Data Exchange File Formats

Data exchange file formats are essential to support interoperability between software programs. The summary table below lists the main categories of data exchange formats, and many of the formats supported by the programs listed in the GGSD. The links lead to details of each data format, and lists of the programs supporting the data formats.  Summary statistics  are provided. The current status of each format is assessed as follows:

DevelopmentThe data format is in development and not yet in general use
ActiveThe data format is in general use and actively supported and updated by its sponsoring organisation
In useThe data format is in general use but the sponsoring organisation has not updated it for some time
InactiveThe data format is little used, and it has not been maintained by the sponsoring organisation
ObsoleteThe data format has been superseded, and support has been discontinued
The initial version of this summary was prepared as part of A Review of Electronic File Formats for the Exchange of Geotechnical Information in Transportation Schemes for the Construction Industry Research and Information Association  (CIRIA)  funded by the  UK Highways Agency  and carried out by Tim Spink, Fleur Loveridge and Chris Power.

 Asset 
Format name File extension Description Status Ownership Number of programs
 GADML  .xml Geotechnical asset condition information for UK Highways Agency Active Open source 0
 TransXML  .xml XML Scheme for exchange of transportation data including: Survey/Roadway Design; Transportation Construction/Materials; Highway Bridge Structures; Transportation Safety. Development Open source 0

 Database and Spreadsheet 
Format name File extension Description Status Ownership Number of programs
 Access  .mdb Relational data Active Proprietary 40
 Comma Separated Values  .csv Tabular data In use Open source 23
 dBase  .dbf Relational data Active Proprietary 21
 Excel  .xls Tabular data Active Proprietary 90
 Extensible Markup Language  .xml Structured data Active Open source 3
 FoxPro  .dbf Relational data Active Proprietary 7
 Paradox  .db Relational data In use Proprietary 9

 Documents 
Format name File extension Description Status Ownership Number of programs
 NCCTP  .xml Open transfer format of project files for collaborative working Active Open source 0
 Portable Document Format  .pdf Image of formatted text Active Proprietary 8
 Rich Text Format  .rtf Formatted text In use Open source 12
 Text  .txt Unformatted text In use Open source 8
 Word  .doc Formatted text Active Proprietary 32

 Drawings 
Format name File extension Description Status Ownership Number of programs
 DWG  .dwg AutoDesk's drawing file format Active Proprietary 48
 DXF  .dxf Autodesk's drawing exchange file format Active Proprietary 110
 Microstation  .dgn Microstation drawing file format Active Proprietary 15

 Geoenvironmental 
Format name File extension Description Status Ownership Number of programs
 CDX  .xml Central Data Exchange format for US Environmental Data In use Open source 0
 EDF  .txt Electronic Deliverable Format for environmental test results including subformats for laboratory analytical reports (LAB EDF), field sample chain of custody (COC EDF), field sample collection information (FIELD EDF), location information (LOCSETUP EDF) a In use Open source 3
 EQUIS  Environmental Quality Information System Active Proprietary 5
 ESdat LDIF  CSV Laboratory Data Interchange Format used in Australia and Canada Active Proprietary 1
 EVS  .pgf 3D environmental data transfer format In use Proprietary 4
 IRPIMS/ERPIMS  .mdb U.S. Air Force Installation Restoration Program Information Management System (IRPIMS) In use Open source 3
 NEDTS  .txt Navy Environmental Data Transfer Standards (NEDTS). In use Open source 1
 The Australian National Groundwater Data Transfer Standard  .xml The Australian National Groundwater Data Transfer Standard Active Open source 0

