Apple: IMDF has become an international industry standard

Apple’s Indoor Surveying and Mapping Data Format (IMDF) has been adopted by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) this week as a community standard for indoor positioning services. Apple announced in a press release on Tuesday that IMDF has been adopted by OGC as a community standard, paving the way for accurate indoor positioning data on various platforms.



OGC Chief Standards Officer Scott Simmons stated in another press release: “OGC is very pleased to see the explosive growth of IMDF as a simple way of describing indoor space content. As IMDF is now part of the OGC standard baseline, We look forward to a deeper integration with other geospatial standards to address the location needs of various regions.”


IMDF was developed by Apple to allow developers and other interested parties to create customized indoor maps that are protected by security and privacy controls. Examples of integration include stadiums, airports, school campuses, etc., some of which already exist in Apple Maps.


According to Apple, the format allows organizations to enable indoor location services on iPhones and iPads without the need to install additional infrastructure such as beacons. Other indoor map services require the above-mentioned beacons or other hardware to operate normally, making installation and maintenance complicated and inefficient. The IMDF data model is described as “mobile-friendly, compact, human-readable, time-aware, and highly scalable”, which can provide users with a basis for positioning, navigation, and discovery.


Currently, OGC members Apple, Autodesk, Esri, Google, New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT), Ordnance Survey Limited and Safe Software have all proposed IMDF as a community standard.

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