The OGC forms working group to advance spatial standards in health domain


Monday, 4 November 2013 UTC

4 November 2013 – At the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) Technical Committee plenary meeting on 26 September, the Technical Committee approved the charter for a new OGC Health Domain Working Group (DWG). The charter is available at

In 2010 the OGC partnered with technological, health, and research organizations on a three-year research project funded through the European Commission's 7th Framework Program. The project was called EO2Heaven (Earth Observation and Environmental Modeling for the Mitigation of Health Risks). The open standards-based Spatial Information Infrastructure developed for EO2Heaven was implemented in case studies in Dresden, Germany, the Durban industrial basin in South Africa, and Uganda.

Open standards were vital to this project, supporting cross-domain communication among partners in diverse fields and locations and facilitating the integration and analysis of spatial, temporal, and epidemiological data. The project also addressed privacy issues and intellectual property implications. See for more information.

Seeing the success and potential of this project and the growing need for interoperability in the healthcare and public health fields, a group of OGC members formed the Health DWG. This working group will articulate spatial interoperability requirements in a wide range of health applications, such as: telemedicine, bio-medical research, in-hospital navigation, wearable devices, epidemiological surveillance integrated with related environmental and socioeconomic data; and modeling and responding to cross-border health risks. The group will seek to identify possible health industry "profiles" of standards, and also gaps in current standards.       

Initiators of the OGC Health Domain Working Group include ESRI; IOSB Fraunhofer; Eddie Oldfield, an Individual Member of the OGC; The SI Organization and the UK Met Office. The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), University of Nottingham, and others (both OGC members and non-members) have endorsed this effort.

Eddie Oldfield is the interim chair of the new DWG.  Co-chair nominations are welcome.

Members of the public can follow the activities of the OGC Health DWG, make comments, and subscribe to the Health DWG listserv at the OGC Health DWG web page.

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 475 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