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May 6th, 2015
OGC Announces Standard for Concise Description of Earth Coordinate Reference Systems

Well-Known Text (WKT), specified several years ago in the OGC and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard, “Geographic information – Simple feature access – Part 1: Common architecture”, describes a compact machine- and human-readable representation of geometric objects. The newly announced standard revises the earlier WKT specification to be consistent with OGC Abstract Specification Topic 2 and ISO 19111:2007 – Spatial referencing by coordinates. It also extends the content to include coordinate transformation definitions.

The text strings specified in the new standard provide a means for humans and machines to correctly and unambiguously interpret and utilise a coordinate reference system definition. Look-ups or external references are necessary only to define coordinate operation mathematics. For the sake of simplicity, the standard omits certain metadata, and for this reason it is not suitable for the storage of definitions of coordinate reference systems or coordinate operations.

The Well-known Text Representation of Coordinate Reference Systems Encoding Standard was prepared by the Open Geospatial Consortium jointly with ISO Technical Committee ISO/TC 211, Geographic information/Geomatics. The document will also be published as ISO 19162.

The OGC Well-known Text (WKT) Representation of Coordinate Reference Systems Encoding Standard is available at http://docs.opengeospatial.org/is/12-063r5/12-063r5.html.

The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 500 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. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/