GeoMobile and Internet of Things


Access to the Internet will predominantly be from mobile devices including smart phones and machine-to-machine interactions.  Most information exchanged in mobile internet will include spatial components.  

In support of OGC members and society, this OGC Interoperability Program initiative aims to help develop the consensus standards infrastructure necessary to achieve the full societal, economic and scientific benefits of location information in mobile applications worldwide.

OGC members and the public are invited to participate in this project's activities, which currently includes:

Descriptions of these current activities is listed below followed by background information on the OGC Mobile Internet activity.

For further information about this study contact George Percivall, OGC Chief Architect (gpercivall at

Expanding GeoWeb to an Internet of Things

A workshop held during COM.Geo 2011:  The 2nd International Conference on Computing for Geospatial Research and Application, 23-25 May 2011, Washington DC.

  • Connecting our world with accessible networks is scaling to trillions of everyday objects. The Internet of Things, Pervasive Computing, and Sensor Web are research names for this development. Planetary Skin, Smarter Planet and CeNSE are several corporate names. The Internet will be augmented with mobile machine-to-machine communications and ad-hoc local network technologies. At the network nodes, information about objects will come from barcodes, RFIDs, and sensors. The location of all objects will be known. 
  • This workshop seeks to explore the role of location inexpanding GeoWeb to an Internet of Things. The workshop seeks presentations on functions enabled bygeographic location and to location relative to surrounding objects. Most of the objects will be indoor in a3D setting. The workshop also seeks presentations on relevant technologies such as location determination, geocoding, schemas for points of interest, ad-hoc network formation based on location, processing of information of the objects to detect phenomena of interest and location based services. Technology standards will be important for interoperability at this scale, e.g., OpenLS, CityGML, and Sensor Web Enablement standards from the OGC.

The proceedings of the workshop will be published jointly with the COM.Geo conference proceedings

Agenda for the workshop

Mobile spatial standards liaisons

The OGC maintains alliances with other Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) in order to better support the coordinated use of OGC standards in other SDOs' standards and to make best use of other SDOs' standards in OGC standards.

Of particular importance to Mobile Internet are standards from ITU, IEC/ISO, IETF, W3C, Web3D, ETSI, Kronos, OMA and others.  There are also important industry associations that contribute to the development of mobile standards.

OGC participates in the ITU Joint Coordination Activity on Internet of Things (JCA IoT) is open to representatives from all standards developing organizations (SDOs), including forums and consortia, which are working on IoT related subjects. The JCA-IoT provides a platform to exchange IoT information and discuss coordination matters to avoid overlap and duplication of efforts. One of the activities of the JCA-IoT is to maintain the IoT Standards Roadmap that includes approved (or under development) standards from the worldwide ecosystem of SDOs.

Augmented Reality standards have been the focus of a series of workshops: October 2010, February 2011, June 2011. Participants in the workshops expressed a keen desire for open AR interfaces and data formats which operate consistently across a variety of different AR development environments, use cases and end user platforms.   

OGC maintains liaisons and participates in standards development relevant to location in Mobile Internet, including the following location relevant activities:


IoT Testbed

The OGC is actively developing an Interoperability Program  initiative on Internet of Things with empahsis on location and sensors.  

The OGC IoT testbed will aim to achieve these objectives:

  • Specify methods for interoperability of location information based on existing OGC and other standards; and, as necessary, develop new specifications that can become open standards
  • Implement the specifications in embedded mobile platforms and communications. 
  • Demonstrate how the functionality achieved implementing the specifications improves various user scenarios.

OGC contributions to the advance of IoT  through a testbed include:




In 2009, the OGC Board of Directors identified the Mobile Internet as a “ripe issue” to be addressed by the consortium:  OGC should anticipate that mobile communications will move beyond the walled gardens of the cellular provides allowing for development similar in openness to the wired internet (which of course has now happened). The OGC should assess the need for standards for the Mobile Internet and as appropriate begin developing open geospatial standards tuned to the mobile environment in coordination with other SDOs.

A special session on Indoor Location was convened during the OGC Technical Committee meeting in December 2009.  Many overlapping aspects of mobile Internet and indoor location have been identified. The subject of indoor location is very active (beginning in 2010 and accelerating).

In April 2010, the OGC Strategic Members Advisory Committee (SMAC) agreed on an action for the OGC Staff to identify a subcommittee of the OGC Strategic Members to address organization and approach for addressing mobile Internet and indoor location.   The plan for a Concept Development (CD) activity for Mobile Internet with a focus on Indoor Location was presented at the Planning Committee in June 2010.

During the second half of 2010, OGC staff and Strategic Members conducted the CD study as series of meetings and telecons.  OGC staff provided an outline of Mobile Internet topics based upon a literature review.  The outcomes of the meetings included initial scope, a notional architecture, and list of potential organizations of relevance for the initiative. The results were presented at the SMAC meeting in January 2011.  The recommendations were to 1) organize a Workshop at COM.GEO on the Internet of Things,  2) attend conferences and workshops relevant to the Mobile Internet Initiative, and 3) strengthen alliances with other Standard Developing Organizations relevant to location and mobile internet.  

In February 2011, OGC staff attended these events co-located in Barcelona Spain