Data Standards - Open GIS Consortium

About the Open GIS Consortium (OGC)

When searching the Internet and off-line archives, users realize how much geospatial data is available. This data is varied and often times incompatible. In order to combine the data in a GIS system as different layers, the user must manipulate the data. This data manipulation can be difficult as well as time-consuming and may lead to errors. In order to properly over-lay that data, there must be a common interface. In 1994, the Open GIS Consortium was developed in the United States and now has over 150 members in twenty-six countries. The OGC defines OpenGIS as "transparent access to heterogeneous geodata and geoprocessing resources in a networked environment. The goal of the OGC is to provide open interface specifications that enable developers to write interoperating components that provide these capabilities". ( In other words, geospatial data will be located in a central area on the Internet and will be compatible. It's goal is to benefit the user.

The OGC’s mission is to promote the development and use of advanced open systems standards and techniques in the area of geoprocessing and related information technologies.

The OGC states the advantages of the developing standards as follows:

  • "Geospatial information should be easy to find, without regard to its physical location.
  • Once found, geospatial information should be easy to access or acquire.
  • Geospatial information from different sources should be easy to integrate, combine, or use in spatial analyses, even when sources contain dissimilar types of data (raster, vector, coverage, etc.) or data with disparate feature-name schemas.
  • Geospatial information from different sources should be easy to register, superimpose, and render for display.
  • Special displays and visualizations, for specific audiences and purposes, should be easy to generate, even when many sources and types of data are involved.
  • It should be easy, without expensive integration efforts, to incorporate into enterprise information, systems geoprocessing resources from many software and content providers."

Detailed information regarding the Open GIS Consortium can be found at the following website:


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