Is there  a standard for the specification of .prj files?

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A .prj file is a file that contains information about the spatial reference or coordinate system of a geographic dataset, such as a shapefile or geodatabase feature class. The information in the .prj file is used by GIS software to display, analyze, and process the geographic data.

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There is no specific standard for the specification of .prj files. However, the information in a .prj file typically follows a well-established convention for describing coordinate systems, such as the one defined by the Esri Shapefile Technical Description. The convention includes the use of a well-known text (WKT) format to describe the coordinate system in a human-readable text string.

The WKT format is a standard format used to describe coordinate systems and projections, and is supported by many GIS software applications. The format includes a series of parameters that describe the coordinate system, such as the projection method, the units of measurement, and the datum. Here is an example of a .prj file that uses the WKT format to describe a coordinate system:

PROJCS[“NAD_1983_UTM_Zone_11N”, GEOGCS[“GCS_North_American_1983”, DATUM[“D_North_American_1983”, SPHEROID[“GRS_1980”,6378137.0,298.257222101]], PRIMEM[“Greenwich”,0.0], UNIT[“Degree”,0.0174532925199433]], PROJECTION[“Transverse_Mercator”], PARAMETER[“False_Easting”,500000.0], PARAMETER[“False_Northing”,0.0], PARAMETER[“Central_Meridian”,-117.0], PARAMETER[“Scale_Factor”,0.9996], PARAMETER[“Latitude_Of_Origin”,0.0], UNIT[“Meter”,1.0]]

This .prj file describes a coordinate system called “NAD_1983_UTM_Zone_11N”, which is a UTM projection in Zone 11N based on the North American Datum of 1983.

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