OGC Naming Authority SC

The primary role of the OGC Naming Authority (OGC-NA) is to ensure an orderly process for assigning URIs for OGC resources, such as OGC documents, standards, XML namespaces, ontologies.

The OGC-NA was established as a sub-committee of the OGC Technical Committee at the Potsdam TC in June 2008, to meet a requirement of RFC 5165 (the NID for OGC URNs). In June 2010 OGC revised the naming policy to use http URIs to identify persistent OGC resources instead of URNs. The change to URIs was primarily to make resolution easier, and in order that OGC technologies can integrate with linked data and semantic web. Nevertheless, URNs live on in one of the OGC technologies: the ebRIM implementation of the catalogue service, because ebRIM uses URNs internally, and some of the key OGC standards (WMS, WFS, GML) have traces of the previous era, with examples showing urn:ogc:etc. The pattern for URI sets was a direct translation of the previous URN scheme with ":" replaced by "/". 

guideline for editors submitting URIs for review by OGC-NA is available. This is for editors of documents intended for publication through OGC, which always involves the assignment of at least one URI (at least six in the case of 'standards'). The guideline does not describe a general purpose process for registration of arbitrary URIs in the OGC domain, because registration generally happens only as a by-product of other activities, such as issuing an OGC standard. 

Individual concepts or definitions may have URIs where it is desirable that these be individually referenceable, but the definitions must be supported by an OGC document. OGC generally has no responsibility for resources governed by other organizations, so has nothing to say about datasets, services etc. However, OGC found it necessary to assign URIs for some resources used in OGC standards for which the owners do not provide URIs - specifically CRSs maintained by EPSG (now known as OGP) and units of measure specified in UCUM (either or both of which are used in WMS, WFS, GML at least). Permission was obtained from the resource owners for doing this, and the OGC URI scheme was designed to include a field for the 'authority' for a definition precisely to support this case.

Note that there is some flexibility around OGC 'definitions'. A document describing a set of definitions may specify rules that allows for definitions to be updated separately to the publication of a document, in which case the definitions and their URIs can be more dynamic. For example, as EPSG updates its register of CRS, then matching URIs in the OGC domain are implied, and OGC tries to keep a functioning resolver up to date. So if you want OGC to register additional resources and assign resolvable URIs, this is possible, providing it is backed by an OGC document defining the URI set and the process for maintaining the membership. This doesn't have to be heavy (either the document or the process), but it does have to be there.

A service that provides representations of resources whose URI starts http://www.opengis.net/def/ is currently hosted by CSIRO on behalf of OGC, except for the crs definitions from EPSG which is hosted by OGC directly. The former is backed by an RDF store, while the latter is provided by specialized service based on SECORE software from Jacobs University which is backed by a replica of the EPSG database. Neither of the services is forever, but the URIs should be.   

The OGC-NA has developed a series of more detailed policies

These are available from http://www.opengeospatial.org/ogc/policies/directives.

All OGC members are invited to attend meetings of the OGC-NA held in conjunction with OGC TC meetings, and occasionally by teleconference. Anyone with an interest in the business of the OGC-NA is urged to join the mailing list, using one of the following methods:
  • using the mailman interface
  • under the Member tab in the Subscribe to additional lists dialogue under the Email subscriptions tab of your user profile on the OGC portal.

If you want to formally join the OGC-NA as an Observer or Voting Member, please contact the OGC-NA chair by email. 

OGC-NA Chair: Simon Cox

Current list of OGCNA members: http://portal.opengeospatial.org/?m=projects&a=view&project_id=276&tab=1