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OGC Joins ITU, participates in Joint Coordination Activity on Internet of Things


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Release Date: 
Monday, 17 September 2012 UTC

17 September 2012 - The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) has become an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecommunications Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Member, following the decision of the ITU Council 2012 in July.

"OGC and ITU-T share a common commitment to improving the interoperability of ICTs through an open, consensus-based approach to the development of international standards," said Malcolm Johnson, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU. "I am incredibly pleased to welcome the OGC to our membership ranks as I am certain that, just as within ITU-T’s JCA IoT, our shared goals will guide the collaboration required to realize the Internet of Things on a global scale.”

Mark Reichardt, President and CEO, OGC, said, "Collaboration between standards development organizations becomes increasingly important as information technology evolves. We are committed to providing focused, timely coordination between ITU and the OGC to maximize the value that derives from our global membership's geospatial and location interoperability expertise.  This formal arrangement will ensure that our collective work is coordinated and optimized for the global community of technology developers and users."

There are many areas of common interest between ITU and OGC, such as location communication in the Internet of Things and location communication that uses Short Message Service (SMS). SMS is the open text communication service standard most commonly used in phone, web and mobile communication systems for the exchange of short text messages between fixed line or mobile phone devices. The lightweight and easy to implement OGC Open GeoSMS Standard facilitates interoperability between mobile applications and the rapidly expanding world of geospatial applications and services that implement OGC standard interfaces, encodings and best practices.

The OGC has previously participated in the ITU Joint Coordination Activity on Internet of Things (JCA-IoT). The JCA-IoT is open to ITU Members and designated representatives of relevant Standards Development Organizations and Forums. Over the next decade, the IoT is expected to grow to trillions of internet-connected devices. Many of these devices will involve sensors, and their locations will often matter. The inevitable mix-and-match of different IoT devices, applications and platforms will make IoT interoperability standards a key factor. The OGC is the principal international consensus standards development organization focused on open location standards and also open interface and encoding standards for sensor webs. In the future, the OGC will consider participation in the ITU Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative (IoT-GSI) and various ITU Study Groups that pertain to IoT. The ITU IoT-GSI is a coordination of ITU members from Study Groups that pertain to IoT. The OGC will coordinate with ITU on the OGC "Sensor Web for IoT" Standards Working Group.

About the ITU

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs. The ITU allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strives to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.

About the OGC 

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 460 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