Standards and Specifications

Esri has a decades-long commitment to open standards and interoperability. Esri actively contributes to international standards development processes and has a history of open-sourcing its format specifications such as the shapefile and indexed 3D scene layers.

Geospatial technology

ArcGIS supports reading and writing standard and common data file types using industry and international standard data formats, and via the web through OGC web services.

Geospatial Formats: SHP, KML, GML

Tabular Files: CSV, Excel, TDF, CDF

Documents: JSON, GeoJSON

Geospatial Standard Services: WFS, WMTS, WMS, WCS, WPS

Metadata: ISO 19115, INSPIRE, DCAT, Dublin Core

Security and privacy

Security means exposing the right content to the right customers while protecting your enterprise. Esri complies with US government and international GIS standards as well as industry best practices for IT security and privacy.

US Federal Government FISMA and FEDRAMP

PCI Data Security Standard

EU GDPR and the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework

ISO 27001

Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) guidelines


Esri's goal is to design and implement accessible GIS and give people access regardless of their abilities.

Alignment with W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) v2.0

Alignment with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (US)

Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPAT) available for each ArcGIS product

Standards Development Organizations

Esri maintains membership in, provides active geospatial expertise to, and participates in community engagement with a number of international standards development organizations (SDOs).

  • ISO/TC 211

    International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 211
  • OGC

    Open Geospatial Consortium
  • W3C

    World Wide Web Consortium
  • IHO

    International Hydrographic Organization
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Supported open geospatial standards

ArcGIS is the leading system in its support for OGC and ISO standards. Search for all OGC standards supported by Esri products and different versions of our software.

See OGC-compliant products Get a list of ArcGIS products
Esri Open Geospatial Consortium compliance certificate

Esri published specifications

Esri publishes many widely used specifications to help spur interoperability and innovation in the geospatial community. These specifications are available for download, inspection, and reuse.

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