Guide to Role of Geospatial Standards












** Please note that both the Guide & Companion Document have been revised and new versions were presented to the UNGGIM in August 2018. The revised versions can be found at the links below. If you have any queries regarding this update please contact Denise McKenzie at dmckenzie [at]**

Link to: Guide to the Role of Geospatial Standards

Link to: Companion document on Standards Recommendation by Tier

At its substantive session in July 2011, ECOSOC considered the report of the Secretary General (E/2011/89) and adopted a resolution to create the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (2011/24).

From 24 - 26 October 2011, the First High Level Forum on Global Geospatial Information Management, and the First Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts were held in Seoul, Republic of Korea. This was the first time that experts from 90 countries met in the context of a United Nations initiative to enhance global cooperation in the field of geospatial information management. The Forum concluded with the acceptance of the Seoul Declaration on Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM).


The priorities and work programmes of the Committee of Experts are driven by Member States. The Committee of Experts is mandated, among other tasks, to provide a platform for the development of effective strategies on how to build and strengthen national capacity on geospatial information, as well as disseminating best practices and experiences of national, regional and international bodies on geospatial information related to legal instruments, management models and technical standards.

1. Development of the global geodetic reference frame
2. Development of a global map for sustainable development
3. Geospatial information supporting Sustainable Development and the post 2015 development agenda
4. Adoption and implementation of standards by the global geospatial information community
5. Development of a knowledge base for geospatial information
6. Identification of trends in national institutional arrangements in geospatial information management
7. Integrating geospatial statistics and other information
8. Legal and policy frameworks, including critical issues related to authoritative data
9. Development of shared statement of principles on the management of geospatial information
10. Determining fundamental data sets

Under these areas of work the OGC works jointly with IHO & ISO TC211 on item 4 and its deliverables.  
The full Committee of Experts meets formally once a year in August in New York. Meeting documents can be found here
The reports prepared jointly by the standards organisations can be found via the links below:
The main piece of collaborative work completed by OGC, IHO and ISO TC211 has been the Guide to the Role of Geospatial Standards and the associated Technical Companion Document. At the 5th Meeting of the Committee of Experts in 2015 these two documents were formally adopted "as the international geospatial standards best practice for spatial data infrastructure, and encouraged all Member States to adopt and implement the recommended standards appropriate to their countries’ level of spatial data infrastructure (SDI) maturity" resolution 5/108.