Distribution Services, API’s

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international industry consortium of more than 500 private companies public institutions that develop publicly available interface standards. The consortium engages companies, government agencies and universities all around the world with the main goal of promoting the use and interoperability of geospatial information.

OGC(R) standards are technical documents that detail interfaces or encodings. Software developers use these documents to build open interfaces and encodings into their products and services. Ideally, when these standards are implemented by two different software engineers working independently, the resulting components work together without further debugging.

OGC Web Services (OWS) are OGC standards created for use in World Wide Web applications. The most commonly used OWS are WMS/WMTS, WFS and WCS.

Web Map Service (WMS) provides a http interface for requesting geo-referenced map images from distributed databases. The response is one or more map images, returned as jpeg, png, etc., that can be displayed in a web browser application.

Web Feature Service (WFS) offers direct fine-grained access to geographic information at the feature and feature property level. WFS specifies discovery operations, query operations, locking operations, transaction operations and operations to manage stored, parameterized query expressions.

Web Coverage Service (WCS) offers access to multi-dimensional coverage data or raster over internet. Examples of such data are sensor time series data, satellite imagery, point clouds etc.


More about WMS: http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/wms/introduction

More about WFS: http://docs.opengeospatial.org/guides/16-025r2.pdf

More about WCS: http://external.opengeospatial.org/twiki_public/CoveragesDWG/WebHome

Data Stewardship

If you lack the capacity to create long-term available distribution services and maybe even lack the possibility of sustainable storage of your data, there is a solution called Data Stewardship. More information about Data Stewardship organizations can be found here.