The ICA recently joined the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) as an associate member. As an international consortium of more than 500 businesses, government agencies, research organizations, and universities, the OGC focuses on the interoperability of geospatial data, applications and services “to make geospatial (location) information and services FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable” (https://www.ogc.org/).
OGC membership makes it possible for ICA Commission Members to participate in standards development and gives them access to member-only content in the OGC portal. This includes attendance and participation in OGC meetings, voting rights in working groups, and insight into geospatial technology trends with recommendations for actions in the technology forecast report. Additional benefits are the awareness and promotion of the ICA and cartography to a broader public and further intensified contact with leading geospatial organisations.
The Commissions on SDI and Standards, Cognitive Issues in Geographic Information Visualization and Open Source Geospatial Technologies have started regular discussions to coordinate the ICA’s involvement in the OGC. We think that the ICA can make a particular contribution to the standardization of cartography-specific terminology and by bringing in a user-centred perspective to the technical standards of the OGC through communicating our understanding of what design choices are effective. We are considering organizing a workshop attached to the ICC2021 where we can discuss and share our ideas with others in the ICA community.