Points of Interest SWG


Heazel, Charles (Heazel, Charles) - Co-Chair,
Perey, Christine (Open AR Cloud Association) - Co-Chair,
Purss, Matthew (Purss, Matthew) - Co-Chair,
Roos, Marna (AfriGIS (Pty) Ltd) - Co-Chair

Group Charter:

Download Charter document

Group Description:

Purpose of the Standards Working Group

The purpose of the Points of Interest (PoI) SWG is to produce a version 1.0 encoding standard of points of interest data that includes an abstract data model and JSON implementations of that data model.

Upon completion of the draft, the SWG will verify compliance with the OGC Baseline.

1.1. Definition of Points of Interest

A “point of interest” (PoI) is a location for which information is available. A PoI can be as simple as a set of coordinates, a name and a unique identifier, or more complex such as a three-dimensional model of a building with names in multiple languages information about opening and closing hours, and a civic address.

1.2. PoI Use Cases

There are numerous use cases for PoI. They include location-based social networking, games, assessments of gaps or needs, mapping and navigation systems, etc.

End users may search databases of PoIs to identify properties for sale, financial institutions, accommodations, retail shops, or transportation. There are also numerous ways the public sector can use PoI data. For example, government agencies can provide information to citizens about services and locations by publishing their PoI datasets.

2. Business Value Proposition

There are many advantages to standardizing PoI.

The first goal of the PoI standard is interoperable PoI data and systems. Complying with this standard will permit systems that populate a PoI database regardless of authoring platform or application, to do so without transcoding, delays or costs that are incurred when data is compiled from many different contributors using proprietary formats.

Further, with a standard encoding, PoIs can be stored in open, non-proprietary formats and technology providers can focus on their respective competitive advantages.

When PoI publishers support this PoI standard, they will be able to make available PoI data and to transmit the data to the applications of the user’s choice, regardless of devices, and thereby focus on the value of the data, not the development and maintenance of proprietary applications or interfaces.

Furthermore, when data are encoded in compliance with the PoI standard, third parties are able to create, interact with, and query across platforms from multiple, diverse sources, to compare, merge, and, at the end of life cycle, to archive, PoI without loss of accuracy, metadata or value.

These advantages will offer new value across many use cases.

Finally, as a result of higher confidence in PoI data quality, validity and security, a widely adopted PoI standard will increase use of and trust in PoI, in general.

3. Scope of Work

The PoI SWG shall review and, if deemed appropriate, edit and expand upon the draft specification previously begun in this SWG with a special emphasis on ways to modernize and adopt the most current OGC practices, industry conventions, and developer tools to define an information model and data encoding(s).

The items may be addressed by the SWG include the following:

  1. Update to conform to the latest OGC document directives. While not mandated for an encoding specification, the SWG will conform to the Modular Specifications Policy as appropriate.

  2. Add a JSON encoding with particular attention paid to support ways to build resilient and scalable PoI architectures.

  3. Study PoI use cases to identify their needs for data granularity, resolution, metadata and other requirements and determine the relevance of these requirements to meeting the standard’s goals.

  4. Address any technical and/or editorial issues that arise during the review period.

  5. Address change requests and comments submitted to the SWG through GitHub.

  6. Provide an abstract and/or conformance test suite.

  7. Validate all schemas and examples.

  8. Prepare and publish a user guide in compliance with OGC policies.

The PoI SWG anticipates completing the first deliverable, a Points of Interest (PoI) Information Model and JSON Encoding Specification version 1.0 standard, in 18 months. The SWG will then prepare the second deliverable, the POI User Guide, in the following 6 months.

4. Statement of relationship of planned work to the current OGC Standards baseline

The SWG will examine whether the proposed standard maintains interoperability with the OGC Standards Baseline and assess whether extension of existing standards could achieve the goals of PoI SWG.

The SWG will also explore the need to develop additional PoI related standards to better support the use cases explored in the objectives as specified in the Scope of Work.

