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Proposed changes:


  1. Merging of the traditional and NIEM-conformant XML versions of the standard and addition of a short-tag XML encoding; and correction of known errors
  2. Addition of a DNA record
  3. Separation of Type 10 record into Face (only) and SMT (only)
  4. Inclusion of the Extended Feature Set for latent print encoding and extension of the palm print codes to include 'grasp'
  5. Inclusion of the table update from ANSI/NIST-ITL 1a-2009 Updates to iris encoding to reflect the IREX study
  6. Updates to reflect the Mobile ID Device Best Practice Recommendations, and inclusion of ability to handle scan resolutions other than 500, 1000, and 2000 ppi. Recommendations
  7. Deprecation of Record Types 3 & 5
  8. Addition of a record for plantars (footprints)
  9. Making the Domain name mandatory 
  10. Addition of a record to handle original images and chain-of-custody logs
  11. Addition of a placeholder record for voice data
  12. Addition of a geographic location field
  13. Expansion of the TOT field
  14. Deprecation of Field 10.021 in favor of field 10.025
  15. Addition of a field in image record containing a hash of the image data, which can be used to determine if an exact duplicate of the image already exists in a large database. 


ANSI/NIST-ITL Standard 2010 Workshop Archive

The standard was first published in 1986 and focused on the exchange of fingerprint information. It has been updated several times, with the latest being the 2007 and 2008 versions. They included updates to handle iris data, data conformant to other standards, and updates to facial and fingerprint data specifications. The two versions are character-separated (binary/traditional) [2007] and NIEM-conformant XML [2008].

This year, several substantial updates have been proposed to NIST-ITL by various organizations. Each will be addressed during the workshop. A DRAFT version of the standard and annexes, incorporating these changes are available below for your review prior to the meeting. Each change area is color coded throughout the text, using the colors that describe the change in the Introduction.

A major change is that the 2007 and 2008 versions are combined. In the main body of the document, the content of the records is described. Encoding directions are separated into annexes. Thus, the character-separated (binary/traditional) encoding rules are in one annex and the NIEM-conformant XML rules in another. This format allows for additional encodings to be added without proliferating the number of versions, and running the risk of one version being updated and others lagging in their revisions. A new encoding (short-tag) is introduced in this version. The tags correspond to the character-separated labels (typically 3 letters). This has particular use for applications with limited bandwidth (like mobile). A comparison of the two XML encodings for transmission of a fingerprint card are available here:      

NIEM-conformant XML

Short-tag XML

A modified draft is now available:      

Draft 2 has been updated in Record Type 18 (DNA)

Note that the encoding descriptions are not part of the standard itself. Documents associated with the standard:


Additional files relating to the standard are available here:

  1. DNA PCR Kit Name
  2. Best Practices for Facial Image Capture
  3. Glossary/Crosswalk for Field Specifications


Background and Briefing information:

  1. "Standardizing a More Complete Set of Fingerprint Features", Briefing at the International Association for Identification conference, San Diego California, 24 July 2007.
  2. "Extended Friction Ridge Feature Sets", Briefing at the NIST Latent Workshop, Gaithersburg Maryland, 18 March 2009.
  3. At the ANSI/NIST ITL 1-2000 Standard Workshop I in April 2005, SWGFAST (Scientific Working Group on Friction Ridge Analysis, Study, and Technology) was tasked to identify, define and provide guidance on additional fingerprint features beyond the traditional ending ridges and bifurcations currently defined in the ANSI/NIST ITL-2000 standard (which is the basis for the FBI's EFTS, and Interpol's INT-I). In response SWGFAST drafted a memo to Mike McCabe at NIST enumerating the features used by expert human latent examiners that are not currently addressed in fingerprint feature standards.


You can send me comments and questions. (Biometrics-editor@NIST.Gov)



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