Wayland, Mass. – The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) announced that the United Nations Geographic Information Working Group (UNGIWG) has taken Principal-level membership.

The UNGIWG addresses topics related to geospatial information sharing and quality of location information. The group is working across the United Nations to improve the efficient use of geographic information for better decision-making, to promote standards and norms for maps and other geospatial and location information, and to provide a forum for discussing common issues and emerging technological changes.

The Consortium’s Principal members, together with OGC Strategic members, constitute the OGC Planning Committee (PC). The PC is the final authority for approval of OGC standards as well as discussions related to market and business drivers impacting the standards development focus. Principal members provide valuable expertise to support the forward-thinking market strategy of the consortium, influence and maintain the Consortium's policies and procedures and they approve nominations to the OGC Board of Directors.

“The UNGIWG's Principal Membership in the OGC reflects the importance to the UN of efficient and effective sharing of geospatial information among UN agencies,” said Mark Reichardt, president and CEO of the OGC. “We look forward to their active involvement in our process, as they bring expertise, international experience and a tremendous breadth of requirements that will help shape and advance future OGC standards and best practices.”

Suha Ulgen, co-chair of the UNGIWG, said, “It is no coincidence that UNGIWG’s OGC membership is aligned with the launch of the Centre of Excellence for UN Spatial Data Infrastructure by UNGIWG. The centre will boost the UN’s capacity to leverage the power of geoinformatics in support of the its many mandates. As a Principal member, UNGIWG is looking forward to contributing to the OGC in the standards setting process, as well as the promulgation of geospatial information management best practices.”