Spatial Software Buyers Look for Technology Products Supporting Standards

Mark Reichardt Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption Open GIS Consortium, Inc tel: +1-301-840-1361 mreichardt [at]
Tuesday, 10 August 2004 UTC
Wayland, MA, USA, August 10, 2004 - When shopping for software, buyers look at features, price and other factors. For those looking to add spatial software to the mix, one key factor is whether or not the product supports standards from the Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC). The Consortium offers a website where products that implement any of its 14 implementation specifications can be listed by their developers. The webpage is quite well-visited, drawing several thousand visitors per month. Visitors can examine which products implement which specifications and can use the site to distinguish between those products that implement the specification and those that are certified compliant. Certified compliant products are put through rigorous testing procedures before garnering that title. Compliance certification assures buyers that a vendor's product correctly implements OpenGISĀ® Specifications. Any developer is welcome to add a product to the implementing products list, but only those completing the testing and the formal certification process for compliance can be labeled as such. Currently 222 products are registered including 39 that are certified compliant. Compliance testing and certification is available to members and non-members online via the Compliance & Interoperability Test & Evaluation (CITE) Portal, part of OGC's Compliance Testing Program (see The portal provides automated testing for Web Map Service 1.1.1 (WMS) and Web Feature Service 1.0 (WFS), a Geography Markup Language (GML) validation tool and links to reference implementations. Graham Vowles, Principal Consultant to the Ordnance Survey, comments, "Our business strategy depends on seamless interoperability across different vendors' Open GIS standards based tools. Effective compliance testing assures us and our partners that we can easily exchange data - enabling us to focus on the critical business issues at hand." The OGC is an international voluntary consensus standards organization of more than 250 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing interface specifications. OGC's OpenGISĀ® Specifications support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT.