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One objective of the archiving program is to minimize the effort required to maintain the data publication. In part, this means trying to avoid maintaining versions of the data in multiple formats or updating formats periodically. Another objective is to make the data and metadata as accessible as possible across computing platforms, again while minimizing the use of multiple file formats.

These objectives have led to the following initial choices for file formats within this archive:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/rds/archive/usingFormats