Overview of OGC and ISO TC211 support

There are two primary (and often collaborative and coordinated) geospatial standards efforts led by

ESRI, along with other participants within the GIS community, participates in the development of numerous specifications within these organizations.

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, updating its support for OGC and ISO specifications with each software release and often providing interim software updates and add-ins to add standards support between major releases.

Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. Web Services


Links to more information

WMS—Web Mapping Service, and SLD—Styled Layer Descriptor

WFS—Web Feature Service


WCS—Web coverage service


CSW—Catalog services for the Web

OGC and ISO support links
GIS Data Formats



GML—Geography Markup Language

An overview of GML support

OGC and ISO Simple Features (See notes below.)

OGC and ISO support for data

Geodatabases in IBM DB2, Informix, Oracle, SQL Server, 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.


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


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

Metadata Specifications


Common tasks

Content standards for geospatial metadata

Metadata standards and styles

Metadata management in ArcGIS

Metadata workflows

Publishing and searching metadata on the Web

Publishing metadata using the GIS Portal Toolkit

CSW—OGC Catalog services for the Web

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)

Registering and using a Z39.50 metadata service using the GIS Portal Toolkit (See the PDF guide Using the GIS Portal Toolkit.)

Metadata support in ArcGIS

Information on OGC compliance testing for ArcGIS can be found at