Introduction to OGC

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international industry consortium of ore than 500 companies,government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available standards. Standards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services and mainstream IT. The standards empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications.Requirements range from complex scheduling and control of Earth observation satellites to displaying simple map images on the Web and encoding location with just a few bytes for geo-tagging and messaging. A look at the OGC Domain Working Groups shows the wide scope of current activity in the OGC.

OGC publishes standards and supported documents, defined as follows:

  • Implementation Standard: These standards are specifications that provide a basis for working software. They provide the detail about the interface between software components.
  • Abstract Specifications: These standards are the conceptual foundation or reference models that provide the basis for Implementation Standards.
  • Best Practices: These documents describe recommended use of implementation standards.
  • Engineering Reports: These documents describe the results from pilots, testbeds, interoperability experiments and other activities undertaken in the OGC Interoperability Program.
  • Discussion Papers: These documents enable public review of concepts
  • Change Requests: These document can be submitted at any time by anyone to formally suggest changes or improvements in OGC documents