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UKHO becomes Strategic Member of Open Geospatial Consortium


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Release Date: 
26 November 2021

By upgrading to Strategic Membership, UKHO will bring its expertise and leadership in accessing and utilising marine geospatial data in support of safe, secure and thriving oceans.

Banner announcing UKHO upgrade to strategic membership

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is pleased to announce that the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has strengthened its long-standing relationship with OGC by enhancing its membership level from Technical to Strategic to provide greater leadership, boost innovation, and advance geospatial data for the marine industry. 

The UKHO has long been a champion of open standards and innovation at OGC. As a Strategic Member, UKHO will augment its expertise and leadership offering to OGC, while providing greater access to and usage of its marine geospatial data.

In this new capacity, UKHO will support the OGC Planning Committee (PC) and Strategic Member Advisory Committee (SMAC) by providing leadership through the exploration of market and technology trends to ensure that OGC's activities remain effective and agile in a changing technology environment. This includes participating in final approval decisions for all OGC standards and nominations to the Board of Directors.

By deepening their collaboration under this new strategic membership, the two organisations aim to drive real change in the marine and land geospatial domains.

OGC CEO Nadine Alameh commented: “We’re delighted to welcome UKHO as a Strategic Member of the OGC at a time when the geospatial community is mobilising its expertise to make the world a safer and more sustainable place, across land, space, and water. It’s great to see UKHO’s commitment to being a global leader in our innovative, problem-solving community, and a firm believer in the power of partnerships and standards to address the changing needs of all those who depend on the marine environment.”

Peter Sparkes, UKHO’s CEO, commented: “We’re pleased to enhance our close collaboration with OGC to strengthen our mission of meeting the evolving geospatial needs of mariners around the world, contributing fully to the development of international data standards for navigation, autonomous vessels and marine spatial data infrastructure. The pace of technological change in the maritime sector is accelerating. The geospatial industry needs to respond innovatively and proactively to the decarbonisation and digitalisation challenges our users face.

“We will continue to work with the OGC to improve access to, and use of, marine spatial data in support of safe, secure and thriving oceans.”

UKHO will work with other Strategic Members, who are also leaders in their fields of expertise, to shape the future of location-based standards and improve their utility for decision-makers across the globe.

Other Strategic Members include the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the European Space Agency (ESA), the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US Geological Survey (USGS), US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Natural Resources Canada/GeoConnections (NRCan), and Ordnance Survey UK (OS). 

As a first major event in the new association, UKHO is sponsoring the Federated MSDI Pilot to further the development of internationally recognised standards for opening out marine and hydrographic geospatial data. 


About the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO)
The UK Hydrographic Office is a leading centre for hydrography, providing marine geospatial data to inform maritime decisions. We work with a wide range of data suppliers and partners to support maritime navigation, safety, security and marine development around the UK and worldwide. 

We make location-based information available through ADMIRALTY Maritime Data Solutions, our world-leading range of charts, publications and custom data sets. Our use of marine data and technology, combined with our expertise, ensures we continue to innovate and provide a wider range of solutions. 

We source, process and provide access to location-based information, ranging from seabed to surface. This enables our partner organisations to make critical maritime decisions – informing the sustainable use and management of the marine environment and supporting the development of the blue economy. 

About OGC
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is a collective problem-solving community of experts from more than 500 businesses, government agencies, research organizations, and universities driven to make geospatial (location) information and services FAIR - Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.
The global OGC Community engages in a mix of activities related to location-based technologies: developing consensus-based open standards and best-practice; collaborating on agile innovation initiatives; engaging in community meetings, events, and workshops; and more.
OGC's unique standards development process moves at the pace of innovation, with constant input from technology forecasting, practical prototyping, real-world testing, and community engagement.
OGC bridges disparate sectors, domains, and technology trends, and encourages the cross-pollination of ideas between different communities of practice to improve decision-making at all levels. OGC is committed to creating an inclusive and sustainable future.
Visit for more info on our work.