OGC’s move to address responsible land governance

By on 23 February, 2016


The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the World Bank have decided to coordinate two important meetings, in effect coordinating open geospatial standards with global land administration and poverty efforts.

The annual OGC Technical Committee and Planning Committee meeting will be held 7-11 March, 2016, just ahead of the 17th annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference 2016: ‘Scaling up Responsible Land Governance’, which will take place 14-18 March. Both conferences will be held in the same location at the World Bank in Washington, DC.

To encourage and align discussion on the need for agreed land administration data models and encoding standards, a series of joined events have been planned. The results of this discussion will be presented as a draft charter for a proposed OGC Land Administration Domain Working Group.

Geospatial technologies help the World Bank to effectively serve its client governments, particularly in the sphere of land management and economic development. Land management involves many domains, including law, government, real estate, water, forestry, agriculture, banking, community development, and others. These domains frequently need to share geospatial information and this is where OGC plays an important role in advancing the interoperability and integration of geospatial technologies and data.

It is anticipated that these standards, implemented in a wide variety of information systems, will enable the World Bank to more effectively help its client countries use land tenure information and other associated geospatial information for monitoring, mortgage, land use planning, internal revenue generation based on land and property tax and many other functions.

In recent years, domain experts in water resources monitoring and management, pipeline management, geology and weather have used OGC processes to help develop domain-specific standards, such as WaterML 2.0, PipelineML, GeoSciML and WXXM. The soil information management community developed their SoilML standard as part of an OGC Interoperability Experiment and are considering offering this standard for formal OGC adoption. These domain standards all have a role to play in land and poverty because they can help stakeholders – from smallholders to large businesses – manage land-related assets and liabilities.

In addition to SoilML, perhaps the current OGC domain standards work most relevant to next month’s World Bank conference theme is that being done in the OGC Land and Infrastructure (LandInfra) Domain Working Group (LandInfra DWG) and Standards Working Group (LandInfra SWG) and in the OGC Urban Planning DWG.

The OGC LandInfra working groups address civil engineering, building information models and continuity between indoor and outdoor spatial reference systems, but they also aim to provide a standard data model and encoding for property boundaries so that information about properties can be recorded and shared.

Also central to this discussion is the work of the OGC Urban Planning DWG, which relies on reliable information about communities’ real requirements and current social structures, which vary from place to place and time to time. This understanding is evident in “Fit for Purpose Land Administration”, a concept being advanced by the International Federation of Surveyors, the World Bank and number of other non-governmental development organisations. This concept will be discussed in several sessions during the World Bank conference. It involves developing low-cost land tenure approaches that meet the immediate needs of the people living on the land, and focuses on general boundaries rather than fixed boundaries. This is also supported low-cost satellite and aerial imagery rather than expensive field surveys, as well as opportunities for upgrading accuracy and land administration systems as needs evolve.

For further information, please visit the OGC blogpost about the meetings.


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