Open GIS Consortium (OGC) has announced it has changed its name to the Open Geospatial Consortium. The new name reflects the Consortium’s wide scope of work in a broad geospatial marketplace that includes not only GIS, but also mapping, earth imaging, sensor webs, and mobile wireless services. It also highlights the importance of OGC Web services standards as part of information technology best practices for integrating geospatial processing into service oriented architectures and enterprise workflows.
As an important voluntary consensus standards organization addressing interoperability for geospatial technologies, OGC acknowledges its roots in GIS. At the same time OGC embraces the need to respond to the open systems and interoperability needs of business, government, academic and consumer users to rapidly exploit and benefit from the geospatially relevant data available today. Through the work of the OGC membership, users of geospatial technology and content will continue to see growth in the number of standards-based tools available that allow them to think and act spatially. GIS will be part of that mix along with other related technologies.
The market focus on GIS and GIS experts has shifted in recent years to one championing geospatial processing and content availability to decision makers. In today’s Internet world, application users need not be GIS experts. Instead, they can focus on their areas of expertise and capitalize on the increased – but more and more invisible – access to geospatial processing. Much like the Internet’s search engines and travel services, geospatial services and content are now available online for direct use. These applications extend the value of location in the myriad of databases and devices across the Web, across wireless telecommunications and other networks.
The mission of the OGC remains the same: to create interoperability for new areas of need, while opening doors for new sectors to benefit from what has been accomplished in its 10 year history. Sensor Webs and Geo Digital Rights Management are but two examples of new areas being addressed by OGC members.
The OGC is an international voluntary consensus standards organization of more than 250 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing interface specifications. OGC’s specifications support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT.