The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) is looking for information on the existence of mapping and geospatial Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) as part of an OGC Concept Development Study (CDS) that will examine the interoperability of existing geospatial APIs.

The explosive growth of public APIs for geospatial applications, and the accompanying variability in API practices across the IT industry, as well as in geospatial APIs specifically, has created new opportunities and challenges in supporting geospatial services. The application of standards in APIs to ensure interoperability is an apparent next step. This study is meant to support that step.

Ivan DeLoatch, Executive Director of the US Federal Geographic Data Committee stated that “to advance the geospatial ecosystem, we must expand the scope of discovery and accessibility, integrating application programming interfaces as a service component in spatial frameworks to support interoperability and to serve a wide range of stakeholders.”

The purpose of the study will be to determine how different software vendors and data consumers can improve APIs in order to:

  • Examine how APIs are used effectively to exchange geospatial information
  • Identify where the proliferation of API diversity has degraded interoperability
  • Support planning for increased use of protocols to enhance interoperability
  • Suggest consensus activities that would improve the geospatial API ecosystem

The OGC recently published an OGC Open API White Paper. This paper created additional interest within the OGC community concerning how open consensus processes can support the value of public APIs managed by individual organizations.

The RFI is available for download at Instructions on how to submit responses to, or questions concerning, the RFI are available in the download. Responses to the RFI are due by March 31, 2017.

About the OGC

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 525 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