I've been looking around the Internet for information about Vector Product Format. I want to put together a project that can read Digital Nautical Chart (http://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/DNC.portal), which is in the Vector Product Format, and manipulate the bathymetric data contained within it. I have had trouble finding an API that appears to have the capability to read the raw data, and allow me to work with it. Simply displaying imagery is not enough here; in honesty, the intent is to take that data and use it to terraform in Second Life, which is obviously off the topic of this website, but may give you an idea of what I need. If any sort of API comes to mind, or if there is a detailed specification of the Vector Product Format, that would be wonderful.

Edit: I should make clear that I have to use DNC; I haven't been given a choice.

Edit: Actually, that may not be true. I would like to do research on other databases, starting with GEBCO.

  • I know it's an old question. But, it maybe possible to give improved answers if the original poster provided his technology/framework/operating system constraints.
    – ianmayo
    Oct 7, 2014 at 12:44

2 Answers 2


VPF is quite an old GIS format (1990's)


Need the DDO SDK (Dynamic Data Object Library) *its not cheap

Arcview can read it http://proceedings.esri.com/library/userconf/proc97/proc97/to700/pap671/p671.htm but you can export it out to edit it.

Gebco is a better option http://www.bodc.ac.uk/projects/international/gebco/gebco_digital_atlas/data_export_formats/#link5

  • Yeah, this looks like what I'm going to have to do. Thank you so much for the help, this makes me feel a lot less stressed.
    – Tristan
    Jan 22, 2011 at 16:01

The VPF spec can be found here: http://www.everyspec.com/MIL-PRF/MIL-PRF+(080000+-+99999)/MIL-PRF-0089049_11370/

The DNC spec can be found here: http://www.everyspec.com/MIL-PRF/MIL-PRF+(080000+-+99999)/MIL-PRF-89023_25342/

You may also want to take a look at OGR (http://www.gdal.org/ogr/), which can support VPF through its OGDI drivers: http://www.gdal.org/ogr/drv_ogdi.html.

  • Thank you. I found myself on that site to find the VPF specification earlier today, and never thought to look for the DNC spec there.
    – Tristan
    Jan 23, 2011 at 2:24

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