INSPIRE Knowledge Base

ISO/TC 211

ISO/TC 211 Geographic information/Geomatics
ISO/TC 211
Mission and Objectives: 
The foremost aim of international standardization is to facilitate the exchange of goods and services through the elimination of technical barriers to trade. Three bodies are responsible for the planning, development and adoption of International Standards: ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is responsible for all sectors excluding electrotechnical, which is the responsibility of IEC (International Electrotechnical Committee), and most of the Telecommunications Technologies, which are largely the responsibility of ITU (International Telecommunication Union). ISO is a legal association, the members of which are the National Standards Bodies (NSBs) of some 130 countries (organizations representing social and economic interests at international level), supported by a Central Secretariat based in Geneva, Switzerland. The principal deliverable of ISO is the International Standard. An International Standard embodies the essential principles of global openness and transparency, consensus and technical coherence. These are safeguarded through its development in an ISO Technical Committee (ISO/TC), representative of all interested parties, supported by a public comment phase (the ISO Technical Enquiry). ISO and its Technical Committees are also able to offer the ISO Technical Specification (ISO/TS), the ISO Public Available Specification (ISO/PAS) and the ISO Technical Report (ISO/TR) as solutions to market needs. These ISO products represent lower levels of consensus and have therefore not the same status as an International Standard. ISO/TC 211 is a technical committee formed under ISO. It was established in 1994, the scretariat in with Standards Norway, secretary Bjørhild Sæterøy. Chairman is Olaf Østensen, Norway. The overall objectives of ISO/TC 211 are: • increase the understanding and usage of geographic information • increase the availability, access, integration, and sharing of geographic information • promote the efficient, effective, and economic use of digital geographic information and associated hardware and software systems • contribute to a unified approach to addressing global ecological and humanitarian problems The ultimate benefits of standardization are based on the use of widely recognized and accepted international voluntary standards developed to the highest technical level by an open consensus process that includes all those affected. Beyond standardization of traditional geographic functionality: innovative, new, and unknown technology and application domains present challenges transcending the established process of geographic standardization. Previously, standardization was a process for recognizing and codifying the status quo of technology. Standardization is now beginning to define the requirements and implementation of new technology. The implied mandate for ISO/TC 211 is to develop an integrated set of standards for geographic information. Equally important, if not more so, is the unstated strategic direction for the international deployment of such standards. Accordingly, the strategic directions for ISO/TC 211 can be viewed in terms of development, deployment, and the underlying coordination/consensus process that integrates both these phases for successful standardization. For development, the major issues include: standards technical development, organizations developing geographic or related standards, priorities of standards, standards and interoperability testing, and speed of developing technical specifications. For deployment, the key issues are: implementation of standards, standards education / training, and user communities supporting ISO/TC 211 standards.
Formal Mandate: 
Mandated by ISO - the International Organization for Standardization. Scope: Standardization in the field of digital geographic information. This work aims to establish a structured set of standards for information concerning objects or phenomena that are directly or indirectly associated with a location relative to the Earth. These standards may specify, for geographic information, methods, tools and services for data management (including definition and description), acquiring, processing, analyzing, accessing, presenting and transferring such data in digital/electronic form between different users, systems and locations. The work shall link to appropriate standards for information technology and data where possible, and provide a framework for the development of sector-specific applications using geographic data.
Standards development Outreach activities icluding workshops
Active (participating) members: Australia (SAI) Austria (ON) Belgium (IBN) Canada (SCC) People's Republic of China (SAC) Czech Republic (CNI) Denmark (DS) Finland (SFS) - (TIEKE) Germany (DIN) Italy (UNI) - (UNINFO) Japan (JISC) Republic of Korea (KATS) Malaysia (DSM) Morocco (SNIMA) Netherlands (NEN) New Zealand (SNZ) Norway (NSF) - NTS/IT Portugal (IPQ) Russian Federation (GOST R) Saudi Arabia (SASO) Serbia and Montenegro (ISSM) South Africa (SABS) Spain (AENOR) Sweden (SIS) Switzerland (SNV) Thailand (TISI) United Kingdom (BSI) USA (ANSI) Observing members: Argentina (IRAM) Bahrain (BSMD) (corr.) Brunei Darussalam (CPRU) (corr.) Colombia (ICONTEC) Croatia (DZNM) Cuba (NC) Estonia (ESK) (corr.) France (AFNOR) Greece (ELOT) Hong Kong (ITCHKSAR) Hungary (MSZT) Iceland (IST) India (BIS) Indonesia (BSN) Islamic Republic of Iran (ISIRI) Ireland (NSAI) Jamaica (JBS) Kenya (KEBS) Mauritius (MSB) Oman (DGSM) (corr.) Pakistan (PSQCA) Philippines (BPS) Poland (PKN) Slovakia (SUTN) Slovenia (SIST) Turkey (TSE) United Republic of Tanzania (TBS) Ukraine (DSSU) Uruguay (UNIT) Zimbabwe (SAZ) Liaison members: CEN/TC 287, Geographic information CEOS, Committee on Earth Observation Satellites DGIWG, Digital Geographic Information Working Group EPSG, European Petroleum Survey Group FAO, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN FIG, International Federation of Surveyors GSDI, Global Spatial Data Infrastructure IAG, International Association of Geodesy ICA, International Cartographic Association ICAO, International Civil Aviation Organization IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society IHB, International Hydrographic Bureau ISCGM, International Steering Committee for Global Mapping ISPRS, International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing JRC, Joint Research Centre, European Commission OGC, Open GIS Consortium, Incorporated PC IDEA, Permanent Committee on Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Americas PCGIAP, The Permanent Committee on GIS Infrastructure for Asia and the Pacific SCAR, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research UN Economic Commission for Europe, Statistical Division UNGEGN, United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names UNGIWG, United Nations Geographic Information Working Group WMO, World Meteorological Organization PAIGH – Pan American Institute of Geography and History

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • participate in the review process
  • yes
  • be kept informed
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    Fully global
    Societal Sector
    Specific Expertise
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    As standards are necessary for any SDI, the organization's experience in this field is of immense importance.
    Environmental application domains
    underlying all that have a spatial component