The release of OGC API – Tiles as an OGC Standard signals a new era in how tiled geospatial information is served over the Web.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is excited to announce that the OGC Membership has approved Version 1.0 of the OGC API – Tiles – Part 1: Core specification as an official OGC Standard, signaling the beginning of a new era in how tiled geospatial information is served over the Web. Example API definition files and associated schemas are available now to better support developers looking to quickly implement the new standard.
The multi-part OGC API - Tiles Standard defines building blocks for creating Web APIs that support the retrieval of geospatial information as tiles. Different forms of geospatial information are supported, such as tiles of vector features (“vector tiles”), maps, imagery, coverages, and other types of geospatial information. The OGC API - Tiles building blocks can also be combined with other building-block OGC API Standards and draft specifications for additional capabilities or to increase the interoperability of specific types of data.
The OGC API - Tiles Standard references the OGC Two Dimensional Tile Matrix Set (TMS) and Tileset Metadata Standard, which defines the means for specifying tile matrix sets and describing tile sets. A tile matrix set is a tiling scheme that enables an application to partition and index space based on a set of regular grids defined for multiple scales in a Coordinate Reference System (CRS).
The OGC API – Tiles Standard is a successor to the OGC’s Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) Standard. The new Standard focuses on simple reusable REST API building blocks that can be described using the OpenAPI specification. Whereas WMTS focused on map tiles, the OGC API - Tiles Standard has been designed to support any form of tiled data. Even so, the essence of the tile matrix set has not changed from that used in WMTS. As such, tiles generated by an implementation of the new Standard – and that are based on the same tile matrix set – are fully interoperable with those generated by a WMTS implementation.
The release of OGC API – Tiles as an OGC Standard signals a new era in how tiled geospatial information is served on the Web. This follows several OGC Research & Development (R&D) initiatives, including the OGC Vector Tiles Pilot and several OGC Testbeds.
OGC API – Tiles – Part 1: Core is the first in a series of OGC API - Tiles “parts” that use the core and extensions model. Future parts will extend the standard to bring new functionality (without breaking interoperability), such as how to retrieve multiple tiles in a single request. Other Standards or extensions may also provide mechanisms to deal with additional dimensions, such as elevation, or more advanced temporal capabilities than what is defined in this standard’s datetime conformance class.
To enable software developers to rapidly implement products that support OGC API – Tiles, example API definition files and associated schemas have been published on the OGC API – Tiles webpage. The API definition files conform to Version 3.0 of the OpenAPI Specification, and thus can be easily integrated into many of the Web APIs that are described using the OpenAPI Specification.
To learn more about how the family of OGC API Standards work together to provide modular “building blocks for location” that address both simple and the most complex use-cases, visit ogcapi.org.
OGC Members interested in staying up to date on the progress of this standard, or contributing to its development, are encouraged to join the OGC API SWG via the OGC Portal.
As with any OGC standard, v1.0 of the OGC API – Tiles – Part 1: Core standard is free to download and implement. Interested parties can view and download the standard from the OGC API – Tiles webpage.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is a collective problem-solving community of more than 550 experts representing industry, government, research and academia, collaborating to make geospatial (location) information and services FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.
The global OGC Community engages in a mix of activities related to location-based technologies: developing consensus-based open standards and best-practices; collaborating on problem solving in agile innovation initiatives; participating in member meetings, events, and workshops; and more.
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