Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Enhancing global geospatial data standards

Friday 24 Nov 2017

Canterbury Plains

Canterbury Plains

International meetings on a subject that enables much of the technology that enhances our lives will be held in New Zealand next month.

The Technical Committee of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the Digital Geographic Information Standards committee of the International Standards Organisations (ISO) are both meeting in New Zealand for the first time.

Geospatial standards enable us to collect, share and use location-based data efficiently to deliver smart applications at local, national and global scale in a huge range of areas across hundreds of thousands of organisations world-wide.Being able to share and use geospatial data is essential the operation of society, the economy and understanding how we can manage our natural resources in a sustainable way. So whether it’s using in-car navigation systems, viewing maps on a smart phone, providing information to citizens during an earthquake or information on when the next bus will arrive, new developments in agriculture and how we monitoring our environment, these standards play a role.

Geospatial standards are necessarily complex because digital geographic data and processing are complex. As new technologies develop such as the Internet of Things, the standards need to evolve. Organisations like the OGC and ISO have been working for many years to develop standards to make the sharing of data possible.

The meetings in New Zealand are part of the ongoing work to develop new standards and evolve existing ones.They will discuss challenges and opportunities for geospatial data in agriculture, environment, transport and infrastructure, disaster management, regional development, gaming and much more.

The ISO Technical Committee meeting is hosted by Land Information New Zealand and will be held in Wellington from 27th November to 1st December.

The Open Geospatial Consortium's 105th Technical & Planning Committee meeting will be hosted by Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research in Palmerston North from 4th – 8th December. This is the first time the international OGC has met in New Zealand. It offers a great opportunity for NZ businesses, government and other organisations to connect with the work carried out by the OGC and to learn and discuss the ways we can more effectively share geospatial data.

As part of these events Manaaki Whenua -Landcare Research and the OCG will host a two one day summits focussing on topics highly relevant to New Zealand; Environment and Agriculture.

A Location Powers summit “Data, Interoperability and AgriTech” will bring together international and New Zealand experts to discuss where and what standards are needed to enable the effective sharing of agricultural data to improve production practices allowing more informed decision-making.

NZ farmers and growers are increasingly using spatial data to make more informed decisions and improve production practices. Smart agriculture requires data to be shared between different technologies and organisations and the application of global standards is critical to the effective data collection, management and integration.

A busy schedule of talks and discussions will cover

  • Precision agriculture and spatial data
  • Farm information systems and GIS in agriculture and horticulture
  • Supply chains, distribution and traceability
  • Big agriculture data
  • Agricultural data sharing issues and challenges

A Technical Summit on the application of geospatial standards to Environmental Data will also take place as part of the OGC programme. This workshop will enable NZ experts to learn from international experience as well as show-case technical innovations from NZ organisations across land, marine, and freshwater domains.


The OGC is an international consortium of more than 515 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location based services, and mainstream IT. OGC standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at

More information about the New Zealand OGC workshops, contact Christine Harper, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research at