The New OGC Australia and New Zealand Forum

Contributed by: 
Denise McKenzie, interim Chair of OGC ANZ Forum

For many years now a small number of dedicated organisations in the Australia and New Zealand region have worked tirelessly to improve our data sharing through the use of OGC standards. The OGC is well known throughout the region and the number of implementations of the standards is increasing, but only a handful of organizations have contributed to the standards creation process working directly with the OGC. There is now an opportunity for a larger number of our region’s geospatial players to participate via the OGC Australia and New Zealand Forum.

We recently issued a press release to announce the chartering of the OGC ANZ Forum. The Forum provides a platform for highlighting and explaining the value of open standards. This includes sharing geospatial data in domains including aviation, defence, emergency management, geosciences and many others. The Forum seeks also to provide an environment that fosters collaboration and sharing between members. With today’s pace of technology development the role of public / private partnership is ever more critical and the open membership policy of the OGC provides a structure to help develop these partnerships and therefore work towards greater interoperability.

Whilst the Forum is in the early stages of planning, the initial focus will be to look at how we as members share our knowledge of open standards with the wider industry, provide education, highlight the value of open standards in both the public and private areas of industry, and participate in the standards creation process. Our first meeting agenda will include

* The outcomes from the recent plugfest in Christchurch to test WFS-T implementations

* The work of CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology on the WaterML2.0 standard

* An update from members who attended the OGC technical committee meeting in Exeter and the INSPIRE conference

* Planning for communications and education activities for the next 12months

* Identify opportunities for participation in the OGC Interoperability Program

Forum members will be participating in a number of industry events over the next six months. The most significant of these will be spatial@gov in Canberra in November where we will have strong set of speakers and presence from OGC members. If you have an interest in learning more about the OGC ANZ Forum, please contact me at