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External standards organizations

OMB Circular A-119 directs Federal agencies to participate in voluntary consensus standards bodies. This page highlights key voluntary consensus standards bodies such as INCITS Technical Committee L1, Geographic Information Standards, and the Open Geospatial Consortium.


  • INCITS Technical Committee L1, Geographic Information Systems - The work of INCITS L1 consists of adopting or adapting information technology standards and developing standards used in creating, defining, describing, and processing digital geographic data. INCITS L1 is the means by which the FGDC and its member agencies participate in ISO and ANSI standardization activities for standardization activities in geographic information. INCITS L1 serves as the U.S. technical advisory group (TAG) to ISO Technical Committee 211 (ISO TC 211), Geographic information/Geomatics.
  • ANSI is the U.S. member body of the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO. ANSI accredits standards developers, certification bodies and technical advisory groups (TAGs) to both ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
  • ISO describes itself as a "network of the national standards institutes of 147 countries, on the basis of one member per country." Standards development is carried out by technical committees, including ISO Technical Committee 211.
  • Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is a consortium aimed at growing interoperability for technologies involving spatial information and location. OGC has a liaison relationship with ISO TC 211. FGDC member agencies are members of OGC.
  • Other consortium activities include:  Object Management Group (OMG), a not-for-profit consortium that produces and maintains computer industry specifications for interoperable enterprise applications, including specifications for Unified Modeling Language (UML), the conceptual schema language used for ISO TC 211 standards; the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential; and The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), which drives the development, convergence and adoption of e-business standards. OASIS produces worldwide standards for security, Web services, XML conformance, and more.


  • The SDI Cookbook  provides geographic information providers and users with background to evaluate and implement components of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI). Chapter 10 focuses on the identification of compatible, mature geospatial standards that allow maximum technical interoperability based on general evaluation criteria.
  • Geospatial Interoperability Reference Model (GIRM) Version 1.1, December 2003 - The GIRM was developed by the FGDC Geospatial Applications and Interoperability (GAI) Working Group (now inactive). It references standards and specifications needed for interoperability among distributed geospatial services accessible over the Internet. It describes and explains them within a structured model of geospatial processing, as they apply to the design of geospatial software and services, to guide the reader to the most relevant standards for a given design, policy, or procurement. It guides the scope and growth of geospatial applications and interoperability; but more broadly, it details how any geospatial software can plug into a larger infrastructure to draw on many different sources of data and services -- or to support a wide, diverse user audience.
  • The American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) has a home page for its Standards Committee.
Last Updated: Feb 04, 2014 03:53 PM
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