The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is excited to announce the formation of the OGC Analysis Ready Data Standards Working Group (ARD SWG). 

The ARD SWG, in partnership with ISO/TC 211, will develop a multi-part Standard for geospatial Analysis Ready Data that builds upon work undertaken in the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Land Surface Imaging Virtual Constellation (LSI-VC) and Analysis Ready Data (ARD) Oversight Group, OGC Disaster Pilot 2021, and OGC Testbed-16.

The concept of ARD was initially developed by CEOS, which defines ARD as “satellite data that have been processed to a minimum set of requirements and organized into a form that allows immediate analysis with a minimum of additional user effort and interoperability both through time and with other datasets.” Adopting the CEOS-ARD definition as a starting point, the OGC ARD SWG will extend the scope of ARD from satellite data to all geospatial data. 

A major strength of geospatial and location technologies is their ability to integrate and analyze data from diverse providers concerning many different phenomena so as to better understand or predict what is happening in a given area. However, this diversity of data means that preparing the acquired data for integration and analysis remains a time-consuming task. Furthermore, many geospatial data users lack the expertise, infrastructure, and internet bandwidth to efficiently and effectively access, preprocess, and utilize the growing volume of geospatial data available for local, regional, and national decision-making. 

The charter supporters recognize that formal Standardization of the concepts developed through CEOS-ARD is necessary to achieve broad uptake, particularly by the commercial sector. Defining ARD through international standards bodies, such as OGC and ISO, will also help promote the concept and help avoid the divergence that can be caused by various groups working towards different interpretations of the concept.

As such, the OGC ARD SWG, which includes a number of CEOS representatives, will work jointly with the planned ISO/TC 211 ARD Standard project team to define a multi-part Standard that specifies a set of minimum requirements that a geospatial data product shall meet in order for the product to qualify as an ARD product.

The CEOS-ARD concept and Specifications were tested, evaluated, and assessed by OGC during Testbed-16, results of which were published in the ARD Engineering Report in 2020. Building on this, space agencies participating in the OGC Disaster Pilot 2021, introduced a number of CEOS-ARD products into the disaster decision-making process, greatly simplifying the use of satellite data in disaster-related decision making. 

The Disaster Pilot 2021 concluded with a need to broaden the ARD concepts to cover other types of geospatial data and to create international ARD standards through the formal standard-setting processes of ISO and OGC. Therefore, the OGC Disaster Pilot 2022 set an action item to start an OGC ARD Standards Working Group to work jointly with the project team in ISO TC 211 to develop joint ISO-OGC standards on geospatial ARD.

OGC Members interested in staying up to date on the development of the Analysis Ready Data Standard, or contributing to its development, are encouraged to join the Analysis Ready Data SWG via the OGC Portal. Non-OGC members who would like to know more about participating in this SWG are encouraged to contact the OGC Standards Program.


Analysis Ready Data, Disaster Response, Earth Observation, SWG