The OGC adopts OWS Context Conceptual Model and ATOM Encoding Standards


Monday, 18 November 2013 UTC

18 November 2013 - The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) membership has adopted the OGC OWS Context Conceptual Model and the associated OGC OWS Context ATOM Encoding as OGC adopted standards, along with schemas and examples.

One key element to efficiently handling any emergency or operation is a common "situational awareness". The ability to share the same common operational picture between all respondents is critical. The OGC answer to address this paradigm is the OWS Context specification. In a crisis, when time is of the essence, an emergency responder, a soldier or a geospatial analyst can create a view of the situation by pulling together feature data, map data and imagery data. This data can be supplemented with text or graphics to point out areas of interest. All of this can then be captured in an OWS Context document in order to share a common assessment of a situation with others setting the framework from which all operations will then have a common understanding.

The OGC OWS (OGC Web Services) Context Conceptual Model describes the use cases, requirements and conceptual data model of an OWS Context Document. An OWS context document defines a fully configured set of OGC services that can be consistently shared, interpreted and invoked by clients. This standard model for an OWS Context Document is a core model that can be extended and encoded as defined in extensions to the standard, such as the ATOM Encoding, and the candidate JSON Encoding, which has not yet been released.

An OWS Context document enables a set of configured information resources (service set) to be passed between applications as a collection of services. OWS Context supports in-line content as well. The candidate standard supports use cases such as the distribution of search results and the exchange of a set of resources such as Web services that implement the OGC Web Feature Service (WFS), Web Map Service (WMS), Web Map Tile Service (WMTS), Web Coverage Service (WCS) Standard or other OWS standards to provide multiple users with a 'common operating picture'. Additionally OWS Context can deliver a set of configured processing services (Web Processing Service (WPS) parameters to allow processing to be reproduced on different nodes.

All OGC standards are free and publicly available. The OGC OWS Context Conceptual Model Standard can be downloaded from and the associated ATOM Encoding standard can be downloaded from Schemas and examples can be downloaded from

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