5. What is Out of Scope?

This standard will not define or in any way be limited to a web services environment.

This SWG will not define or become a PoI registry or library.

6. Specific Existing Work Used as Starting Point

The PoI SWG will use the prior draft PoI encoding specification as its starting point.

7. Is This a Persistent SWG

[x] YES

[ ] NO

8. Description of Deliverables

There shall be two deliverables:

  • Points of Interest (PoI) Information Model and JSON Encoding Specification version 1.0, and

  • PoI Standard Users Guide

9. IPR Policy for this SWG

[x] RAND-Royalty Free

[ ] RAND for fee

10. Anticipated Audience / Participants

The target audiences for this SWG and the specification include any organization that has requirements for creating, interacting, compiling, sharing, analyzing, publishing, or providing PoI data on a public, private or commercial basis.

Such organizations include providers of navigation data, business information, health data, emergency response data, real estate data, historical place names, and government agencies.

11. Other informative information about the work of this SWG

11.1. Collaboration

The PoI SWG will perform its work in public in a GitHub repository operated by OGC and managed by the PoI SWG chairs.

11.2. Similar or Applicable Standards Work (OGC and Elsewhere)

11.2.1. World Wide Web Consortium POI Working Group

The starting point for this implementation standard shall be prior work begun, but abandoned, by the W3C with OGC participation, described at http://www.w3.org/2010/POI/. This effort generally conforms to the ISO information model as described in 19112 (see below), although it has fewer required properties, and extends that model in some very important ways that reflect its focus on the architecture of the Web. In terms of similarities with the ISO and OGC standards, PoI’s primary properties for gazetteer items are a name and a geographic identifier (location) that can be either direct, indirect, or both. The draft PoI specification expanded upon this model with a mandatory URI-based globally unique ID, along with Categories and Links.

11.2.2. Schema.org/Place

Place is a Schema.org type for entities that have a somewhat fixed, physical extension. In addition to the generic profile for places, fields and metadata for more specific place types, such as accommodation, administrative area, civic structure, landform, landmarks or historical buildings, local businesses, residence, tourist attraction and tourist destination, have been published.

11.2.3. Spatial Data on the Web Best Practices

The Spatial Data on the Web Best Practices document published as an OGC Technical Note jointly by the OGC and W3C, https://www.w3.org/TR/sdw-bp/ advises on best practices related to the publication of spatial data on the Web; the use of Web technologies as they may be applied to location. The best practices are intended for practitioners, including Web developers and geospatial experts, and are compiled based on evidence of real-world applications. These best practices suggest a significant change of emphasis from traditional Spatial Data Infrastructures by adopting an approach based on general Web standards.

11.2.4. ISO 19112 – Spatial referencing by geographic identifiers

ISO 19112 describes a basic framework for describing items in a gazetteer. It links “indirect” geographic references, which are things like addresses and town names, to “direct” references, which are geographic coordinates. In other words, ISO 19112 defines a standard information model for saying that a place is located at a specific position on the Earth. The standard goes far beyond that baseline though. Positions on the Earth can be described in any number of ways, such as by a rough bounding box, an exact polygon boundary, or a point in the center of the place. ISO 19112 also describes a host of metadata that can be associated with the place, such as the administrative agency responsible for the data, in what part of the world the data should be used, and in what time period it’s valid.

11.2.5. ISO 19155:2012 – Place identifier

In ISO 19155, the identifier of a place is referred to as a Place Identifier (PI). A single “place” may be identified using several separate Place Identifiers.

Place descriptions are used for information retrieval. In reality, those identifiers often refer to the same place. Currently these relationships are difficult for machines to correctly distinguish, which impedes the discovery and retrieval of information. The conceptual architecture and reference model defined in ISO 19155 provides a mechanism for solving these problems.

When implemented, this architecture would enable the access and sharing of place descriptions using the Place Identifier as the standardized method.

Within the reference model, place descriptions are defined using a PI. A PI consists of a reference system (RS), a value, and the valid temporal period of that value.