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The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.® (OGC) is a non-profit, international, voluntary consensus standards organisation that is leading the development of standards for geospatial and location based services and its home website containing all its published specifications and standards can be found at

The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc (OGC) is an international industry consortium of more than 300 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGIS® Specifications support interoperable solutions that 'geo-enable' the web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. The specifications empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications.

Web service
An OGC web service (OWS), or open web service is a 'self-contained, self-describing, modular application that can be published, located, and invoked across the Web. Web services perform functions that can be anything from simple requests to complicated business processes. Once a Web service is deployed, other applications (and other Web services) can discover and invoke the deployed service.' (Ref: OGC).

Typically a web server is a computer placed on the Internet that offers an OGC web mapping service or WMS (responds to requests from a computer client to send a map in the form of a raster or image over the Internet) and/or an OGC web feature service or WFS (responds to queries from a computer client to send an application of GML representation of some data often with a geographic part in an XML document based on a schema such as GeoSciML).

The OGC WMS specification standardises the way in which web clients request maps. Clients request maps from a WMS instance in terms of named layers and provide parameters such as the size of the returned map as well as the spatial reference system to be used in drawing the map.

The OGC WFS specification supports INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, QUERY and DISCOVERY of geographic features. WFS delivers GML representations of simple geospatial features and other feature attributes in response to queries from HTTP clients. Clients access geographic feature data through WFS by submitting a request for just those features that are needed for an application.

The International Standards Organisation (

ISO is the world's leading developer of International Standards. ISO standards specify the requirements for state-of-the-art products, services, processes, materials and systems, and for good conformity assessment, managerial and organisational practice. ISO standards are designed to be implemented worldwide.

The International Union of Geological Sciences Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information (

eXtensible Markup Language is a World Wide Web Consortium ( recommended way of exchanging a wide variety of data on the Internet. By defining a markup language using XML suitable to a type or domain of data to allow the computer production and exchange of data documents in that specified markup language over the Internet. An XML based markup language describes structure and semantics but not formatting.

The OpenGIS® Geography Markup Language (GML) encoding specification is an XML encoding for the modeling, transport and storage of geographic information including the spatial and non-spatial properties of geographic features.

The capability of different software and datasets to communicate with each other.