OGC Mobile Internet and Location Services


OGC standards are implemented in applications, often browser-based, that run on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablet computers or embedded computers (in cars, for example) that have wireless access to the Internet. Most such devices can determine their position (through GPS or other means) and report their position to applications that deliver location services, such as wayfinding. Driven by members’ requirements, the OGC works, in concert with other standards organizations, to make indoor and outdoor location information more usable and useful.

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Location is always relevant

The variety, utility and popularity of location-based services are growing rapidly. Location is now an important component of Augmented Reality (AR), location-based marketing and advertising, and social networking. In the future, location will be vital to Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication, embedded mobile services for transportation, emergency alert and response, the smart grid and other domains under the large umbrella of the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

These technologies and markets are creating new demands for location information. One new source of location information is users who volunteer crowdsourced content. Another source is the ever-increasing number of network-accessible sensors. With the increasing number of location services and location information sources and data formats, there is a corresponding increase in the need to overcome barriers to communication of location information.

What is the OGC’s role in mobile?

Through an open consensus process with members and in collaboration with other standards development organizations, the OGC develops and publishes standards and best practices for open interfaces and encodings that support the communication and appropriate use of location information.

Open standards stimulate market development, reduce user frustration and accelerate the rollout of technologies that address critical societal needs for safety, security and sustainable use of resources. While working to improve the flow of location information, the OGC membership also develops standards that improve the ability to maintain security and protect rights related to location data and services.

The OGC GeoMobile Concept Development initiative was launched in 2011 to investigate and address mobile location issues. This initiative involves workshops, new standards liaisons, white papers and discussion papers, conference speeches and panel discussions, and new standards work, including the OGC Open GeoSMS Standard and the formation of the Augmented Reality Markup Language (ARML) 2.0 (candidate standard) Standards Working Group.

OGC Domain Working Groups and Standards Working Groups

OGC Technical Committee domain working groups focus on a range of application domains and crosscutting technology domains relevant to Mobile Internet and Location Services.

Applications run into interoperability issues involving different spatial representation systems (indoor, outdoor, raster, vector, postal, topological), graphical presentation styles, geospatial rights management, workflow, security, decision support, data quality (precision, provenance, uncertainty etc.), data ordering, semantics and many other issues. The OGC domain working groups focus on this broad range of topics, providing OGC members with insight, knowledge and know-how relating to a number of technology and business issues.

Some of the domain working groups (DWGs) most active in Mobile Internet and Location Services are the 3-D Information Management Working Group, Emergency & Disaster Management DWG, Location Services DWG, Mass Market DWG, and Sensor Web Enablement DWG. The Geospatial Rights Management (GeoRM) DWG produced the Geospatial Digital Rights Management Reference Model (GeoDRM RM) (now also ISO standards: ISO 19149 – Rights expression language for geographic information –  GeoREL and ISO 19153 – Geospatial Digital Rights Management Reference Model (GeoDRM RM)). These groundbreaking documents will likely provide a basis for implementation standards that enable stakeholders to control the communication of spatial information for reasons of privacy, security and commerce.

OGC Standards Working Groups (SWGs) each have a charter to work on a specific candidate standard prior to approval as an OGC standard or to work on revisions to an existing OGC standard. The SWGs involved most directly with Mobile Internet and Location Services include those for the OGC CityGML Encoding Standard, GeoAPI 3.0 Interface Standard, and Open GeoSMS Encoding Standard and for the GeoServices REST and GeoSPARQL candidate standards.

The OGC’s GeoMobile and Location Services Alliance Partnerships

The OGC maintains alliance partnerships with many standards development organizations and industry associations to ensure that OGC standards work well with other standards and to ensure that OGC standards meet user requirements across a broad spectrum of domains and applications. OGC Alliance Partners whose work relates to the Mobile Internet and Location Services include:  US National Institute for Building Standards (NIBS),  Electronic Commerce Code Management Association (ECCMA),  Web3D Consortium, Organization for Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), Sensors Anywhere Consortium (SANY), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), CEN 287 – Geographic Information, IEEE Technical Committee 9 (Sensor Web), ISO Technical Committee 204 – Intelligent transport systems, ISO Technical Committee 211 (ISO TC/211) – Geographic information/Geomatics, and the  Open Mobile Alliance (OMA).

The result of such cooperation is the integration of the OGC standards into standards from other standards organizations, such as Internet standards, standards that support emergency and disaster management, location services, smart grid and other public and private sector needs. Examples include the incorporation of OGC Geography Markup Language into the OASIS Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL), the OASIS Emergency Distribution Exchange Language (EDXL), IETF’s Presence Information Description Format Location Object (PIDF-LO) extension (to identify the location of a device on the network for emergency response purposes), the W3C PoI (Points of Interest) and the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM).


Participating in OGC activities facilitates multi-community and cross-domain cooperation and cost sharing, and implementing OGC standards directly improves data sharing.

See the OGC’s Requests Page for information about candidate standards for which the OGC seeks public input and interoperability initiatives for which the OGC seeks quotations and participation. OGC membership provides a cost-effective way for technology users and providers to influence and track the progress toward 21st century “ubiquitous computing” that connects to the real world.

We encourage you to visit http://www.opengeospatial.org/contact to learn how participation in the OGC can help your organization achieve its objectives.

Contact: http://www.opengeospatial.org/contact

Learn more

Guest Blog: OGC Mobile Activities and Mobile Industry Trends
Christine Perey
OGC Blog
Christine Perey
OGC Blog


Steven Ramage
NN4D Network for Developers


George Percivall and Carl Reed
International AR Standards Meeting Feb. 17-19, 2011


George Percivall, Keynote Presentation, COM.Geo


December 2009 special meeting


OGC Discussion Paper
Claus Nagel, Thomas Becker, Robert Kaden, Ki-Joune Li, Jiyeong Lee, Thomas H. Kolbe


Expanding GeoWeb to an Internet of Things

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