 Geological 
Format name File extension Description Status Ownership Number of programs
 Datamine  Drilling information and 3-D geological modelling data. In use Proprietary 1
 DGSM  Digital Geoscience Spatial Model. Geology, structural geology, landforms, stratiraphy In use Proprietary 0
 Earthvision  3D modelling format for proprietary software In use Proprietary 1
 eEarth  .xml International borehole data interchange format Active Open source 0
 epiSEM IS  .xml EPIcentre Shared Earth Model. Petroleum industry focussed research project for transfering geological models. Development Open source 0
 ESML  .xml Earth Science Markup Language to describe the structure, semantics and content of any earth science dataset Active Open source 0
 GeoSciML  .xml Geology, structural geology, landforms and text Development Open source 0
 LogPlot  Borehole information In use Proprietary 4
 Micromine  Mining data processing software with proprietary data format. In use Proprietary 2
 NADM  .xml North American geological map Data Model Development Open source 0
 RESCUE  Petroleum industry transfer of data from geomodels through the use of the Epicenter data model Active Open source 0
 Rockworks  Borehole information In use Proprietary 2
 SBB  .xml .txt. or .xls Shallow boreholes tranfer format for sales from The Netherlands National Geological Survey Active Open source 0
 SEP  .mdb Borehole information In use Open source 2
 Surpac  Mining industry data transfer format In use Proprietary 1
 Vulcan  Mining data and 3-D mining modelling In use Proprietary 4
 WinCORE  Borehole information In use Open source 1
 WinLog  Borehole information In use Proprietary 7
 XMML  .xml Data transfer format for Mining Industry (eXploations and Mining Markup Language) Active Open source 0

 Geophysics 
Format name File extension Description Status Ownership Number of programs
 Atlas CLS Field Tape  Oil industry well logging format Obsolete Proprietary 1
 BIT  .bit Western Atlas Basic Information Tape data. Tape format for oil industry well logging. In use Proprietary 3
 DLIS  Schlumberger geophysical logging format. Oil industry. Digital Log Interchange Standard In use Proprietary 4
 DT1  .dt1 Ground Penetrating Radar format. Associated with PulseEKKO GPR equipment In use Proprietary 1
 DZT  .dzt Ground Penetrating Radar format. Associated with Geophysical Survey Systems equipment In use Proprietary 1
 GeophysicalML  .xml Exchange of information about geophysical acquisition/processing objects (source events, stations, receivers, bin nodes) and of data sets which are related to those objects. Development Open source 0
 Geoshare  Geophysical logging format. In use Open source 2
 HeaderDescriptorML  .xml Details which variant of SEGY a tape represents Development Open source 0
 LAS  .las Log ASCII Standard files Active Open source 16
 LIS/LIS-79  .lis Geophysical logging format, now superseded by DLIS Obsolete Proprietary 10
 LOG  Oil industry logging format Obsolete Proprietary 2
 Log II  Geophysical logging format Obsolete Open source 1
 LogGraphicsML  .xml XML format for exchanging well log graphics Development Open source 0
 RD3  .rd3 Ground Penetrating Radar format for RAMAC equipment In use Proprietary 1
 RP66  Petroleum industry geophysical well log format including Digital Log Interchange Standard (DLIS) In use Open source 2
 SEG-2/SEG-Y  Seismic data format Active Open source 4
 SPWLA  Oil industry logging format In use Open source 1
 WellLogML  .xml XML format for exchanging well log data (aspires to supercede LAS) Development Open source 0
 WellPlot ML  .xml Format for exchanging well log related information (eg graphs) Development Open source 0
 WITSML version 1.3  .xml Wellsite information transfer standard markup language Active Open source 0

 Geotechnical 
Format name File extension Description Status Ownership Number of programs
 AGS  .AGS Geotechnical field, laboratory and monitoring data transfer format. Active Open source 30
 AGS-M  .AGS Monitoring data transfer format. Now included in AGS 3.1 In use Open source 1
 AGSML  .xml Geotechnical field, laboratory and monitoring transfer format. Incorporated within DIGGS Development Open source 0
 bch  .bch Inclinometer monitoring data file type. Obsolete Proprietary 1
 CivilXML  .xml Construction records - principally piling, and associated geotechnical data. Incorporated within DIGGS. Development Open source 0
 COSMOS  .xml California based geotechnical data transfer format for earthquake studies. Incorporated within DIGGS Development Open source 0
 DIGGS  .xml Data interchange for geotechnical and geoenvironmental specialists. Based on AGSML, COSMOS and CivilXML Development Open source 0
 GEF  .gef CPT test results Active Open source 4
 GeoMil  CPT test results In use Proprietary 2
 Geopoint  CPT test data format In use Proprietary 1
 GeotechML  .xml Geotechnical field, laboratory and monitoring transfer format Inactive Open source 0
 Gorilla!  CPT test results In use Proprietary 1
 NENGEO  Dutch CPT test results format. Obsolete Open source 1
 NGES  .xml Geotechnical data exchange format for scientific research sites In use Open source 0
 RocProp  Database of Rock Properties In use Proprietary 0
 RPP  .rpp Inclinometer monitoring data In use Proprietary 1
 SGF  CPT test results In use Open source 2
 SlopesML  .xml Slope stability case history format Inactive Open source 0

