Given the scope of information in the world of GIS, and the massive number of applications for the data that is collected in this industry, collaboration and openness is a key for the best possible utilization. Two organizations, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), are big proponents of that openness, and they will continue to collaborate in pursuit of those goals. The two organizations announced last month that they have renewed their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). They began formally collaborating in 2008 with their first MoU and have coordinated numerous joint presentations while also co-hosting “code sprints”.
OGC and OSGeo are both committed to similar ideals, looking to maintain, and even increase, open standards and open source software in the geospatial, and even non-geospatial, industries. Both organizations have noted their commitment to Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) and Open data principles. In this new MoU, the two organizations have pledged to coordinate activities to best pursue their respective missions and goals, which include but are not limited to: planning and executing join code sprints, identifying viable open source technologies that could be used for adopted OGC standards, coordinating joint outreach activities, and working together on new standards that may be required as a result of new and updated open source software.
The OGC is an international consortium made up over over 500 businesses, government agencies, research organizations, and universities from around the globe. The organizations in the consortium are driven to make geospatial information and services FAIR. The OGC’s consensus process creates royalty free, publicly available open geospatial standards. In addition, they actively analyze emerging tech trends and run a research and development lab to build and test innovative prototype solutions to their members’ use cases.
Meanwhile, the OSGeo is a not-for-profit organization devoted to fostering global adoption of open geospatial technology. The foundation serves a number of roles, providing financial, organizational, and legal support to the broader open source geospatial community while also serving as an independent legal entity to which community members can contribute code, funding, and other resources. Those contributors can rest assured that their contributions will be maintained for public benefit. All of the foundation’s projects are freely available and usable under an Open Source Initiative certified open source license.
This MoU should only enhance each of these organizations in their ongoing pursuits. Dr. Nadine Alameh, OGC’s CEO, said, “We both have a growing market to deliver to, and our joint commitment to Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) and Open data principles will help us both accelerate how the world integrates geospatial/location information into everything.” OSGeo President Dr. Angelos Tzotsos added, “Our long-standing collaboration with OGC will now evolve to the next level of OSGeo projects’ standards development, implementation, and compliance. We are excited for what the future holds as a result of the renewed MoU, and look forward to further collaboration.”