Show Navigation | Hide Navigation
You are here:
Interoperability and standards support

Overview of OGC and ISO support

Release 9.3
Last modified October 13, 2010
E-mail This Topic Printable Version Give Us Feedback

Print all topics in : "Interoperability and standards support"

A number of organizations help to develop and contribute to interoperability standards and specifications for the geospatial (GIS) community. ESRI remains committed to interoperability and is active in supporting and enhancing support for various standards developed through these organizations. This help section provides a guide to support capabilities in ArcGIS.

There are two primary (and often collaborative) standards efforts led by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the International Standards Organization (ISO). ESRI, along with other participants within the GIS community, participates in the development of numerous specifications within these organizations. For example, ESRI led the effort on authoring the OGC and ISO simple features specification and was the U.S. representative for the ISO 19139 technical committee metadata standards efforts.

ESRI actively pursues adding standards support in ArcGIS and its related products.

Standards are ongoing and evolve over time. ESRI builds support for key standards and maintains its support as the standards evolve. We update our support for OGC and ISO specifications with each software release and often we provide other mechanisms to deliver support through special add-on solutions between software releases.

Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Services
Specification Links to more information
WMS - Web Mapping Service and
SLD - Styled Layer Descriptor
WFS - Web Feature Service
WCS - Web coverage service
CSW - Catalog services - Web Refer to the CSW links in the metadata table below.

GIS Data Formats
Specification Common tasks
GML - Geography Markup Language
OGC and ISO Simple Features (See notes below)

NOTE: Geodatabases in IBM DB2, Informix, Oracle, and PostgreSQL implement the OGC and ISO SQL data type for Spatial. This data type provides full geodatabase support as well as SQL access to feature class geometry.

NOTE: The OGC reference is OpenGIS® Implementation Specification for Geographic information - Simple feature access - Part 2: SQL option.

NOTE: The ISO reference is ISO/IEC 13249-3 SQL multimedia and application packages - Part 3: Spatial.

Metadata Specifications
Specification Common tasks
FGDC - U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee

ISO 19115/19139 Geographic Information Metadata
Metadata conversion between profiles
Publishing metadata as a web service
OAI-PMH - The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting
  • See the topic "Collecting metadata to create a community GIS portal" in the ArcIMS Online Help.
CSW - OGC Catalog services for the web
  • Working with a CSW metadata service using ArcIMS. See the ArcIMS help topic named "An overview of the CSW Connector" in the ArcIMS Online Help.
  • Working with a CSW metadata service using the GIS Portal Toolkit. See the PDF guide named Using the GIS Portal Toolkit.

Z39.50 - Library catalog services from the U.S. Library of Congress and ISO (Standard 23950)
  • Publishing and searching a Z39.50 metadata service using the ArcIMS Metadata Service. See the ArcIMS Help topic named "Adding Z39.50 support to your Metadata Service" in the ArcIMS Online Help.
  • Registering and using a Z39.50 metadata service using the GIS Portal Toolkit. See the PDF guide named Using the GIS Portal Toolkit.

If you cannot find support information about a particular standard that you are interested in, please contact us at to see if we can help support you. In addition, we would like to hear feedback on new or evolving standards you would like for ESRI to support.

Information on OGC compliance testing can be found at:

Please visit the Feedback page to comment or give suggestions on ArcGIS Desktop Help.
Copyright © Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.