Discrete Global Grid Systems Domain Working Group


This OGC DWG provides a forum for the discussion of requirements and use cases for standards and the registration of implementations related to Discrete Global Grid Systems (DGGS). The working group is a forum for broad discussion of DGGS topics and research activities that are of relevance to various geospatial communities and that may potentially impact on existing, or new, geospatial standards.

Project Scope

The Discrete Global Grid Systems (DGGS) Domain Working Group (DWG) is tasked with a mission to spearhead discussions on the evolving requirements and practical use cases that drive the advancement of the DGGS standards suite. Serving as a vital forum, the DGGS DWG will bring together diverse stakeholders to deliberate on the specific needs for refinement or development of DGGS standards documents. Moreover, this group will recommend necessary actions to the DGGS Standards Working Group (SWG). Alongside these responsibilities, the DWG will also provide a platform for addressing broader topics and issues pertinent to DGGS technologies, facilitating a comprehensive understanding of their potential implications on spatial standards. This dialogue is critical as it ensures that spatial standards remain relevant and are informed by the latest innovations and challenges emerging from the field of DGGS technologies.


Interoperability of spatial data in the era of ‘Big Data’ requires more than well-articulated and standardized data transfer protocols and efficient data formats/compression routines. The global spatial community needs to move away from bulk data transfer to an ecosystem where data queries and compute requests are distributed across numerous large data stores to be processed locally on scalable high performance compute infrastructures. Indeed, with the emergence of cloud computing and HPC infrastructures this requirement is now achievable at scale. Critical in realizing this is the conversion of conventional spatial data stores (both publicly available and private) from bespoke architectures that are tailored to specific and individual processes and workflows to well organized and managed data repositories built using a common spatial framework that can scale from local to global extents.

Well organized data repositories are important, but they must also be interoperable. A common framework is required that can link very large multi-resolution and multi-domain datasets together and to enable the next generation of analytic processes to be applied. The envisaged integration of existing and future data infrastructures thereby puts a strong focus on coordination, harmonization and interoperability of data and services. A solution must be capable of handling multiple, potentially disparate, data streams rather than being explicitly linked to a specific sensor or data type.

DGGS present as a very useful technology that has the potential to fill this gap. However, in the absence of a mature standards baseline governing the specification and implementation of these technologies, these barriers to interoperability will remain. And because both the application of DGGS and the challenges of realizing ‘Big Data Interoperability’ are cross-cutting issues that impact on many existing interoperability and spatial standards it is important for the OGC to create a publicly accessible forum for OGC members and non-members alike to raise and discuss issues and concerns (or even to present and publish innovations) related to DGGS technologies. This forum should have a wider scope than the DGGS SWG (which will continue to focus on the technical drafting of specific DGGS standards documents and protocols) and will serve as a platform to promote awareness and adoption of DGGS technologies throughout the numerous sectors of the global spatial community


The DGGS Domain Working Group (DWG) is embarking on a series of initiatives aimed at enhancing the functionality and adoption of Discrete Global Grid Systems (DGGS) within the geospatial community. Their planned activities are multifaceted and include a collaboration with the OGC Compliance Program and other Technical Committee (TC) Working Groups to establish a registration system for DGGS specifications and their implementations. This system will be similar to the existing registration system for Coordinate Reference Systems (CRS). The DWG will also explore the development of extensions to the core OGC DGGS Abstract Specification, which could introduce additional functional algorithms and/or schemas to aid interoperability protocols across multiple DGGS processing operations.

Further investigations will assess potential augmentations to the OGC DGGS Abstract Specification and subsequent implications for other OGC standards. A key proposal on the table is the adoption of a companion ISO DGGS standard that would be grounded in Topic 21: Discrete Global Grid Systems Abstract Specification. Additionally, the DWG plans to articulate the core requirements necessary to specify higher-dimensional DGGS, which could result in either a new version of the Abstract Specification or an extension to the existing core Abstract Specification. Through these activities, the DWG aims to solidify the role of DGGS as a cornerstone of spatial data interoperability.


The DWG will collaborate with other OGC Working Groups, with a special focus on the DGGS Standards Working Group (SWG) .


Working Group Chairs: Matthew Purss, Peter Strobl (Joint Research Centre (JRC)).


DGGS, Geospatial Data

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