Registries and Repositories

Interoperability can only be achieved by letting other communities see and use information models and service definitions. A registry provides the infrastructure for data providers to publish and manage these objects, and also for users to discover and exploit them. A registry provides the hub of a distributed data infrastructure. According to ISO 19135, a registry is an “information system on which a register is maintained”, whilst a register is a “set of files containing identifiers assigned to items with descriptions of the associated items” [ISO 19135 Geographic Information – Procedures for item registration]. Essentially, a register is a controlled list of information. For the IODE/JCOMM community, a registry will provide a repository to discover the availability of a resource, such as vocabularies, features, services, and datasets.

ISO 19135

The process for establishing registers of items of geographic information ensures that all registers contain information in a standard format and described in a consistent way, so that accessing that information provides unambiguous answers. The ISO 19135 standard [ISO 19135 Geographic Information – Procedures for item registration] specifies procedures to be followed in establishing, maintaining, and publishing registers of unique, unambiguous and permanent identifiers and meanings that are assigned to items of geographic information. The standard specifies elements of information that are necessary to provide identification and meaning to the registered items and to manage the registration of these items.

IHO Hydrographic Registry

The IHO is in the process of developing an IHO Geospatial Information Infrastructure. The core component of this will be the S-100 Geospatial Standard for Hydrographic Data and its associated information registry. S-100 will be the base standard for new product specifications that can cover a wide range of hydrographic applications including information on hydrographic data, portrayal and metadata. There is a temporary page for the IHO Feature Dictionary registers at

See also "Register Structure and Registration Process for an IHO Object Register" (PDF file )

DGIWG Feature and Attribute Data Registry

The Digital Geospatial Information Working Group (DGIWG) controls and maintains the content of several component registers including the DGIWG Feature Data Dictionary (FDD) Register. FDD contains geographic information concepts used by the DGIWG community to characterize aspects of real world phenomena. It is based on the Feature and Attribute Coding Catalogue (FACC), a component of the Digital Geographic Information Exchange Standard (DIGEST). More information at

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