W3C

Spatial data on the Web (SDW) Roadmap

Document Metadata

This document summarizes the various technologies that can be used for publishing and using geospatial data on the Web. Its scope includes any standards in any maturity phase that have to do with (geo)spatial data and the Web, developed in W3C, OGC or other communities.

Note about OGC standards

This roadmap only lists those OGC standards that are of interest in a Web publication context. Often, these OGC standards are well-deployed in the geospatial community but less so on the Web. Each of these standards was a good agreement at the time but now, simplified agreements are needed for a larger and different audience. OGC standards that could possibly be used in a Web publication context, even if they are not considered to be 'Web-friendly', are listed under "label Features not considered Web friendly". Our criteria for this categorization are rooted in the Spatial Data on the Web Best Practices. These criteria are:

  • The standard fully supports and follows the fundamental concepts of current web architectures. For example, it uses HTTP as an interface instead of only as a transport protocol.
  • The standard is easy and simple enough for non-experts in geospatial data and geospatial information systems to understand and use. Complexity in geospatial standards often stems from the fact that they cover a wide range of use cases, many of which are not required by non-experts.
  • The standard is web-developer-friendly, i.e. meets the expectations of many Web developers, for example by using encodings that are common on the Web, using HTTP verbs, etc. Note that this is a different criterium from the previous one; for example, it's about developers preferring encodings such as JSON to XML/GML. Note: what's 'developer-friendly' can be a trend sensitive thing.

See anything missing?

If you know of use cases that cannot be achieved today with Web technologies, please let us know!

To that end, you can start a new topic in the Web mapping category of W3C’s discourse forum or raise an issue on the GitHub repository of this document.

GitHub Discourse