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The 43rd meeting of the International Standards Committee for Geographic Information, ISO/TC 211, took place in Redlands, California at the headquarters of ESRI, in December.

74 delegates from 22 countries attended, along with representatives from 20 liaison organisations. The UK was represented by Peter Parslow and Roger Lott, from the AGI Standards Committee under the auspices of the British Standards Institution (BSI). Jon Harrod Booth had been present at working meetings earlier in the week. Three other members joined in sessions remotely by WebEx.

The Secretariat of the committee now passes from Norway to Sweden. The new Chair is Christina Wasström, and the new Secretary is Therése Andrén. There was widespread praise for the contributions made over the past 22 years by the outgoing Chair and Secretary, Olaf Østensen and Bjørnhild Saeterøy. The series of more than 60 ISO Geospatial Standards that have been developed during this time have made an important contribution to the improvement of geospatial information access, interoperability and knowledge across the globe.

The priorities for the committee were identified as implementation (making sure that people use the standards) and increased cooperation with other communities such as BIM, Intelligent Transport Systems, Land Administration, UNGGIM (Global Geospatial Information Management), Statistics and Smart Cities.

There is a proposal to hold a workshop at the next ISO/TC 211 plenary meeting, to look at the wider geo-BIM issues. This will also involve the corresponding ISO committee for BIM (ISO/TC 59/SC13), the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and Building Smart International. The aim of the workshop would be to improve joint working between the four groups. The UK has offered to assist with this proposal.

30 Standards projects are currently underway, many of them revisions of existing standards. Of these, two are UK led – revision of ISO 19111 Spatial referencing by coordinates (Roger Lott) and revision of ISO 19112 Spatial referencing by geographic identifiers (Rob Walker). UK also have participants in several other projects including:

  • ISO 19131 Data product specification – revision (Rob Walker);
  • ISO 19146 Cross-domain vocabularies - revision (Jon Harrod-Booth);
  • ISO 19150-4 Service ontology (Doug Specht);
  • ISO 19160-3 Address data quality (Rob Walker);
  • ISO 19161-1 Geodetic references – ITRS (Roger Lott, Mark Greaves);
  • ISO 19166 BIM to GIS mapping (Jon Harrod-Booth, Peter Parslow).

The next face to face meetings will be held in Stockholm, 28th May – 2nd June 2017.

For further details of the work of the Standards Committee, see their page on this AGI website:


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