SCCM aims to offer a consistent approach to specifying data portrayal and symbology rules that will increase consistency between maps

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) seeks public comment on the early development of a Symbology Conceptual Core Model (SCCM).

The Symbology Conceptual Core Model (SCCM) is an abstract, modular, and extensible model, with no encoding dependency, used for the portrayal of geographical data. The SCCM aims to offer a consistent approach to specifying data portrayal and symbology rules that can be applied to geospatial datasets as well as online geospatial data and mapping services. Existing OGC standards for styling and symbology can only be used with a few OGC standards (e.g. Web Map Service), so a more general and portable symbology model is required for use across the broad OGC standards baseline.

The SCCM aims to:

  • provide the flexibility required to achieve adequate cartographic styling for a variety of information communities; e.g. aviation symbols, weather symbols, thematic maps, etc, and;
  • achieve a high level styling interoperability without encoding dependencies (one symbology model, many encodings).


Potential implementations of the SCCM are expected to enhance OGC standards such as the Web Map Service, Web Feature Service, GeoPackage, and others. By sharing a common core, and using an extension mechanism, integration of these standards for the purposes of cartographic representation could be greatly simplified.


The Symbology Conceptual Core Model is currently in early development and not yet a part of the OGC's standards process. However, the authors of this early work are currently seeking public input. The work so far is available on the OGC Portal. Comments are due by 21st November 2018 and should be submitted via the method outlined on the Symbology Conceptual Core Model's request page.


About OGC

The Open Geospatial Consortium (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 within any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at