open geospatial consortium (OGC)
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), formerly Open GIS Consortium, is an international association for the development and standardization of geographic data, location-based services ( LBS) and geographic information systems (GIS).
The OGC consortium, which was founded in 1994, already had 90 members in 1997; in the meantime, there are about 400 members from industry, government agencies, science and organizations.
The OpenGIS standards developed by the OGC support the interoperability of geospatial solutions on the Web, wireless and location-based services, and information technology. A corresponding certification mark guarantees interoperability. Thanks to the specifications, complex spatial models can be developed with a wide variety of services. The specifications include the Geographic Markup Language( GML) and the Web Map Service( WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS), and Web Coverage Service (WCS) services. Thanks to the standardization of geospatial data by the Open Geospatial Consortium, researchers and developers can incorporate existing and newly acquired geographic data into their developments.
The goal of these activities is evident in web-oriented services such as the Google Maps planetary browser. The OGC thus wants to move away from dedicated geographic information systems (GIS) and towards distributed web services.