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ISO has approved an
International Standard developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium
(OGC(TM)) with input from the ISO technical committee responsible for
the ISO geographic information: ISO/TC211 Geographic
Information/Geomatics. The OpenGIS(R) Web Map Service (WMS)
Interface Specification was approved by a ballot of the national
bodies that are members of ISO.

The OGC&apo;s WMS Specification (now also ISO 19128) specifies protocols
that provide uniform access by HTML clients to maps rendered by WMS
enabled map servers on the internet. Software complying to the
specification enables automatic overlay, in ordinary web browsers, of
map images obtained from multiple map servers, regardless of map
scale, projection, earth coordinate system, storage format, or vendor
solution.

OGC is an international voluntary consensus standards organization
supported by its industry and government members. ISO is a “de jure”
standards organization in which appointed representatives from the
world&apo;s nations develop and adjudicate international standards. In
1995, OGC established a Class A Liaison with ISO/TC211 and in 1999 the
two organizations signed an agreement that allows both organizations
to take full advantage of the contributions of the other. The
agreement spells out the intellectual property rights related to
documents that fall under the agreement and calls for the alignment of
ISO and OGC procedures.

WMS is not the first standard to receive joint approval.
ISO19125-1:2004 (Geographic information – Simple Feature Access – Part
1: Common Architecture) and ISO 19125-2:2004 (Geographic information –
Simple feature access – Part 2: SQL Option) were published earlier
this year. OGC&apo;s Geography Markup Language (GML) is being
processed as ISO 19136 and several other Implementation Specifications
from OGC are being submitted for ISO work.