Statistical DWG


Osier, Vincent (US Census Bureau)

Group Charter:

Download Charter document

Group Description:

1.    Introduction

This Domain Working Group charter defines the role for OGC activities within the statistical community and to provide an open forum for the discussion and presentation of interoperability requirements, use cases, pilots, and implementations of OGC standards in this domain. This Charter is to be presented to the OGC’s Technical and Planning committees for consideration.

Domains as distinct Information Communities that defines a user domain where:

·       A distinct market, application or business approach exists

·       Common data definition, structure, syntax, and definitions exists

·       Common user requirements exist

·       Common approach to vendors exists

It is expected that this group will have strong interactions with the UN Expert Group on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information, which operates under mandate from both UN Statistical Commission and UN Group of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management. 

2.    Purpose of Working Group

The Statistical DWG is chartered to identify requirements and use cases of how geospatial and statistical standards can support the integration of geospatial information into the statistical system and for the purposes of broad discovery, analysis and use.

3.    Problem Statement

The statistical domain is evolving to move from the traditional capture of data through surveys such as census, to a more dynamic integration of data from across a wide range of domains that can make statistics more timely, more accurate and better understood.

Geospatial information is a key data source in transforming the way that statistics are produced as it has the potential to fit into every component of the Generic Statistical Business Process Model.

The complexity of bringing together survey, administrative and big data with geospatial information and earth observation is driving an increased need for standardisation to support better statistical outputs. A few of the specific challenge under consideration within the proposed DWG include:

§  Data integration – how can semantic web technology be used to improve the integration of geospatial and statistical datasets?

§  Data Capture – how can geospatial data be used to include the capture and georeferencing of survey, administrative and big datasets used in the production of statistics?

§  Data processing – as geospatial objects do not fit within traditional database structures these are currently handled externally to the rest of the statistical process through dedicated geospatial systems.

§  Data exchange – given the lack of interoperability between statistical and geospatial data architectures, frameworks, metadata and standards, how can data be shared through a service orientated approach?

§  Data analysis – a lack of comparability between geographic datasets at a national, regional, continental and global level makes international analysis difficult.

§  Knowledge – there is a lack of understanding within the statistical community of the geospatial tools and standards that can support the statistical system, and a corresponding situation with the geospatial community.


4.    Charter

4.1        Charter Members.

The initial membership of the Statistical DWG will consist of the following members and individuals with extensive education and experience in statistical issues, namely:

Ian Coady                      UK Office for National Statistics

Martin Brady                  Australian Bureau of Statistics

Gerardo Esparza Rios           Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografíca (INEGI)

Vincent Osier                           US Census Bureau

Adam Lewis                   Geoscience Australia

Simon Agass                  Satellite Applications Catapult

Timo Aarnio                   National Land Survey of Finland

Elena Lobo                     Satellite Applications Catapult


4.2        Key Activities.

The Statistical DWG will pursue the following key activities:


1.     Discuss and identify primary statistical use cases that would benefit from OGC standards.

2.     Identify statistical domain requirements for inclusion in existing or new OGC standards.

3.     Identify other practice areas in the OGC that support or could be influenced by statistics.

4.     Identify statistics-related use cases and workflows for Interoperability Experiments or Testbeds.

5.     Identify work and standards related to other domains that could be adopted by the statistical community

4.3        Business Case

The production of statistics is increasingly integrating new data sources such as big data, administrative data and geospatial information with more traditional data sources such as census and surveys. This need to integrate data sources from multiple domains creates a significant need for recommendations and guidance, as well as technical standards that will support this integration. With the support of OGC in the creation and maintenance of relevant standards, the statistical domain will benefit by:

·       An increased understanding of the value of geospatial data to the statistical system;

·       Greater interoperability between statistical and geospatial data architectures;

·       Greater quality and accuracy of statistical data by linking it to geospatial data;

These benefits will not be limited to the statistical community however, as this work will also generate a number of similar benefits for the geospatial community based around the mutual value that statistical and geospatial data can add to the other domain when they are combined.

5.    Organizational Approach and Scope of Work

5.1        Statistics Domain Working Group Business Goals

The Statistics Domain Working Group will need to establish a set of business goals that frame the basis for determining the nature and type of recommendations made to OGC, framed around the above mentioned business issues.  Examples of the types of discussion for framing goals include

1)   Efforts should focus on working statistical issues and problems that result in a net gain for the community.

2)   Provide OGC and the larger community with guidance on current and future OGC interface specifications and best practices for the efficient exchange of data between statistical data processing systems that use geography. Lack of such guidance can lead to artificial barriers that limit the potential of all segments of the information community to come together and fully prosper.

3)   Avoid placing artificial technical barriers on use of statistical data.

4)   Establish the means by which OGC can achieve interoperability and yet preserve the proprietary nature of data.

5)   Define the supporting infrastructure for the community to achieve these goals.

5.2        Statistical Domain Working Group: Mission and Role

The Statistical DWG will concern itself with technology and technology policy issues, focusing on geodata information and technology interests as related to the statistical domain and the means by which those issues are appropriately factored into the OGC standards development process.

The role of the Statistical DWG will be to present, refine and focus statistical and geospatial interoperability-related issues to the Technical Committee.

5.3        Activities planned for Statistical DWG

The Statistical DWG will undertake a range of activities to support the mission of the group and of the broader OGC community. Specific membership objectives include active participation in the DWG as a stakeholder in presenting to the Technical Committee on status and recommendations on how OGC should best participate in the integration of statistics and geospatial information.

Specific activities to be undertaken by the Statistical DWG include:

1.     Outreach to and organisation of OGC members as well as external organisations to contribute to the DWG.

2.     Describe the landscape of statistical production and identify the opportunities for the integration of geospatial information.

3.     Communicate the geospatial requirements from the statistical community to the OGC.

4.     Communicate the geospatial expertise in the OGC, such as existing applicable standards, to the statistical community.

5.     Insert statistical requirements into other OGC standards and interoperability activities.

6.     Assess the work products in ISO / TC 211 and ISO / TC 154. Coordinate with ISO / TC 211 in ongoing joint activities and consider a liaison relationship with IS) / TC 154.