News from ISO/TC 211 Geographic information/Geomatics

ISO/TC 211 attends OGC Member Meeting

A number of ISO/TC 211 regulars attended the recent OGC Member Meetings at the European Space Agency facility in Frascati, Italy. It was impressive to have the larger meetings in a room with satellites suspended from the roof!

More professionally, it is always interesting to hear of our standards being used in various ways. In OGC meetings, that is mainly those standards which have been jointly developed over the years or prepared at OGC and fast tracked to ISO standards. As usual in an OGC Member Meeting week, there were about 70 different meeting sessions. As the meetings were hosted at ESA, I’ll mention a couple particularly from a space perspective:

  • Can ISO 19111 Geographic information – Referencing by coordinates be used in non-terrestrial situations? Such CRSs already exist for many bodies in our Solar System. OGC and ESA are working on some interesting scenarios involving reference systems tied to the centre of mass of the solar system, and the reference systems of moving space platforms. They’ll let us know if they recommend any changes. When (and how) should a launch vehicle and payload switch from a terrestrial reference frame to a solar system one, and then if it’s landing, to the reference system of the destination?
  • And nearer to earth, “Analysis Ready Data” is a phrase “almost standardised” by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites. OGC and ISO/TC 211 have a joint new project to consider this specification and whether it can be extended to describe analysis ready data from sources other than satellites. The ISO new work item proposal will be voted on soon as ISO 19176-1 Geographic information —Analysis Ready Data — Part 1: Framework and Fundamentals; OGC will start a vote soon on establishing an Analysis Ready Data Standards Working Group.

OGC’s Chief Standards Officer, Scott Simmons, has produced a useful 15-minute overview of the week and given us permission to publish it. The full set of slides presented to the closing plenary is publicly available here.


Published 2023-03-03 - Read more News


The 2023 Open Standards and Open Source Software Code Sprint

Do not miss the 2023 Open Standards and Open Source Software Code Sprint. The Code Sprint will cover multiple open source projects and related OGC & ISO/TC 211 Standards – including APIs (ISO 19168) and indoor modeling (ISO 19164). Click here to read more.


Published 2023-02-23 - Read more News


Postcard from Abu Dhabi

I write this from the very smart St Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi, which has been the location for this week’s meetings of the UN-GGIM Arab States regional committee. Our regular ISO/TC 211 delegates from Saudi Arabia asked that we attend to help countries across the region better understand how they can use and relate to open standards for geographic information. There are also invited attendees from OGC, ISPRS, ICA, the SDG Data Alliance, and Geospatial World, 

The week started with a two-day workshop on the UN-GGIM IGIF with reports of progress from some countries and international input focussing on the harder legal and policy pathways. I had a short presentation to introduce the Standards Guide that exists to help countries understand how to include the standards pathway in the national action plans. It was interesting to hear again about the work of the SDG Data Alliance which exists to help countries create and implement the IGIF. This can include using the cloud SDG Data Hubs generously provided free to nations by ESRI. I still hope that they will clarify us which standards are embedded in that solution.

It has been really interesting to learn what is happening in the areas of SDIs, IGIF, and other geospatial subjects in presentations from countries that I haven’t met with professionally before: Tunisia, Morocco, Oman, and to enjoy professional conversation with colleagues from Sudan, Palestine and other places. The “big three” in the region may well be Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, but there is plenty of good work going on in other countries in the region.

Hopefully some of these conversations will lead to delegates from some of those countries joining us in our work at ISO/TC 211. All of them are already members of ISO, and several are “Observing Members” of ISO/TC 211. It was good to talk with individuals keen to become more involved, and hopefully we can help them do that.

If you do ever visit Abu Dhabi, I suggest doing it at this time of year when only the middle of the day is a bit too hot. And it was a real treat to have a tour of the magnificent modern Presidential Palace with its beautiful colour scheme and awesome mosaic work and scale.

Peter Parslow, 16th February 2023
Chair, ISO/TC 211


Published 2023-02-16 Read more News


This committee contributes with over 100 standards supporting the following Sustainable Development Goals:





Standardization in the field of digital geographic information.

This work aims to establish a structured set of standards for information concerning objects or phenomena that are directly or indirectly associated with a location relative to the Earth.

Within the scope of geographic information, these standards may specify methods, tools, and services for data management. Data management includes acquiring, processing, analyzing, accessing, presenting, and publishing geographic data for users and systems.

The work shall link to appropriate standards for information technology and data where possible, and provide a framework for the development of sector-specific applications using geographic data.


ISO/TC 211 Business Plan

Click here to access the business plan


Want to get involved?

Standards are developed by the people who need them – that could mean you. Technical committees include experts from both standards and industry and these experts are put forward by ISO’s national members. If you want to help shape future standards in your field, contact your national member


published ISO standards *

under the direct responsibility of ISO/TC 211



ISO standards under development *

under the direct responsibility of ISO/TC 211



Related ISO pages

Our page on

Who develops ISO standards?

Why get involved in standards development?‚Äč