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, abbreviated ANSI 378-2004 or just ANSI 378, is a minutia-based fingerprint template format published by ANSI in 2004.
- ANSI INCITS 378-2009[R2014], abbreviated ANSI 378-2009 or just ANSI 378, is a minutia-based fingerprint template format published by ANSI in 2009. It is an incompatible redesign of ANSI 378-2004 offering some small improvements in the format.
- ANSI INCITS 378:2009/AM 1:2010[R2015], abbreviated ANSI 378-2009/AM1 or just ANSI 378-2009 or ANSI 378, is a small backwards-compatible update to ANSI 378-2009 published by ANSI in 2010. It is the third version of ANSI's minutia-based fingerprint template format.
- ISO/IEC 19794-2:2005/Cor.1:2009, abbreviated ISO 19794-2:2005 or just ISO 19794-2, is a minutia-based fingerprint template format published by ISO in 2005 and largely based on ANSI 378-2004. It is incompatible with ANSI 378-2004 even though it shares many traits with it, including magic header and version number. Smartcard variation is described separately.
- ISO/IEC 19794-2:2011/Cor.1:2012, abbreviated ISO 19794-2:2011 or just ISO 19794-2, is a minutia-based fingerprint template format published by ISO in 2011. It is a major redesign of ISO 19794-2:2005 that shares very little with its predecessor. It is incompatible with ANSI 378-2009 even though it shares magic header and version number with it. Smartcard variation is described separately.
ISO 19794-2 Smartcard
- ISO/IEC 19794-2:2005/Cor.1:2009 Smartcard is a smartcard variation of the minutia-based fingerprint template format ISO 19794-2:2005. It is described separately, because it is substantially different. This description covers both normal and compact variants of the smartcard format.
- ISO/IEC 19794-2:2011/Cor.1:2012 Smartcard is a smartcard variation of the minutia-based fingerprint template format ISO 19794-2:2011. It is described separately, because it is substantially different. It is based on the smartcard variation of ISO 19794-2:2005.
Fingerprint template format specifications listed above sometimes contain references to other specifications. These references can be usually ignored as tangential, but some of them are essential in the sense that the fingerprint template format cannot be implemented without information from the referenced specification. Such essential references are called base format specifications here. Base formats required by the above fingerprint template formats are listed below.
- ISO/IEC 19794-1:2011, abbreviated ISO 19794-1:2011 or just ISO 19794-1, contains specification of common biometric record structure used in other ISO 19794 specs.