The OGC seeks public input on charter for proposed working group to draft a Point of Interest (POI) encoding standard


Thursday, 30 May 2013 UTC

30 May 2013 - The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) seeks public input on the draft charter of a proposed Standards Working Group (SWG) that will develop a candidate POI (Point of Interest) encoding standard for possible adoption by the OGC membership as an OGC Standard.

The draft charter is available at Comments are due by 30 June 2013.  Submit comments by sending an email to charter-requests  at

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and Ordnance Survey are the convenors of the new SWG.

A point of interest (POI) is a specific point location that someone may find useful or interesting. A POI is typically specified by a latitude and longitude and a name, but may include other information about the named location. A simple POI encoding standard will make POI databases more useful by making them more easily usable by more applications as well as facilitating sharing of PoI data between organizations and applications.

Considering how ubiquitous the need for POI information is, it is surprising that international standardization efforts have been few. In many ways, one could consider POIs a most fundamental requirement of any spatial data infrastructure. PoIs are also important in the commercial sector in personal navigation and social networks. For example, social networks from Google, Facebook and others have made location such an integral part of their data model that almost every activity a user engages in can be tagged with location, weaving places of interest seamlessly into the fabric of their social platform.

This standards effort grows out of semantic interoperability experiments to merge place name databases from different organizations in the OGC Testbeds OWS-8 and OWS-9, and also work that was done by the W3C POIWG, and OGC’s OpenPOI database project. The OGC's OpenPOI database, now in beta, contains POIs for millions of businesses and civic places across the globe. It provides a reference implementation for an early version of the proposed Point of Interest (POI) encoding standard.

About the OGC:

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 480 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC 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