Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international non-profit organization that focuses on the development and promotion of open standards for the global geospatial community. Founded in 1994, the OGC comprises members from government agencies, private companies, research organizations, and academic institutions, all working together to create and maintain standards for the interoperability of geospatial data, services, and applications.

Purpose and Role: The primary purpose of the OGC is to develop and promote open, consensus-based standards that enable the seamless sharing and integration of geospatial information and services across various platforms and applications. By creating these standards, the OGC aims to improve the accessibility and interoperability of geospatial data, making it more useful for decision-making, analysis, and collaboration.

Components: Some key components of the OGC include:

  1. Standards: The OGC develops and maintains a wide range of standards for various aspects of geospatial data, including data formats, web services, and processing tools.
  2. Compliance Testing: The OGC offers compliance testing services to ensure that products and services meet the requirements of OGC standards.
  3. Community: The OGC fosters a collaborative community of members from diverse sectors who contribute to the development and promotion of open geospatial standards.

Importance: The OGC plays a crucial role in advancing the use of geospatial information and services by ensuring that data and applications can be easily shared and integrated across different systems and platforms. This promotes collaboration, increases the efficiency of data use, and supports better decision-making across various industries and sectors.


  1. Interoperability: OGC standards enable different geospatial systems and applications to work together, allowing for seamless data sharing and integration.
  2. Accessibility: By promoting open standards, the OGC helps make geospatial information more accessible to a wide range of users and applications.
  3. Collaboration: OGC standards support collaboration between different organizations and industries, facilitating the exchange of knowledge, resources, and expertise.

Pros and Cons: Pros:

  1. Promotes interoperability and data sharing across different systems and platforms
  2. Fosters collaboration and innovation within the geospatial community
  3. Supports the development of open, consensus-based standards


  1. The adoption of OGC standards may require time and resources for organizations to implement and maintain
  2. Some organizations may prefer proprietary standards or solutions, which can limit the overall adoption of OGC standards

Examples to illustrate key concepts:

  1. Web Map Service (WMS): An OGC standard for serving maps as images over the internet, allowing users to access and view geospatial data in a consistent format across different platforms.
  2. Web Feature Service (WFS): An OGC standard for serving geospatial features over the internet, enabling users to query, edit, and share vector data.

In conclusion, the Open Geospatial Consortium is a significant organization that develops and promotes open standards for the geospatial community. By enabling the interoperability and accessibility of geospatial information, the OGC supports better decision-making, analysis, and collaboration across various sectors and industries.

See Also