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The Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES) is a special type of graphical file format that is used for file transfer protocols. The purpose of this graphics file format standard is the compatibility of files, especially in systems using different interfaces which must exchange information. The IGES group not only standardized data files, but also established standards for the exchange of graphical files.
Developed by ANSI for the Air Force Integrated Computer Automated Manufacturing program, the IGES protocol is used to send data over long distances to remote end systems using telephone and other slow connection communication. The IGES is most useful when end systems are both using different systems and safe transmittal of data becomes a concerning issue. The Initial Graphics Exchange Specification is simply a neutral file format that standardizes how a transfer takes place in such dissimilar systems as those using CAD or CAM.