 Images 
Format name File extension Description Status Ownership Number of programs
 Graphics Interchange Format  .gif Raster graphics format In use Proprietary 31
 JPEG  .jpg Raster graphics format In use Open source 42
 Portable Network Graphics  .png Raster graphics format In use Open source 11
 Portable Pixel Map  .ppm Raster graphics format In use Proprietary 2
 Tagged Image File  .tif Raster graphics format In use Proprietary 32
 Targa  .tga Raster graphics format In use Proprietary 9
 Windows bitmap  .bmp Raster graphics format In use Proprietary 66
 Windows metafile  .wmf Vector graphics format In use Proprietary 49
 Zsoft Paint  .pcx Raster graphics format In use Open source 16

 Mapping and GIS 
Format name File extension Description Status Ownership Number of programs
 Atlas BNA  .bna Atlas GIS file format Obsolete Proprietary 6
 Atlas GIS  .agf Geographical Information System spatial data format. Obsolete Proprietary 3
 DEM  .dem Digital Elevation Model. In use Open source 16
 DLG  .dlg USGS Digital Line Graphics mapping data In use Open source 5
 E00  .e00 Geographical Information System spatial data format. Transfer format for ArcInfo Obsolete Proprietary 3
 ERDAS  .lan or .gis or .img Mapping image format In use Proprietary 3
 GenIO  3D engineering modelling software transfer format used by MOSS/MX In use Proprietary 2
 Geopak  3D engineering modelling software In use Proprietary 1
 GEOSPOT  Geographical Information System image data format for satellite imagery In use Proprietary 2
 GML  .xml Geography Markup Language Active Open source 0
 GRASS  File format for Geographic Resources Analysis Support System open source GIS In use Open source 3
 LandGML  .xml Incorporates spatial data used by designers, contractors and surveyors using GML 3. Active Open source 0
 LandXML  .xml Incorporates spatial data used by designers, contractors and surveyors. Interoperability with MX. Active Open source 1
 LAS  .las Interchange format for LIDAR data Active Open source 1
 MIF / MID  .mif or .mid MapInfo data transfer files In use Proprietary 29
 MOSS  3D engineering modelling software transfer format. Now known as MX Obsolete Proprietary 3
 SDSFIE  Spatial data standard for facilities, infrastructure and environment. US military standard, adopted for USACE geotechnical data management In use Open source 0
 SDTS  Spatial data transfer standard. Mandatory compliance for US federal agencies In use Open source 0
 Shape  .shp ESRI ArcView GIS file format Active Proprietary 45
 Surfer boundary  .bln Surfer vector boundary file format In use Proprietary 5
 Surfer grid  .grd Surfer gridded data file In use Proprietary 5
 TIGER  Topologically Integrated Geographical Encoding and Referencing Files. Line based. In use Open source 0
 XYZG  Rockworks 3D model transfer format Inactive Proprietary 3

 Petroleum Geoscience 
Format name File extension Description Status Ownership Number of programs
 eosML 1.0  .xml Project to develop and distribute a standardized XML specification for the description of fluid system properties using compositional equation of state (EOS) models Development Open source 0
 ProductionML  .xml Standardized, XML-based production reporting Development Open source 0
 WellHeaderML  .xml A basic well information data exchange standard with an evolving global base schema and country by country profile schemas. Development Open source 0
 WellPathML  .xml A general-purpose directional survey data transfer specification Development Open source 0
 WellSchematicML  .xml A standardized XML specification for the description of well schematics, including wellheads, boreholes, tubulars and wellbore equipment.  Development Open source 0

 Printer 
Format name File extension Description Status Ownership Number of programs
 Encapsulated postscript  .eps Vector graphics format In use Proprietary 20
 HPGL  .hgl Vector graphics format In use Proprietary 20

Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Software Directory ©  Bedrock  2017