Geospatial Digital Management (GeoRM)

Join the OGC. Help Your Organization Address Geospatial Rights Management.

Virtually all public and private sector organizations that produce, publish and/or share geospatial data have a stake in the OGC's Geospatial Rights Management (GeoRM) effort. As standards based geoprocessing solutions are deployed throughout the world, the obstacles preventing greater use of geospatial data and services are increasingly policy related, not technical. GeoRM standards now under development in the OGC are a necessary prerequisite to overcoming many of these policy obstacles.

GeoDRM House Diagram

Standards are necessary to enable organizations to manage access to geospatial assets using conventions similar to those with which we manage access to real world property.
(Image courtesy of Ordnance Survey of Great Britain)


Benefits of Participating in the GeoRM Effort

  • GeoRM Working Group provides opportunities for fact-finding, planning and partnering on privacy, security, public access, revenue potential, and emergency use of geospatial data.
  • Standards are key to resolving Geospatial Rights Management issues
  • Policy neutral framework supports the full range of sharing arrangements and business model
  • Standards address data products whose layers have different rights and restrictions.

The following trends increase the need for GeoRM standards:

  • Geospatial data is rapidly becoming "just another data type" that exists as part of everyone's and every enterprise's digital information environment. OGC Web Services effectively make geospatial data "just another data type" on the Web.
  • The number of different geospatial data sources and the sheer volume of geospatial data are increasing at an accelerating rate. This is a result of rapid advances in network, processor, memory, storage, positioning system and sensor technologies and the increasing affordability of products that implement them.
  • Issues of privacy, security, public access, revenue potential, and emergency use of geospatial information become more important as digital information becomes more valuable in our lives.
  • Geospatial data is often a composite of multiple layers, some of which may have different rights and restrictions associated with them. Data providers need to be able to track and manage rights and restrictions in such derived data products.

The OGC GeoRM Working Group

The GeoRM Working Group of the OGC Technical Committee brings together a diverse group of experts who recognize the need to build a policy neutral framework that supports the full spectrum of data sharing arrangements and business models. The standards must address a wide range of inescapable real world requirements that are not addressed by simple permissive/restrictive, open/closed approaches. The standards must make it possible to provide data under different terms for different circumstances. Organizations must have the ability to license data whether it is charged for or not. Thus the GeoRM Working Group adheres to clear separation between licensing and pricing models.

Participation in the GeoRM Working Group enables government, private sector, NGO and university members to introduce requirements and ideas as the GeoRM standards are developed and reviewed. Participation also enables members to become acquainted with the other organizations that are involved and to understand as soon as possible the details and implications of the emerging standards for purposes of planning and product development.

OpenGIS® Specifications

The OGC membership has worked collaboratively over the last twelve years to develop open and freely available interface and encoding standards. In a global, open consensus process, OGC members are developing, testing, documenting and agreeing on open interfaces and encodings that enable interoperability of geospatial data, services, and applications. These interfaces and encodings have applicability for enhancing interoperability in many technology and application domains, such as geographic information systems (GIS) and systems for Earth imaging, navigation, tracking, facilities management, cartography, location based services and surveying and mapping. New ways have been found in the OGC to introduce multimedia data about places, including text references and sensor and video data, into the domain of geospatial searches and geospatial processing.

Open GeoRM service interfaces will apply in applications that might involve any of these other OGC standards. The underlying framework for technical interoperability is consistent with the framework for the emerging GeoRM standards.

OGC Specification Program

The OGC Specification Program provides an effective and well-trusted industry consensus process to plan, review and officially adopt OpenGIS® Specifications for interfaces, encodings and protocols that enable interoperable geoprocessing services, data, and applications. The Specification Program allows members from many government, research and industry segments worldwide to do this work together in a collaborative and collegial environment.

The Specification Program consists of two primary organizational units, the OGC Technical Committee (TC) and the OGC Planning Committee (PC).

OGC Innovation Program

The OGC Innovation Program is a global, hands-on and collaborative prototyping program designed to rapidly develop, test and deliver proven candidate specifications into OGC's Specification Program, where they are formalized for public release. OGC Innovation Program Initiatives include test beds, pilot projects, and interoperability experiments.

Participate in GeoRM and the OGC!

To learn more about the GeoRM effort and how your organization can become part of it, contact:

Luis Bermudez
Director of Innovation Programs
lbermudez [at]