Mass Market Geospatial

How OGC Membership Benefits Organizations in Mass Market Geospatial Value Chains

Open Geospatial Consortium Addresses the Mass-Market

If you take a leadership role in consumer Web service development and mainstream IT services and your organization’s business strategy includes geospatial functionality, then you should consider membership in the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC).

You might join to advance and shape the outcome of GeoRSS (more on that below) for defining consumer service applications and mainstream IT. Or, you might join others to create standards that drop development costs and reduce time to market. Joining OGC makes good business sense and provides you with a capability to align an important standards effort with your own technology and business development strategies.

Making Location on the Web Accessible to All - GeoRSS

GeoRSS ( provides an information model and three serializations for geo-enabling, or tagging, “really simple syndication” (RSS) feeds with location information. The three serializations are the original W3C Geo vocabulary, GeoRSS Simple and GeoRSS GML. GeoRSS extends the original W3C Geo vocabulary for a point by adding support for lines, polygons, rectangles and other attributes. Numerous GeoRSS enabled applications, feeds, agreegators, and readers are now available.

GeoRSS was originally discussed by an informal group of interested parties in the summer of 2005 with support from the OGC and OGC staff. An extensive network of georss collaborators continues to discuss and define georss issues, applications, and potential extensions. The GeoRSS GML profile of georss will be formally presented to OGC’s membership for possible approval as an OGC Best Practices document. GeoRSS is also being discussed in the W3C Geospatial XG Incubator activity.

Benefits of OGC Membership:

  • Develop needed standards in an industry consortium with a proven track record and experience in working with other standards organizations.
  • Work with the major geospatial software, service and data vendors, who are already engaged in the OGC consensus process.
  • Realize fast development and commercial uptake – Vendors are committed, so results appear quickly.
  • Take advantage of opportunities for business development, public relations, influencing the process and representing your company’s and customers’ needs.
  • Work with other government and commercial users to collaboratively set requirements to shape the standards.
  • Reduce risks and costs and cause the benefits of standards to come to industry stakeholders sooner than otherwise possible.

Mapufacture GeoRSS

This map was created automatically by presenting a GeoRSS supporting Web application (Mapufacture) with GeoRSS feeds of events in Cambridge, Massachusetts ( and weather information from Yahoo!Weather.

Simple GeoRSS:

    45.256 -71.92
GML or "Pro" GeoRSS:
    <gml:pos>45.256 -71.92</gml:pos>

You can find software that implements GeoRSS here:;

In the consumer space for example, imagine that you have a PDA with an integrated GPS receiver and that you are on vacation in Europe. A simple piece of software on your PDA could help you create a travelogue. It might accept GPS points and encode them in GeoRSS to provide location tags for features such as the Eiffel Tower and the Matterhorn. The GeoRSS feed could then be integrated with a “save and share places” websites such as Platial ( Each photo or journal entry combines a time, point and place. You could post this data on your blog, or overlay it on maps. Like blog postings, each entry could be accessible via an RSS reader. You could program the distribution of the journal entries to depend on location. The same types of capabilities would apply to journalism, weather alerts, consumer photo sharing, traffic notifications, and other forms of e-commerce.

GeoRSS, as the simplest of geospatial encodings, holds promise to put location-enabled data directly in the hands of users. People with basic webpage or blogging skills can become geospatial data publishers and users. We may even be close to seeing map publishing tools that combine Internet services like OGC's Web Map Service and GeoRSS to make mapping a standard part of the business graphics toolset.

GeoRSS and Other Standards for Mainstream IT Markets
Location-enabling enterprise networks

GeoRSS can easily be combined with other location-based protocols and proposed standards for the Internet including location enabled DHCP, OGC Location Services, OASIS CAP, and wen notification services.

Location-enabling enterprise databases

Databases are a major corporate asset. Many elements of these enterprise databases have a location element. The simple and effective intergation of GeoRSS enabled RSS feeds can significantly enhance the value, agility, and effectiveness of these data assets. For example, implementing an OGC Web Feature Service (transactional) front end to an enterprise database could allow and standardized way to enable real time updates based on remote feeds that are structured using GeoRSS. Alternatively, GeoRSS can be used to provide a standardized mechanism to issue database update and state alerts to a broad user community. These alerts can be displayed on a map so users can quickly understand where updates are occurring.

Knowledge mining with drill-down queries

If the database is the foundation of robust information systems, intelligent queries are the structural elements that signficantly increase the value.. OGC has developed a geospatial Common Query Language, and a broad framework of supporting standards for search and query of databases containing location information that puts a company's analytic abilities head and shoulders above the competition. OGC's reference model is Web service-based, designed to fit neatly in industry-standard Web services frameworks like XML, SOAP, REST, and WSDL. In fact, a large portion of our value proposition is making sure that OGC’s standards are compatible with the standards from groups like OASIS, IETF and W3C.

Presentation of information

The key to providing value to customers is creating powerful visual products. In the case of geographic data, the most compelling graphic is the map. Think of Google or Mapquest maps with your data instead of a generic street map. Imagine the ability to put any geographically tagged asset on a map, and juxtapose it with demographics, sales patterns, or urban development trends. The architecture for accomplishing these goals is well-defined within the OGC framework, using standards such as the Web Map Service for requesting maps, and the Web Context document format for sharing "map bookmarks."

For More Information

To find out more about the OGC’s activities in the support of GeoRSS contact:

Raj Singh • (617) 642-9372 •

Louis Hecht • (301) 654 0698 •

Carl Reed • (970) 419 8755 •

To discover what the OGC is and has to offer please visit:

OGC Members:

OGC Standards:

Products Using OGC Standards:

OGC Membership Information: