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OGC® Chair David Schell Appointed to US National Geospatial Advisory Committee

Sam Bacharach Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc tel: +1-703-352-3938 sbacharach [at]
Release Date: 
7 March 2008

March 11, 2008. Wayland, MA. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) announced that the OGC's founder and Chairman of the OGC Board of Directors, David Schell, has been appointed to a three-year term on the recently formed US National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC).

The NGAC is a Federal Advisory Committee sponsored by the Department of the Interior. The NGAC reports to the Chair of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) (Secretary of the Interior or designee) and provides advice and recommendations related to management of federal and national geospatial programs, the development of the NSDI (National Spatial Data Infrastructure), and the implementation of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-16 and Executive Order 12906. The Committee reviews and comments upon geospatial policy and management issues and provides a forum to convey views representative of non-federal stakeholders in the geospatial community.

"I look forward to this as an opportunity and intend to make the most of it on behalf of OGC," said Mr. Schell. "I consider this an OGC appointment and intend to speak, to the extent possible, to the needs and points of view we represent, those of our 350 members as well as our Board. I believe such a committee is critical for developing a successful NSDI. Here we have a beginning which enfranchises the private sector and many non-federal NSDI stakeholders who would otherwise not have a direct voice with regard to issues of common interest."

The NGAC includes members that represent the private sector, nonprofits, and academia as well as governmental agencies from all levels of government.

"The FGDC was created primarily as a federal coordinating agency," explained Mr. Schell, "but its external programs over the years have been important, and the creation of the NGAC speaks to the FGDC participants' recognition of this importance. We are now at a time when significant technical and institutional changes coming from the private sector can be leveraged to produce a coherent NSDI effort. The evolving business models that involve spatial information bring commercial and federal interests together. The committee provides an opportunity for stakeholders to facilitate the growth of the Web-based geospatial environment and coordinate private sector requirements with the requirements of federal, state, local and tribal governments."

Mr. Schell described the value of having OGC represented in the NGAC: "The OGC is committed to working with the FGDC to achieve its goals. My appointment strengthens the OGC-FGDC relationship. The OGC can also provide a connection to the broader standards world in which we are active."

The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 345 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OpenGIS® 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 with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at