Crown Registry and Geographic Base

Base Mapping > Spatial Archive and Interchange Format (SAIF)

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The Spatial Archive and Interchange Format (SAIF) can be used as the basis of geospatial modeling, as well as for exchange and archival purposes. SAIF, a Canadian national standard, is also closely related to international efforts such as the openGIST initiative and the SQL Multimedia Spatial development.

Download the SAIF v3.2 specification.


For practical data translation/transformation, the FMEBC and FMET are ideal software tools designed to work with SAIF as well as a large number of other formats. These tools work are controlled by the Feature Manipulation Engine scripting language, contained in associated semantic mapping files, also referred to as control files. A library of such files has been compiled for your convenience, and you can of course also make your own. The documentation is available on our Web site. You may also be interested in the SAIF Suite of utilities, also available here.

Software, Utilities

The FMEBC translation package, providing configurable spatial data translation between SAIF, ESRI Shapefiles, ESRI Generate, Intergraph IGDS Files, and tabular files, is now available to download, along with its documentation and a number of examples. Click here or on the FMEBC logo to go to the download site.

The Semantic Control Library, including sample semantic mapping files for various GDBC products, supporting files, and sample SAIF data. Click here or on the Control Library logo to go to the download site.

The SAIFSuite, a suite of utilities which can facilitate data management of SAIF/ZIP files and use of the FMEBC. Click here or on the SAIFSuite logo to go to the download site.