OGC’s Smart Cities SI Framework white paper

By on 7 April, 2015
A Smart City uses location as an organising principal to benefit residents, visitors, and businesses of all types.  Graphic from Steve Liang, University of Calgary.

A Smart City uses location as an organising principal to benefit residents, visitors, and businesses of all types.
Graphic from Steve Liang, University of Calgary.


The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) membership has approved the OGC Smart Cities Spatial Information Framework white paper. This essential document for Smart City systems planning is available free at https://portal.opengeospatial.org/files/?artifact_id=61188.

Urban residents make up 54% of the global population, and that percentage is growing rapidly. Effective integration of human, physical, and digital systems operating in the built environment holds the promise of: improving the quality of life for urban residents; improving the governance of cities, and; making cities prosperous, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient. Location is a primary method for organising urban information and services, and communicating about location requires standards. The white paper addresses an open information technology standards framework that is critical to achieving the benefits of spatial communication for Smart Cities.

When organised using the concepts of space and time, information about cities can be the basis for many powerful services, analytics, and decision-making. Realising these benefits depends on effective communication of location information. That communication happens when platform, system, and application developers agree on location data encodings and spatial software interfaces. Even simple point location queries and responses require agreement on the naming and ordering of many parameters.

This OGC White Paper provides the beginnings of a spatial information framework for urban spatial intelligence based on open standards such as OGC CityGML, IndoorGML, Moving Features, and Augmented Reality Markup Language 2.0 (ARML 2.0). A spatial information framework provides the basis to integrate GIS features, imagery, sensor observations, and social media in support of city governance and services.

Open standards from OGC, ISO, and other standards organisations meet the need for interoperability, efficiency, application innovation, and cost effectiveness. They have been developed over the last two decades by industry, government, NGO, and academic partners. Many of the most important standards are widely implemented by vendors and solution providers.

This paper provides critical guidance on how to plan and implement open spatial standards architectures that guide deployment of interoperable information system components. It discusses open standards for mobile location communication, 3D urban models, building information models, indoor navigation, augmented reality, and sensor webs. It also gives Smart City system architects insight into how changing computing paradigms, particularly the widespread use of XML and the rise of RESTful programming, figure into Smart City planning.

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