17 September 2012 – The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) has become an International Telecommunication Union (ITU)Telecommunications Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Member, following thedecision of the ITU Council 2012 in July.

“OGC and ITU-T share a common commitment to improving theinteroperability of ICTs through an open, consensus-based approach to thedevelopment of international standards,” said Malcolm Johnson, Director,Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU. “I am incredibly pleased towelcome the OGC to our membership ranks as I am certain that, just as withinITU-T's JCA IoT, our shared goalswill guide the collaboration required to realize the Internet of Things on aglobal scale.”

Mark Reichardt, President and CEO, OGC, said, “Collaborationbetween standards development organizations becomes increasingly important asinformation technology evolves. We are committed to providing focused, timelycoordination between ITU and the OGC to maximize the value that derives fromour global membership's geospatial and location interoperability expertise. This formal arrangement will ensure that our collective work is coordinated andoptimized for the global community of technology developers and users.”

There are many areas of common interest between ITU and OGC, such aslocation communication in the Internet of Things and location communicationthat uses Short MessageService (SMS). SMS is the open text communication service standard most commonly usedin phone, web and mobile communication systems for the exchange of short textmessages between fixed line or mobile phone devices. The lightweight and easyto implement OGC Open GeoSMSStandard facilitates interoperability between mobile applications and therapidly expanding world of geospatial applications and services that implementOGC standard interfaces, encodings and best practices.

The OGC has previously participated in the ITU Joint CoordinationActivity on Internet of Things (JCA-IoT). The JCA-IoT is open to ITU Members anddesignated representatives of relevant StandardsDevelopment Organizations and Forums. Over the next decade, the IoT is expectedto grow to trillions of internet-connected devices. Many of these devices willinvolve sensors, and their locations will often matter. The inevitablemix-and-match of different IoT devices, applications and platforms will makeIoT interoperability standards a key factor. The OGC is the principalinternational consensus standards development organization focused on openlocation standards and also open interface and encoding standards for sensorwebs. In the future, the OGC will consider participation in the ITU Internet of ThingsGlobal Standards Initiative (IoT-GSI) and various ITU Study Groups that pertainto IoT. The ITU IoT-GSI is a coordination of ITU members from Study Groups thatpertain to IoT. The OGC will coordinate with ITU on the OGC “SensorWeb for IoT” Standards Working Group.

About the ITU

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nationsspecialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs. TheITU allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develops thetechnical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlesslyinterconnect, and strives to improve access to ICTs to underserved communitiesworldwide.

About the OGC 

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 460 companies,government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating ina consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGCstandards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web,wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC standards empowertechnology developers to make geospatial information and services accessibleand useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visitthe OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/contact.