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OGC Seeks Comment on candidate GeoSPARQL standard


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Release Date: 
6 July 2011

6 July 2011. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) seeks public comment on the candidate OGC “GeoSPARQL: A Geographic Query Language for RDF Data” Standard. The candidate OGC GeoSPARQL standard defines spatial extensions to the W3C's SPARQL protocol and RDF query language. 

SPARQL is a protocol and query language for the Semantic Web. SPARQL is defined in terms of the W3C's RDF data model and will work for any data source that can be mapped into RDF, which potentially includes sources of geospatial data. The OGC GeoSPARQL standard supports representing and querying geospatial data on the Semantic Web, and it provides the foundational geospatial vocabulary for linked data involving location. GeoSPARQL defines a vocabulary for representing geospatial data in RDF, and it defines an extension to SPARQL for processing geospatial data. This standard serves as a common target for vendors to implement and provides rich functionality for building geospatial applications. 

As massively large geospatial datasets begin to flood the Web of Linked Data and vendors begin to implement proprietary geospatial extensions to SPARQL, standardization efforts are becoming increasingly important. Offering rich spatial queries of RDF, GeoSPARQL will increasingly blur the line between the Semantic Web and the Geo Web. Linked Data applications will be able to find New York skyscrapers in DBPedia within a city block which is adjacent to a street in Open Street Map. As the Web of Linked Data grows, standards such as GeoSPARQL will be critical for data integration and interoperability.

The candidate OGC GeoSPARQL Standard documents are available for review and comment at

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 415 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC Standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at