ISO/TS 19158:2012 Geographic information - Quality assurance of data supply

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Full name ISO/TS 19158:2012, Geographic information – Quality assurance of data supply
Version Edition 1
Amendments None
Corrigenda None
Published by ISO/TC 211
Languages English
Online overview
Type of standard ISO Technical Specification
Application level
Related standard(s) ISO 19131:2007, Geographic information – Data product specifications
ISO 19157:2012, Geographic information – Data quality
ISO 9000:2005, Quality management systems – Fundamentals and vocabulary
Application The standard provides a quality assurance framework for the producer and customer in their production relationship. Methods to manage the quality of production are identified.
Conformance classes Organisation (i.e. supplier of geographic data)


ISO 19158:2012 provides a framework for quality assurance specific to geographic information. It is based upon the quality principles and quality evaluation procedures of geographic information identified in ISO 19157 and the general quality management principles defined in ISO 9000.

The framework enables a customer to satisfy itself that its suppliers, both internal and external, are capable of delivering geographic information to the required quality. Fundamental to the framework is the assurance of the supplier’s ability to understand and meet the quality requirements. Through the quality assurance framework both the customer and the supplier are able to consider the quality required at the earliest opportunity in the production/update process.

Principles and responsibilities of the relationship between the customer and the supplier that facilitate the framework are provided. The responsibility for the quality assessment procedure is shared between the customer and the supplier.

ISO 19158:2012 is applicable to customers and suppliers of all geographic information where the quality of the product may be impacted upon by the supplier’s processes in any of the following scenarios:

  • there is an agreement or legislation for the supply of data acquisition services,
  • data acquisition services are being tendered for, and
  • one or more suppliers exist in the supply chain.

ISO 19158:2012 is not applicable for the supply of legacy datasets or ‘off the shelf’ products where there is no further data production or update activity to manage.

Implementation benefits

By applying the quality assurance framework in ISO 19158:2012, an organisation can facilitate the production of a product that meets requirements in terms of cost, quantity, quality and timeliness. Applying the framework also provides opportunities for better understanding of requirements by all involved in production and update especially within multiple producer environments; reduced data throughput time; reduced rework; improved data quality; and increased confidence within a mutually beneficial relationship leading to lower costs for both supplier and organisation.

Implementation guidelines

In a typical approach to the production and/or update of geographic information, a customer requests a supplier to produce geographic information according to a data product specification, expecting the supplier to deliver the product on time, within budget and according to the specified data quality requirements. However, the customer has little or no input into the supplier’s processes. This approach creates risks, because until the product is delivered, there is limited proof that the supplier has the appropriate capabilities to deliver the required product. These risks are aggravated by complex data, a demand for increased speed to market and outsourcing, i.e. the customer and supplier are in different organisations.

A product is created from the involvement of individuals and teams in several interrelated processes combining outputs to produce a final product. For example, the production of a map of lookout points in a nature reserve comprises two processes: data collection and map production. The data collection process comprises a first sub-process where a team collects the coordinates of the lookout points using GPS devices. During the second sub-process, an individual at a desktop adds appropriate attributes for each lookout point, e.g. the name, animals likely to be seen and surrounding vegetation types. The map production process can be subdivided into a map preparation sub-process and a printing sub-process. By introducing quality evaluation processes to the outputs from each process, sub-process, team and individual, it is possible to determine how the quality of the final product will be affected. Example: Quality assurance framework applied to the production of a map of lookout points provides an overview of the quality assurance framework applied to the example above.

Example: Quality assurance framework applied to the production of a map of lookout points

An organisation implementing ISO 19158:2012 ensures that its suppliers of geographic information implement quality assurance and quality assessment procedures conforming to ISO 19158:2012. Quality assurance is a quality management activity focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled (by a supplier), while a quality assessment procedure is a procedure by which a customer assures that a supplier is capable of consistently delivering a product to the required quality.

A supplier of geographic information conforms to ISO 19158:2012 if its quality assurance

  • has identified the necessary processes and sub-processes for the production and/or update of the geographic information;
  • has identified the geographic data quality requirements for each process and sub-process according to the requirements in ISO 19157;
  • has identified the quality requirements for the volume of delivery, schedule of delivery and cost of production and/or update for each process and sub-process; and
  • has identified the output quality of the process, sub-process and individuals for data production and/or update.

Three levels of quality assurance with increasing opportunity for risk mitigation are specified in ISO 19158:2012: basic, operational and full. The customer confirms the level of assurance achieved by a production process:

  1. Basic quality assurance is achieved if the supplier can demonstrate to the customer that the product specification, the data quality acceptance levels (or limits) and the delivery schedule are understood and that a process is in place to deliver the required volumes and data quality.
  2. Operational quality assurance is achieved if the customer has assured that the processes, sub-processes, teams and individuals involved in the production of a product deliver the required quality. The operational quality assessment procedure has to start immediately after confirmation that the basic level of assurance has been achieved and the quality assessment has to be completed within the agreed period.
  3. Full quality assurance is achieved if the supplier has sustained operational quality assurance for all sub-processes in the production or update process for a period agreed between the supplier and the customer.

In the example above, basic quality assurance may only assure the customer of the supplier’s intent to produce a map, whilst operational quality assurance will assure the customer of the supplier’s capability to produce the map in its operating environment. Full quality assurance assures the customer that the supplier has sustained the capability to produce maps over an agreed period of time.

ISO 19158:2012 provides guidance and examples on how to implement the quality assessment framework, as well as the supplier’s responsibilities in the quality assurance procedure.