Fingerprint Template Formats
This site carries functionally complete summaries of fingerprint template formats published by ANSI and ISO. These summaries are sufficiently detailed to allow development of fully compliant implementations without having to buy the original specifications from ANSI and ISO. All format summaries are distributed free of charge under permissive Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License in order to enable truly open implementation in opensource software.
To give a very brief introduction, fingerprint template is an intermediate data format, essentially a file, used in human fingerprint recognition algorithms that carries interesting fingerprint features found on the fingerprint. Most fingerprint recognition algorithms have their native template format that fits the algorithm. Sharing templates between algorithms is a bad idea, but organizations like ANSI and ISO have nevertheless developed shared template formats, which now have numerous implementations.
All format descriptions have been written by Robert Važan as part of his work on opensource SourceAFIS and FingerprintIO libraries. Author has no affiliation with ANSI or ISO. Care has been taken to ensure legality of all content. This site does not carry the original specs nor any significant part of them. Format summaries published here are full rewrites of the original specs. Author is the only copyright holder of all content hosted here.
List of all format summaries hosted on this site is below, keyed by ID of the original format spec. If you need to have some other format documented or implemented in FingerprintIO and SourceAFIS, consider sponsoring the author. Some of these formats are also implemented in NIST's BiomDI.
- ANSI INCITS 378-2004 is ANSI's original minutia-based template format. When people mention ANSI 378 without specifying version, they usually refer to this original 2004 version.
- ANSI INCITS 378-2009[R2014] is a 2009 redesign of the original ANSI 378. Its encoding is incompatible with the previous version even though it introduces only small semantic improvements.
- ANSI INCITS 378:2009/AM 1:2010[R2015] is a minor update to the 2009 version of ANSI 378 that introduces a few mostly backward-compatible changes to the 2009 encoding.
- ISO/IEC 19794-2:2005 is an ISO alternative to ANSI 378. It is incompatible with ANSI 378 even though it shares many traits with, including magic header and version number.