a formal process referred to as Adaptation. Adaptation is the process of profiling (i.e. removing elements from) and extending (i.e. adding elements to) the SDSFIE-V 4.0 Gold in a governed manner, resulting in physical models (aka Adaptations) which are tailored to the mission-specific requirements of an implementing organization. Headquarters (HQ) Adaptations are derived directly from Gold by the Components. Adaptations of HQ Adaptations are expected, and even encouraged, depending on policy and guidance developed at the Component level.

Adaptations of the SDSFIE-V 4.0 Gold are the principal mechanism used to implement the specification. The governance of Adaptations is, therefore, controlled by guidance and policy developed by consensus of the IGG . Adaptations are reviewed and approved at several levels of the Components and DoD, according to the processes described in the referenced guidance and Component policy.

Physical implementation of SDSFIE-V is accomplished using SDSFIE-V Workflows. These workflows are available via the SDSFIE Online website ( which requires only minimal user registration to control access. Publication of Adaptations is controlled via an approval process governed by the IGG and implemented using a database called the SDSFIE Registry. Once an Adaptation is approved, it is marked as such in the SDSFIE Registry and made available to other users of SDSFIE Online.

The SDSFIE Online contains four workflows that operate using the SDSFIE Registry with the following functionality:

  1. Browse/Generate is a workflow that promotes understanding of the content of a single model at a time. It also enables the generation of either a PIM or PDM view of all or part of the model. The generated PIM can be used for understanding, reference and communication. The generated PDM can be used to implement the model in a targeted GIS or database environment. The Browse portion of the workflow displays a list of entities and associations in the model and allows the user to browse their details. Users may search (or filter) the model to identify targeted entities or associations. The Generate portion of the workflow can produce a PIM representation in Microsoft Excel format or a PDM representation in XML Workspace Document format for all or a subset of the entities in the model. A PDM representation in Geography Markup Language (GML) is planned as a near-term, but future, development effort.
  2. The Data Dictionary is a workflow that promotes discovery and access of comparable information across the SDSFIE Registry (SDSFIE-V Gold and all registered Adaptations) and thereby facilitates understanding of all data models by enabling cross-model searches. The data dictionary provides a means to search the SDSFIE Registry and view critical properties associated with each element from all models at one time and to export these findings to Microsoft Excel.
  3. The Model Builder is a workflow providing the capability to build Adaptations of either Gold or any other registered Adaptation as a starting point. The tool allows users to Profile and Extend existing feature types and to create new feature types to build a new draft Adaptation. The workflow also provides access to the Import XML Workspace capability that creates a PIM (as a draft Adaptation) from an XML Workspace document that can serve as a Model Builder starting point. Finally, the workflow provides the capability to create a new Adaptation described as the differences from a parent model in an Excel template. The Model Builder provides a mechanism to submit a draft Adaptation for approval (see the description of the Adaptation Reviewer workflow below).
    Adaptation Reviewer is a workflow that enables an approving authority to review a draft Adaptation for approval. Component managers examine the draft Adaptation and approve or reject the adaptation or any of its constituent model elements. The Adaptation Reviewer is embedded in the Model Builder workflow and is configured so that rejected models will be easily editable within Model Builder by the submitter and reviewer rejection reasons will be available there so they can be addressed. Note: Access to this functionality is restricted to those within a Component who are authorized.
  4. Validation is a workflow providing the capability for an Adaptation to be validated against its parent model or to determine the differences between two models. The workflow will optionally check for conformance to the SDSFIE-V Implementation Guidance. The workflow also provides access to the Import XML Workspace capability that creates a PIM (as a draft Adaptation) from and XML Workspace document that can then be validated or checked differences.
  5. Migration provides the capability of migrate an implementation that is at least partially compliant with a registered model to an implementation of a next version of the registered model (for example, an adaptation of USACE Headquarters 4.0 to an adaptation of USACE Headquarters 4.1).

From this list one can see that the physical implementation of SDSFIE-V is accomplished through the definition of an Adaptation, validation, review, and approval of the Adaptation, then by generating a compliant schema, and finally by populating the data set or by migrating an existing data set. In this way, the SDSFIE-V Workflows can strictly control the physical implementation of the SDSFIE-V according to DoD policies while still allowing freedom for mission-specific differences.