OGC seeks Public Comment on FlatGeobuf becoming a Community Standard
FlatGeobuf is a performant binary encoding for geographic data that works well as a “cloud native” lossless format for vector data.
10 February 2023: The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is looking to adopt FlatGeobuf as an official OGC Community Standard. Comments are due by March 13, 2023.
FlatGeobuf is a performant binary encoding for geographic data that can hold a collection of Simple Features. Because of its simple core design and efficient I/O handling, FlatGeobuf can work well as a “cloud native” lossless format for vector data. FlatGeobuf is based on flatbuffers.
FlatGeobuf was designed to be: suitable for storing and accessing large volumes of static data; significantly faster than legacy formats; unconstrained by size limitations for contents or metainformation, and; suitable for streaming/random access. No other current format combines good performance and “cloud native” design.
In addition to the cloud native use-case, FlatGeobuf is suitable as a fast interoperable serialization format for efficient communication between systems. It can also be used as a practical replacement for Shapefiles because it has the same design goal without the shortcomings (no required sidecars, no size limitations and more flexible column/value representation). FlatGeobuf could also be used as an optional output format for WFS and OGC API - Features and would, in this case, compete very favorably with GML and GeoJSON. Some GIS servers and clients use a custom binary encoding instead of JSON to improve efficiency for feature access over HTTP; FlatGeobuf provides similar efficiency in an open format.
The initial stable specification version of FlatGeobuf is versioned as 3.0 and was released with reference implementation and GDAL implementation early in 2020.
An OGC Community Standard is an official standard of OGC that is developed and maintained external to the OGC. The originator of the standard brings to OGC a “snapshot” of their work that is then endorsed by OGC membership as a stable, widely implemented standard that becomes part of the OGC Standards Baseline.
The Justification Document for FlatGeobuf as an OGC Community Standard is available for review and comment on the OGC Portal. Comments are due by March 13, 2023, and should be submitted via the method outlined on the FlatGeobuf Community Standard Justification’s public comment request page.
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