The social value of the Web is that it enables human communication, commerce, and opportunities to share knowledge. One of World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) primary goals is to make these benefits available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability. This includes Web access from mobile phones and other mobile devices as well as the use of Web technology connecting intelligent devices in consumer electronics, printers, broadcasting, automobiles, and utility and transportation networks, to name just a few - what is becoming collectively known as the Internet of Things (IoT).
Everything has location. In the context of the Internet of Things it is increasingly being realized that location is vital to the emerging field of connected devices. To improve interoperability and integration of spatial data on the Web the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) are announcing today a new collaboration which is intended to make the geospatial a fundamental component of the Web.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international industry consortium of over 500 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web.
There is a gap between the specialized world of geographic data and that of the Web. Bridging GIS systems and the Web will create a network effect that enriches both worlds. At a March 2014 Workshop on Linking Geospatial Data, co-organized by OGC and W3C and in partnership with the UK Government Linked Data Working Group, Google, and the Ordnance Survey, participants discussed the challenges of integrating geospatial data and technology into the web. Based on the challenges identified in that Workshop, the collaboration announced today will enable publishers of spatial data, providers of services that consume the data, and application developers to establish common practices and reduce the cost of integrating spatial data on the Web. The Geospatial and Web communities will document use cases and requirements with the goal of developing best practices for publishing spatial data on the Web. The collaboration is also expected to result in new W3C Recommendations and OGC standards.