24. Geospatial Friday — The OGC

If you don’t work in the industry it would be easy to assume that geospatial is just some world that is magically ‘happening’. The advances in geospatial technology are in fact part of a coordinated global effort to put location and maps at the forefront of decision-making and to encourage a worldwide culture change.

In this week’s Geospatial Friday I want to quickly draw attention to one of the many bodies which are helping organise and make sense of geospatial technology and information. Individuals and bodies which help more people to understand and get involved in this emerging world are always a focus of this independent blog.

The Open Geospatial Consortium, better known as the OGC, is a global industry consortium of government agencies, companies, and universities which has been on the scene since 1994. It’s mission (according to the website) is as follows:

“To advance the development and use of international standards and supporting services that promote geospatial interoperability. To accomplish this mission, OGC serves as the global forum for the collaboration of geospatial data / solution providers and users.”

At its core, the OGC is a strategic initiative which is being driven by bodies such as NASA, Ordnance Survey, the US Department of Homeland Security, the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the US Geological Survey. The strategic input from these bodies is also accompanied by input from industry heavy-weights such as Google, Pitney Bowes, Esri and DigitalGlobe as well as from members from the global academic, NGO, and technical communities.

As mentioned above, the OGC is about developing standards for the geospatial world. These are the same standards which will allow for information interoperability and sharing between the internet, wireless and location-based services and mainstream IT. They will enable technologists to place location at the centre of all innovations and will play a prominent role in the world of Internet of Things, Smart Cities and sensor technology.

As I’m sure you will agree, I like to think that any drone flying over my head or any driverless car which I sit into will be programmed around a solid standards framework.

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