FAQs - OGC's Global Organization

  1. Is OGC an International Organization?
  2. What is the European Special Interest Group (Europe SIG)?
  3. What is OGC Europe?

Q: Is OGC an International Organization?

A: Yes. OGC's members and directors are from many countries. OGC began in the US, but as of August 30, 2003, 256 industry, academic, and government organizations from 31 countries are members of OGC, and a majority (146) of those are not US organizations. Among the current members, there are 18 sub-national (state, provincial and local) agencies, 29 national agencies and three international agencies, including the United Nations. OGC works to recruit members from around the world and encourages them to take advantage of the opportunity to lead in the development and use of OpenGIS Specifications. It is an international standards organization in the same way that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) are international standards organizations.

Non-US organizations in OGC report that the process is democratic, and they believe results will benefit all countries. Commercial providers of technology as well as users in all countries can benefit more from participating in the process than ignoring it.

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Q: What is the European Special Interest Group (Europe SIG)?

A: OGC has about 91 members with headquarters in Europe and at least 30 "multi-national" members who are active in Europe, working from European addresses as European corporations. This group of organizations comprises the domain of membership for OGC's Europe Special Interest group (Europe SIG). The Europe SIG was organized by the Planning Committee, "to define organizational and business approaches relating to European member issues that have significance for the development and implementation of a community-wide OpenGIS architecture, and to stimulate the further growth of the European geographic information (GI) market." The charter further charges the Europe SIG "...to assess issues of the European members of OGC which relate to the requirements, development and general acceptance of the OpenGIS Specification, and to recommend organizational approaches within OGC to ensure these issues are appropriately assimilated within the specification process." In other words, the Europe SIG was established to grow a program of activity which will strengthen the OpenGIS process in Europe and make it more valuable to Europeans.

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Q: What is OGC Europe?

A: Open Geospatial Consortium (Europe) Limited (OGCE) is a  not for profit subsidiary of OGC whose purpose is to conduct business in Europe and Australia on behalf of OGC's mission, goals, and objectives. This company promotes the development and use of OpenGIS standards and represents the OGC's European-based membership in regional fora, meetings and initiatives. OGCE provides consultation on architecture, proof of concept projects, procurement readiness, and program support.

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