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March 17th, 2017
OGC Approves New Standard for Geological Science Data

The membership of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) has approved GeoSciML as an OGC Standard. The OGC GeoSciML Standard defines a model and encoding for geological features commonly described and portrayed in geological maps, cross sections, geological reports, and databases.

GeoSciML provides a mechanism for storage and exchange of a broad range of geologic data enabling users to generate geologic depictions (such as maps) in a consistent and repeatable fashion.

The model was developed by the IUGS CGI (Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information) and version 4.1 is the first version officially submitted as an OGC standard. This standard describes a logical model and GML/XML encoding rules for geological map data, geological time scales, boreholes, and metadata for laboratory analyses.

“Earlier versions of GeoSciML have been used for several years by geological data sharing projects around the world when GeoSciML was only an IUGS (International Union of Geological Sciences) standard. These include OneGeology, INSPIRE, the US Geoscience Information Network (USGIN), and the Australian AuScope and AusGIN projects,” said Ollie Raymond, chair of the GeoSciML SWG. “Having GeoSciML version 4 ratified as an official OGC standard is a huge step forward for GeoSciML, particularly to reassure application developers that GeoSciML is the way forward for geoscience data transfer. The collaboration of the previous IUGS GeoSciML working group and OGC has been a great example of effective cooperation between standards organisations.”

Maria Glícia da Nóbrega Coutinho the Head of the International Affairs Office of CPRM (The Geological Survey of Brazil) and OneGeology Board representative for South America said: “The formal documentation and approval of the GeoSciML 4.1 standards by OGC allows us to expand the exchange of highly interoperable geoscience data throughout the South American continent with the support of the OneGeology standards support network and allowed us to achieve the maximum 5 stars of OneGeology interoperability.”

The GeoSciML standard includes a Lite model, used for simple map-based applications; a basic model, aligned with INSPIRE, for basic data exchange; and an extended model to address more complex scenarios. The standard also provides patterns, profiles (most notably of OGC Observations and Measurements – also ISO 19156), and best practices to deal with common geoscience use cases.

More information on the GeoSciML standard, including schemas, can be found at www.opengeospatial.org/standards/geosciml.

About the OGC

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 525 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location based services, and mainstream IT. OGC standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at www.opengeospatial.org.