The Internet and the Web

The Internet - a network of connected computers that enable computers to talk to each other using standard protocols - has reshaped how we view and share information. Standards are the basis for the success of the Internet and the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web or Web, refers to a vast collection of interlinked information and devices on the Internet. Each of the devices on the Internet can be distinguished from all others via a unique identifier known as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

Interoperability Is Essential

Non-interoperability impedes the sharing of data and the sharing of computing resources, causing organizations to spend much more than necessary on geospatial information technology development. At its best, the World Wide Web works in a near frictionless environment, allowing data and processes to flow and interact with a minimal number of barriers. Standards tear down barriers and obstacles to the flow of information and services – they make the World Wide Web as we know it possible. OGC plays the particular role of making spatial information open and seamless on the World Wide Web.

Standards are a fundamental enabling technology of the Internet. Standards allow thousands of applications, vendor solutions, and technologies to be interoperable. The Internet, via standards, is vendor and content-neutral. A standard describes requirements and recommendations that have been agreed to in a consensus forum, such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), or the OGC. To be useful, standards should represent the “best engineering practices” providing technical value, both in enhancement of individual products, and the multiplicative factor of enabling multiple separate applications from different vendors to operate as one solution.