Acceptable digital formats

Data should normally be provided in a non-proprietary format (for example .csv rather than a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet).

The following formats are accepted by the NGDC:

Data type Preferred format File extension
Geotechnical data Association of Geotechnical and Geo-environmental Specialists (preferably version 3.1 or 4.0) .ags
Geophysical data Log ASCII Standard .las
Seismic data .sgy
Sidescan sonar data .xtf
Generic scientific data Microsoft Excel files .xls, .xlsx
Comma-separated value files .csv
Data files (with readme file on software) .dat
Tab delimited data file  
Portable document format (PDF, PDF/A) .pdf
Extensible mark-up language .xml, .json
Text Microsoft Word document .doc, .docx
Text file (plain/ASCII) .txt
Rich text format .rtf
Presentations Microsoft Powerpoint presentation .ppt
GIS/spatial data ESRI shapefile/MapInfo/QGIS files/GeoTIFF  
Databases Microsoft Access database .accdb
Oracle export  
MySQL export format  
SQLite format  
Images Tagged image format .tif
Joint Photographic Exports Group .jpg
Portable Network Graphics .png
Drawing Interchange Format (AutoCAD) .dfx
Videos Apple Quick Time Movie .mov
Audio Video Interleaved .avi
Digital Moving Picture Exchange Bitmap .dpx
Moving Picture Experts Group .mp4


For further details, please contact