Given the breadth of information available in the world of GIS, as well as the vast number of applications for the data collected in this industry, collaboration and openness are essential for the best possible utilisation. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) are both strong supporters of openness, and they will continue to work together to achieve those goals. Last month, the two organisations announced the renewal of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). They began formally collaborating in 2008 with their first Memorandum of Understanding, and they have coordinated numerous joint presentations as well as co-hosting “code sprints.”
Both the OGC and OSGeo are dedicated to the preservation and expansion of open standards and open source software in the geospatial and non-geospatial industries. Both organisations have stated their support for the principles of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) and Open data. The two organisations have agreed to collaborate on activities such as planning and executing joint code sprints, identifying viable open source technologies that could be used for adopted OGC standards, coordinating joint outreach activities, and working together on new standards that may be required as a result of new and updated open source software.
The OGC is a global consortium comprised of over 500 businesses, government agencies, research organisations, and universities. The consortium’s members are motivated to make geospatial information and services FAIR. The OGC’s consensus process generates royalty-free, open geospatial standards that are freely available to the public. Furthermore, they actively analyse emerging technology trends and operate a research and development lab to create and test innovative prototype solutions to their members’ use cases.
Meanwhile, the OSGeo is a non-profit dedicated to promoting global adoption of open geospatial technology. The foundation fulfils several functions, including financial, organisational, and legal support to the larger open source geospatial community, as well as acting as an independent legal entity to which community members can contribute code, funding, and other resources. Those contributors can be confident that their contributions will continue to benefit the public. All projects of the foundation are freely available and usable under an Open Source Initiative certified open source licence.
This Memorandum of Understanding should only help each of these organisations in their ongoing endeavours. “We both have a growing market to deliver to,” said OGC CEO Dr. Nadine Alameh, “and our joint commitment to Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) and Open data principles will help us both accelerate how the world integrates geospatial/location information into everything.” “Our long-standing collaboration with OGC will now evolve to the next level of OSGeo project standards development, implementation, and compliance,” said OSGeo President Dr. Angelos Tzotsos. We are excited about what the future holds as a result of the renewed Memorandum of Understanding, and we look forward to further collaboration.”