A good example is the Simple Feature Access - "OpenGIS® Simple Features Access (SFA), also called ISO 19125". Why use one over the other? And why have both?

  • 3
    The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from. - Andrew S. Tanenbaum
    – Vince
    Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


Practical difference from users point of view is that you must pay for ISO standards but OGC standards are available for free. See for example https://www.iso.org/standard/40114.html if you want to pay 158 Swiss francs for Simple feature access — Part 1: Common architecture.

ISO and OGC are different and independent organizations but they co-operate. OGC is somewhat more agile and it can get standards accepted faster. ISO has more official status and especially actors on public and defense sector often require that just ISO standards are followed.

  • Worth noting that the two standards are exactly the same minus some boilerplate about who "owns" them.
    – Ian Turton
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 9:15

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