Environmental Data Coding Specification (EDCS)


This International Standard establishes concepts to ensure that environmental information is:

  1. unambiguously defined,
  2. flexibly denoted and encoded, and
  3. easily bound in exchange formats and to programming languages.

This International Standard was developed to fulfil the following requirements:

  1. flexibility and extensibility: accommodating growth by registration;
  2. information: define what objects are (classifications), what the states of objects are (attributes), and how values of state are characterized (data types, units of measure, and unit scales);
  3. use international standard units: adopt the International System of Units;
  4. interoperate with existing domain-specific approaches: build on the experience gained by other organizations, including IHO, WMO, and DGIWG, in developing information coding systems;
  5. organization: structure for efficient access;
  6. orthogonality: separate the concepts of type and state of environmental objects;
  7. rigor: provide unambiguous and clearly defined concepts;
  8. separate units of measure from attributes: relate units of measure to attributes through unit equivalence classes; and
  9. unification: define a comprehensive set of general principles and specific concepts that allows environmental information to be shared among different communities.

Some definitions in the dictionaries of this International Standard were derived using materials from the publications listed in the Bibliography. In some cases, the copyright owners have requested acknowledgement that they have granted permission for such use. Refer to Annex J for these acknowledgements.