Mobile Location Services DWG

The OGC Mobile Location Services (MLS) Domain Working Group (DWG) is a venue in the OGC Standards Program for location-aware mobile requirements and use cases. The MLS DWG will achieve this goal by a variety of means, including inviting industry experts to present to the DWG, issuing change requests to existing standards, identifying potential Interoperability Initiatives that advance these requirements, and defining best practices for applying OGC standards in a mobile environment. 

Within the scope of the Mobile Location Services DWG, the following key activities will be addressed:

  1. Forum for “mobile first” world where customers use cell phones and tablets to access and use location-enabled applications.
  2. Determine OGC goals and organizational issues that impact location-aware mobile services and applications.
  3. Define approaches for engaging with the mobile community to enlist their support and promote OGC outreach.

The OGC working group is open to non-OGC member participation. OGC members and the public can join the discussion list here:

MLS DWG Chairs: Giuseppe Conti, Giuseppe.Conti [at] trilogis.itgpercivall [at] (;  )Ki-Joune Li, lik [at]

Organizational Approach and Scope of Work

Mobile Location Services DWG Business Goals

This working group has these broad goals.

  1. Understand implementation barriers for these interest groups and document them in a format that can guide future technology design.
  2. Identify interfaces and information encodings that complement the existing OGC standards, but are directly tailored to the requirements discovered in understanding the needs of the mass market for mobile location services.
  3. Promote the development of OGC standards to meet mobile location based service objectives.  Candidate standards may come from external, market-established standards or from anticipatory standards developed in OGC initiatives.
  4. There is an ever increasing concern related to location-location tracking and privacy. For example, collection of location data from a smart phone combined with tracking analytics can be used to predict individual future behavior with an accuracy of over 90%. Many OGC members and staff have been involved in location and privacy discussions, manifestos, and standards. This forum will allow the OGC to clearly specify the OGC standards positions related to location and privacy.

Mobile Location Services DWG: Mission and Role

The Mobile Location Services DWG will concern itself with technology and technology policy issues, focusing on geodata information and technology interests as related to mobile applications and services as they relate to location and the means by which those issues are appropriately factored into the OGC standards development process.

1.     The mission of the Mobile Location Services DWG is to broaden the use of location-aware technologies in mainstream consumer, media, and business IT infrastructures

2.     The role of the Mobile Location Services DWG is to serve as a forum within OGC for location-aware mobile application; to present, refine and focus interoperability-related mobile location issues to the Technical Committee; and to serve where appropriate as a liaison to other industry, government, independent, research, and standards organizations active within the mobile domain

Activities planned for Mobile Location Services DWG

MLS is an “umbrella” working group to discuss several specifications and technologies.  Progress in this domain will be achieved as follows:

  1. Identify Location Services technology requirements and solutions
  2. Serve as OGC TC focal point for complementary organizations
  3. Encourage other OGC working groups to make progress on various key services and encodings. 

History of the MLS DWG

The current charter for the MLS DWG was approved in September 2014.  The revised charter was an evolution of the  Mass Market Working Group Charter (MM DWG) to include Location Services and will lead to the dissolution of the current Location Services DWG.  This working group is motivated by the fast moving mobile and wireless technology and markets.  

The OGC Mass Market Domain Working Group (MM DWG) was established in December 2006.  The MM DWG aimed to gain traction in broader IT markets with mapping, data query, search and discovery. The need was to address these issues holistically, instead of treating them on a case-by-case basis in working groups devoted to a specific service or information encoding.

OGC’s location services activities began with an OpenLS testbed in 2001.  The initial development culminated in the OpenGIS Location Services (OpenLS): Core Services Implementation Standard in 2003.  A revision working group for the OpenLS standard was active until 2004. The OGC Location Services DWG established in April 2005 is now dormant.  The OpenLS standard remains in use but much has changed motivating this new activity.