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Open standards are standards made available to the general public and are developed (or approved) and maintained via a collaborative and consensus-driven process. The term is often seen in the press and marketing literature, yet in the geospatial community, there is no common understanding of what it means. Often, de facto standards developed and maintained by a single technology vendor are called open standards. This situation creates misunderstanding, especially in procurement and vendor market positioning. The problem is exacerbated given the considerable confusion regarding the relationship between open standards and open source software, as well as the concepts, policies, and licensing implications these terms represent.

What is a Standard?

A standard is a specification, or a set of instructions, detailing certain technical functionality that may be implemented ...

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