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October 21st, 2020
Open Geospatial Consortium considering Apple’s Indoor Mapping Data Format as Community Standard

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is seeking public comment on the draft Indoor Mapping Data Format (IMDF) before seeking adoption as a Community Standard. This draft standard was originally developed and submitted to OGC by Apple. Comments are due by November 18, 2020.

OGC Members Apple, Autodesk, Esri, Google, New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT), Ordnance Survey Limited, and Safe Software support the submission.

Apple developed IMDF to deliver indoor maps for venues all around the world, making it possible for users of the Apple Maps app to find their way indoors and discover attractions, services, shopping, and dining.

IMDF provides a mobile-friendly, compact, human-readable, and highly extensible data model for any indoor space, providing a basis for orientation, navigation, and discovery.

Developers around the world have already created apps and services that offer indoor positioning with automatic floor level switching, seamless outside to indoor navigation, and location-based experiences using IMDF tools developed by Apple.

These tools include the online IMDF Sandbox, Indoor Survey app, and Apple MapKit and MapKit JS for the cross-platform rendering of IMDF.

Adoption of IMDF by OGC and the wider mapping community would make it possible to create apps and services using the same highly accurate and detailed map data on any app, website, or operating system.

Examples include government agencies using an electronic standard of indoor maps data for efficient response to events, hospitals providing mapping guidance to patients, doctors, and visitors, and airports creating a single map that can be easily styled by partners without altering the accuracy of the underlying data.

An OGC Community Standard is an official standard of OGC that was already available as a widely used, mature specification but was developed outside of OGC’s standards development and approval process. The originator of the standard brings to OGC a “snapshot” of their work that is then endorsed by OGC membership so that it can become part of the OGC Standards Baseline.

The candidate Indoor Mapping Data Format (IMDF) Community Standard is available for review and comment on the OGC Portal. Comments are due by November 18, 2020, and should be submitted via the method outlined on the Indoor Mapping Data Format (IMDF) Community Standard’s public comment request page.