So there is a ton of talk about Esri’s REST API trying to become an OGC standard on Twitter. We mentioned it on my hangout yesterday and it’s still a hot topic. Here are some bullet points.

  • OGC exists to help software vendors, open source projects, contractors market to the federal government. There is no altruistic goal other than to make money.
  • OGC standards are standard only in the world of contracts. Just because Esri gets their REST API “blessed” doesn’t make it worth using any more than it was before.
  • Esri submitted their REST API to OGC so they could use it in federal contracts instead of existing OGC standards which nobody uses.
  • Esri REST API won’t be used outside of Esri software so it really doesn’t matter.
  • Esri’s consulting arm is competing with all of us. Beware as they’ll squeeze you out the minute they can.
  • OGC standards suck so that’s why people are always proposing new ones. By next year there will be another “standard” coming up that will replace Esri’s.
  • The simple fact that there is a proposal for “OGCJSON” should tell you all you need to know about these standards.
  • Esri exists to make money, that’s OK as I work for the same reasons. Just don’t wrap their business model up with saving the world.
  • KML is the only OGC Standard people actually use. The rest are check boxes on a form.

Don’t get emotional about OGC standards. That’s what they want, people to actually start caring.

Mission Accomplished