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Example of maritime boundary between states.

IHO S-121 Feature Model

Description Open product specification for maritime limits and boundaries
Initial Document December 2016
Location United Nations headquarters in New York
Document Link IHO S-121

Data Model Usage Guide

S-121 Theoretical Example Dataset (.XML) for ArcGIS

The following example was created for the purposes of illustrating one possible GIS implementation of the S-121 standard. The XML schema was created using fictional data, and should not be interpreted in any way as being the maritime limits and boundaries of any real state. As the schema was created for example purposes, at this time metadata has not been produced in conjunction with the XML shell. The S-121 project team strongly recommends that any geospatial information produced in a S121, or other standard format, have accompanying metadata, and further recommends that the Open Geospatial Consortium specifications for metadata be adhered to, as well as the ISO TC/211 international standards.

This example depicts, using the S-121 data model, the core Maritimes Limits and Boundaries of three different States. This example shows only part of the data model capacities, mainly how fully enclosed geospatial components are linked to the administrative components, and how the same extent can be shared between two or more parties (see the 2 joint development areas defined).

File:S121 TheoreticalExamples Export 20171107.XML


  1. Download the .XML file (above).
  2. Create a new empty Personal or File Geodatabase.
  3. Use the Import XML Workspace Document tool to import the .XML file into the new target Geodatabase. The import type should be "DATA".
  4. View the contents of the Geodatabase using ArcMap or ArcCatalog. The "Identify" tool can be used to query features and their relations.

Implementation Examples

Example 1 - Territorial Sea defined by a zone

Example 1 Territorial Sea defined by a zone.jpg Example 1 Simple Geometries.png

Example 2 - Territorial Sea defined by its outer limit

Example 2 Conceptual Territorial Sea defined by its Outer Limit.jpg Example 2 Territorial Sea defined by it outer limit.png

Example 3 - Territorial Sea defined by a point island

Example 3 Conceptual CZ defined by a point island.JPG Example 3 Territorial Sea defined by a point island.png

Example 4 - Territorial Sea line segment and treaty source

Example 4 TSL segement and Treaty source.jpg

Example 5 - International boundary complex

Example 5 International Boundary Complex.jpg

Example 6 - Territorial Sea defined by two points

Example 6 Conceptual TSL defined by 2 points.jpg

Example 7 - Territorial Sea line segment defined by text

Example 7 Conceptual TSL defined by Text.jpg

S-121 Test Plan