The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is pleased to host and release the first iteration of the IGIF-(M)SDI Maturity Roadmap and supporting materials for community consideration and engagement across not only the marine domain, but any geospatial domain connected to the oceans. 

Developed as part of OGC’s ongoing Federated Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure (FMSDI) Initiative, the Integrated Geospatial Information Framework – (Marine) Spatial Data Infrastructure (IGIF-(M)SDI) Maturity Roadmap is a quick-start guide for nations and marine organizations that seeks to advance and simplify efforts in Marine SDI and ensure their alignment with the UN-IGIF principles

“The IGIF-MSDI maturity roadmap is an important step that supports a holistic understanding of data-exchange and -processing environments,” commented OGC Chief Technology Innovation Officer, Ingo Simonis, Ph.D. “The Roadmap enhances and complements the usual technological focus of SDIs with the equally important criteria outlined in the IGIF Principles. With the Roadmap, OGC continues its engagement and research in support of powerful, sustainable, interoperable geospatial ecosystems at all levels, including technology & standards, policies, communities, education, and capacity building efforts.”

One of the key messages of the document is that an (M)SDI is a continual journey and not an “end state” of expensive technological solutions. The document asserts that nations are sovereign in what manner of (M)SDI they genuinely need for their national requirements, and not governed by an externally imposed or presumed level of technological sophistication.

“Working collaboratively with partners at the World Bank, NOAA, OGC, IHO, and private industry, The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) believes that the IGIF-(M)SDI Maturity Roadmap will help many Governments begin their IGIF-aligned digital transformation journeys – whether that be within the Marine or Terrestrial domains,” commented Dr. Gerald J Wong, Data Governance Lead, UKHO. 

“As an accessible “Quick Start” or “Stepping Stone” toolkit, the core of the IGIF-(M)SDI Maturity Roadmap is formed by the World Bank SDI Diagnostic Toolkit where, with contributions from IHO and OGC, its Terrestrial heritage was augmented to maximize its benefits to the Marine community. The IGIF-(M)SDI Maturity Roadmap is aligned with the UN-IGIF principles and is fully interoperable with Terrestrial interests.”

When properly executed, the resulting MSDI Diagnostic Toolkit provides a quantitative assessment for nations or marine agencies to baseline their MSDI maturity, as aligned to the UN-IGIF principles. The modular IHO and OGC additions ensure interoperability with the World Bank IGIF methodology, which can lead to the financing of approved MSDI development projects. Even as an independent tool, undertaking an MSDI assessment provides a clear reference point that’s aligned with international Best Practice. Without such a starting point, progress towards any MSDI end state will be difficult to govern and manage.

“As the provider of ADMIRALTY navigation products and services worldwide, the UKHO supports nations in unlocking the many and varied benefits of their marine space,” commented James Carey, Deputy Chief Data Officer at the UKHO “We are a strategic member of the Open Geospatial Consortium and proudly lend our expertise to the development of Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure (MSDI), as an enabler of security, prosperity, and environmental stewardship. By fusing marine data with spatial insights it is possible to forge a path to a more interconnected world where oceans inspire growth and communities prosper.” 

The IGIF-(M)SDI Maturity Roadmap and related resources are available for free on OGC’s IGIF-(M)SDI Maturity Roadmap webpage

To best inform future revisions, iterations, and the optimization of the Roadmap, feedback and applied experiences from the geospatial community are sought via OGC Member Meetings, Forums, or directly.

The IGIF-(M)SDI Maturity Roadmap is an independent initiative not endorsed by or officially connected to, but in alignment and support of, the mission, vision, and goals of the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM).


Marine, Spatial Data Infrastructure, UN-IGIF