Open Geospatial Consortium

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Open Geospatial Consortium
Open Geospatial Consortium logo.png
MottoMaking location count
Formation1994; 25 years ago (1994)
TypeStandards organization
PurposeMaking quality open standards for the global geospatial community.
500+ member organizations[1]
Dr. Nadine Alameh
Bart De Lathouwer Edit this at Wikidata

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), an international voluntary consensus standards organization, originated in 1994. In the OGC, more than 500 commercial, governmental, nonprofit and research organizations worldwide collaborate in a consensus process encouraging development and implementation of open standards for geospatial content and services, sensor web and Internet of Things, GIS data processing and data sharing.


A predecessor organization, OGF, the Open GRASS Foundation, started in 1992.[2]

From 1994 to 2004 the organization also used the name Open GIS Consortium.

The OGC website gives a detailed history of the OGC.[3]


Most of the OGC standards depend on a generalized architecture captured in a set of documents collectively called the Abstract Specification, which describes a basic data model for representing geographic features. Atop the Abstract Specification members have developed and continue to develop a growing number of specifications, or standards to serve specific needs for interoperable location and geospatial technology, including GIS.

More information here:

Relationship between clients/servers and OGC protocols

The OGC standards baseline comprises more than 30 standards,[4] including:

  • CSW – Catalog Service for the Web: access to catalog information
  • GML – Geography Markup Language: XML-format for geographical information
  • GeoXACML – Geospatial eXtensible Access Control Markup Language
  • KMLKeyhole Markup Language: XML-based language schema for expressing geographic annotation and visualization on existing (or future) Web-based, two-dimensional maps and three-dimensional Earth browsers
  • Observations and Measurements
  • OGC Reference Model – a complete set of reference models
  • OLS – Open Location Service (OpenLS)[5]
  • OGC Web Services Context Document defines the application state of an OGC Integrated Client
  • OWS – OGC Web Service Common
  • SOS – Sensor Observation Service[6]
  • SPS – Sensor Planning Service[7]
  • SensorML – Sensor Model Language
  • SensorThings API[8] - an open and unified framework to interconnect IoT devices, data, and applications over the Web. Currently a candidate standard waiting for votes.
  • SFS – Simple Features – SQL
  • SLD - Styled Layer Descriptor
  • SRID, an identification for spatial coordinate systems
  • WaterML – Information model for the representation of hydrological observation data
  • WCS – Web Coverage Service: provides access, subsetting, and processing on coverage objects
  • WCPS – Web Coverage Processing Service: provides a raster query language for ad-hoc processing and filtering on raster coverages
  • WFS – Web Feature Service: for retrieving or altering feature descriptions
  • WMS – Web Map Service: provides map images
  • WMTS – Web Map Tile Service: provides map image tiles
  • WPS – Web Processing Service: remote processing service
  • GeoSPARQL – Geographic SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language:[9] representation and querying of geospatial data for the Semantic Web
  • WTS – Web Terrain Service (WTS)

The design of standards were originally built on the HTTP web services paradigm for message-based interactions in web-based systems, but meanwhile has been extended with a common approach for SOAP protocol and WSDL bindings. Considerable progress has been made in defining Representational State Transfer (REST) web services, e.g., OGC SensorThings API.

Organization structure[edit]

The OGC has four operational units:

  1. Standards program
  2. Innovation Program
  3. Community and Outreach Program
  4. Compliance Program


The OGC has a close relationship with ISO/TC 211 (Geographic Information/Geomatics). Volumes from the ISO 19100 series under development by this committee progressively replace the OGC abstract specification. Further, the OGC standards Web Map Service, GML, Web Feature Service, Observations and Measurements, and Simple Features Access have become ISO standards.[10]

The OGC works with more than 20 international standards-bodies including W3C, OASIS, WfMC, and the IETF.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "OGC – current Members". OGC. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  2. ^ GRASS Roots, Westervelt, p. 5
  3. ^
  4. ^ "OGC Standards and Related Documents".
  5. ^ "OGC Standard – Location Service". 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  6. ^ "OGC Standard – Sensor Observation Service". 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  7. ^ "OGC Standard – Sensor Planning Service". 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  8. ^ "OGC Standard – SensorThings API". 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  9. ^ "GeoSPARQL – A Geographic Query Language for RDF Data". Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  10. ^ "OGC Web Feature Service Standard accepted as ISO Standard". 2011.
  11. ^ "OGC's Role in the Spatial Standards World".

External links[edit]