24 November 2010. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) announced a new revised Associate Membership option for local and state/provincial government agencies worldwide. The new OGC GovFuture membership category (http://www.opengeospatial.org/ogc/join/levels#associate) reflects the OGC's increased emphasis on knowledge transfer as OGC standards become widely accepted in the marketplace.

The OGC GovFuture membership category includes Local Government and Subnational Government membership levels. It offers public sector organizations an opportunity to learn about and benefit from new developments in geospatial technology, and to understand and address legal and policy issues related to these technology developments. GovFuture provides an opportunity for government organizations across the globe to discuss common issues related to the new level of interoperability enabled by open standards. GovFuture provides a platform for peer-to-peer knowledge transfer among local and sub-national governments to advance wider use of the standards.

“The work going on worldwide around more open and transparent government, including initiatives such as data.gov and data.gov.uk, is building on standards,” explained Steven Ramage, OGC's Executive Director of Marketing and Communications. “The location element of day-to-day government activity is now as important as other variables like time or money. It's one of the key decision criteria. As a global, not-for-profit membership organization embedded in all things geospatial and related to location, OGC is well-placed to offer advice, share knowledge and expertise, and provide a cost-effective platform for public sector administrations. The most important thing to note is that the OGC membership is already active worldwide addressing topics like INSPIRE (infrastructure for spatial information in Europe) and public sector information (PSI) reuse.”

GovFuture members have an opportunity to liaise with other levels of government and with suppliers and universities through OGC meetings and channels for focused discussion. GovFuture members also have access to OGC resources such as white papers, international best practice reports, webinars and domain working groups. Like all OGC members, they have the opportunity to attend quarterly OGC meetings in different locations around the world, where they can meet face-to-face with others who are adopting standards-based approaches. Public agencies are increasingly leveraging open standards to implement place-based policies and address mandates for ubiquitous access to public and private location-based information.

OGC GovFuture yearly membership fees:

 – GovFuture Local Government            USD $200
 – GovFuture Subnational Government USD $500

The OGC's international open standards help to make digital maps, cell phone location services, GPS, GIS, 3D city models and other location technologies an integral part of the World Wide Web. The OGC GovFuture program aims to create a worldwide knowledge base relevant to Governments at all levels in all countries.

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 400 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. 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/contact.