Time for a name change?

When the Open GIS Consortium Inc. (OGC) was founded in 1994, getting proprietary geographic information systems to "talk" with one another was the organization's main focus. Since then, however, the need to access all kinds of geospatial data produced from various applications has become the target.

Geospatial data, also known as location-based data, is not produced just by GIS applications, but also by many other types of applications that manage information with a location-based element, such as a postal address.

This shift in priorities has some asking whether the name of the leading interoperability group still fits.

"I've been a proponent for changing the OGC name to the Open Geospatial Consortium," said Jack Pellicci, Oracle Corp.'s group vice president of business development. "We in Oracle and other companies are about geospatially enabling enterprises, and we need to get people to understand that this is about much more than just GIS technology and applications."

That's not a trivial concern to those who want to make a market, he said, because the projections for GIS sales are relatively flat "while the line for geospatial services is pretty steeply

upwards."

A name change is unlikely to happen soon because of trademark and other reasons, said Carl Reed, executive director of OGC's Specification Program.

However, he acknowledged that there was some pressure building in that direction. And within the consortium, there may already be recognition of the need, because staffers more readily refer to it using the acronym than the full name.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.