Wayland, Mass., December 17, 2007 – The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) announces a new category of membership, Aggregate Membership. It enables collaborating entities to bring their common issues and perspectives into the OGC process of developing interoperability standards. For example, state or provincial and local government agencies collaborate so that emergency response plans are fully coordinated. In this process, they identify and address barriers to interoperability. As an Aggregate Member of OGC, they will be able to influence standards, and to ensure that the process incorporates their requirements.
Mark Reichardt, president of OGC, said, "Government entities must collaborate in order to serve and protect the citizenry, so they are at the forefront in identifying interoperability issues. This new kind of membership will enable OGC to benefit from their front-line experience, and to prioritize its activities to solve these interoperability issues. The benefit to citizens is that the resulting open standards become freely available to everyone, so that vendors know what solutions to provide and can get them to the marketplace quickly. And the component organizations of an Aggregate Member themselves get the economic benefits of interoperability faster than if they work alone."
The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 340 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OpenGIS® 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 http://www.opengeospatial.org.