The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) is a non-profit, international, voluntary consensus standards organization that is leading the development of standards for geospatial and location based services. Through our member-driven consensus programs, OGC works with government, private industry, and academia to create open and extensible software application programming interfaces for geographic information systems (GIS) and other mainstream technologies.
The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc (OGC) is an international industry consortium of 274 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGIS® Specifications support interoperable solutions that ``geo-enable`` the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. The specifications empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications.
OpenGIS® is a Registered Trademark of the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc (OGC) and is the brand name associated with the Specifications and documents produced by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc (OGC). OpenGIS specifications are developed in a unique consensus process supported by OGC industry, government and academic members to enable geoprocessing technologies to interoperate, or ``plug and play``. You will also find the OpenGIS® trademark associated with products that implement or comply to our specifications. Make sure that your geoprocessing and location services procurement and technology development programs demand OpenGIS specifications!
Through its Specification Program, Interoperability Program and Outreach and Community Adoption Program, OGC develops, releases and promotes open standards for spatial processing.
In the OGC Specification Program the Technical Committee and Planning Committee work in a formal consensus process to arrive at approved (or ``adopted``) OpenGIS® Specifications.
How to participate in the Specification Program-the OGC Specification Program sometimes issues public requests for comments, proposals, information or technologies, for the purpose of ensuring the best possible technical foundation for an OpenGIS® Specification. (The Specification Program is the formal consensus process of OGC`s Technical Committee and Planning Committee.)
The OGC process includes several areas where public comment are welcome and encouraged, whether you are an OGC member or not, your comments or submissions are necessary for the OGC process to be the best that it can be.
To obtain broad input and support from geoprocessing technology users and providers, OGC issues formal public requests related to its Specification Program. These documents provide detailed information about the specific interoperability requirements to be addressed in an initiative, and they outline the steps that will be followed in planning and executing the initiative.
The OGC Technical Committee runs the specification development process with a published set of policies and procedures to carry out its work.
The OGC Interoperability Program is a series of hands-on engineering initiatives to accelerate the development and acceptance of OpenGIS® Specifications.
OUTREACH AND ADOPTION
OGC and its members offer resources to help technology developers and users take advantage of OGC`s open standards. Technical documents, training materials, test suites, reference implementations and other interoperability resources developed in OGC`s Interoperability Initiatives are available on the OGCNetwork. In addition, OGC and its members support publications, workshops, seminars and conferences to help technology developers, integrators and procurement managers introduce OGC plug and play capabilities into their architectures.
Hundreds of commercial products now implement OpenGIS® Specifications to provide users with ``plug and play`` interoperability. But the initial support of vendors and integrators in the geoprocessing industry does not guarantee ongoing interoperability. The permanent success of any standards effort ultimately depends on users consistently choosing products based on standards. Recognizing that OGC`s interoperability framework needs to be well understood and broadly supported by the whole user community, OGC launched the Outreach and Community Adoption Program in 2001 to:
Lead outreach and education - OCAP works with OGC members and user communities around the world to encourage ``take up`` or implementation of OpenGIS specifications, as well as to encourage new membership and engagement in OGC programs and initiatives. OCAP`s comprehensive program of services to members and the global public includes Web, email and print publications, conferences and symposiums, and training modules. OGC also works to establish dialog with organizations in industry sectors that have not yet been represented in OGC.
Nurture strategic partnerships and alliances - OCAP establishes mutually rewarding relationships with organizations whose missions and members will be served by the widespread adoption of OpenGIS specifications. OCAP has formal agreements with organizations such as the International City and County Management Association (ICMA), the Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA), and the Institute for Professional Education. Through these partnerships, OGC helps educate the associations` members and participants about geoprocessing interoperability through seminars, workshops, conferences, formal training, and general marketing. For more information about our partner organizations, visit our Partners page.
Develop and support regional and sector programs - OCAP manages regional offices that address the special program needs of world regions. To date, two not-for-profit regional offices have been established - Open Geospatial Consortium Europe, Limited (OGC-E); and OGC Australia. Other regional offices are being considered.