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Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)

  • By: Barbara S. Poore
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is a nonprofit international voluntary consortium of more than 370 private companies, government agencies, and academic institutions that develop publicly available, consensus-based interface specifications and interoperability standards for geospatial data. Interoperability—the ability of different systems to transparently exchange geo-spatial data—became a pressing concern to GIS users in the 1990s. To solve interoperability problems, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers developed the open-source GIS software the Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS) in the early 1990s, but open systems by themselves did not prove to be a complete solution. Members of the GRASS community formed the OGC in 1994 with the vision of allowing users to access geospatial data created by others regardless of the software used.

Since its establishment, OGC has ...

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