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Common Database (CDB)

The OGC CDB (Common Database) standard defines a standardized model and structure for a single, “versionable”, virtual representation of the earth.

A CDB structured data store provides for a geospatial content and model definition repository that is plug-and-play interoperable between database authoring workstations. As a simulation specification for producing a unified synthetic representation of the world, OGC CDB was developed to respond to and improve upon the following aspects of database creation for modeling and simulation:

  • Size of the Synthetic Environment Storage
  • Longevity of the Synthetic Environment Database
  • Scalability of the Synthetic Environment Database
  • Environment Database Correlation
  • Database Availability Timeline
  • Configuration Management

The OGC CDB Specification is founded upon a group of well established formats in the simulation industry and provides a comprehensive set of conventions appropriate to the field of simulation for each of these formats. In addition, the OGC CDB Specification also defines all aspects of storage structure and data representation and organization to support full-mission simulation.

As original contributor for OGC CDB, Presagis sees this specification as a global solution that will drive new, more innovative and efficient ways of working. Our goal is to align the advanced functionality outlined in the Specification with the current and future needs of our customers.

What makes CDB unique?

The CDB Specification is unique because it is an open database format, a source data repository, and a runtime publishing format all in one.

Open Commercial Standard

As an open commercial standard, customers have access to the CDB Specification and may develop on it. Consequently, the standard develops over time and its enhancement is governed by input from the development community. By being open, customers may choose to add support for the specification in their own systems and either use only proprietary technology, third-party tools, and Presagis tools uniquely or use any combination thereof. Non-open standards tend to only fulfill specific requirements for specific users and do not benefit from market input, which limits wide market adoption and fails to promote the benefits of reusability.

Source Data Repository

The native format for the CDB Specification is comprised of pure source data formats, including TIFF, GEO-Tiff, OpenFlight, Shapefile, and XML. As a result, there is no ‘conversion' of data, which greatly speeds up the database creation and publishing process and also allows for the rapid modification of databases.

If you wish to download OGC CDB specifications or APIs, users have two sources:
The CDB API is a flexible programming interface for accessing and extending the CDB Specification.

The CDB Specification is an open synthetic environment database format. As a simulation Specification for producing a unified synthetic representation of the world, CDB was developed to respond to and improve upon the following multiple aspects of database creation for modeling and simulation.

The CDB API is a tool that provides users with read/write access to CDB files. The API simplifies the development of visual simulation applications by making the CDB Specification more accessible and easier to customize. It also facilitates the development of specialized tools and utilities to augment other modeling and simulation software.

The CDB API supports the following operating systems and compilers; Windows VC9/VC10/VC12 32 bit and 64 bit and Linux Gcc 4.8.2 64 bit.

CDB API Feature Free Pro License
Simple API to access CDB compliant databases on disk
Read and decode all CDB file types (flt,TIFF,jp2,rgb,shp,shx,dbf,dbt,xml,zip)
Support CDB 3.0 – 3.2
Support CDB version (chain) mechanism (3.0 and 3.2)
Asynchronous read file access (page-in notification)
Write and encode all CDB file types (flt,TIFF,jp2,rgb,shp,shx,dbf,dbt,xml,zip)
Connection to a CDBDataServer over network
Runtime file changes Notification
Customer Support

To download the free OGC CDB API, please visit the Presagis Customer Portal.


Download the free OGC CDB API, then request a license to unlock CDB API PRO features here.

PLEASE NOTE: Product support for the CDB API SDK and other free tools is not available. Please contact our Technical Services department for additional support services.