ISO 19126:2009 Geographic information - Feature concept dictionaries and registries

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Full name ISO 19126:2009, Geographic information – Feature concept dictionaries and registries
Version Edition 1
Amendments None
Corrigenda None
Published by ISO/TC 211
Languages English, French
Online overview
Type of standard ISO International Standard
Meta level
Application The main function of this standard is for creating an online register of abstract feature concepts in a dictionary that can then be specified in detail as feature types and in feature catalogues.
Conformance classes General conformance to ISO 19135
Conformance to ISO 19135 as a hierarchical register
Feature concept dictionary
Register of feature concept dictionaries and/or feature catalogues


ISO 19126:2009 specifies a schema for feature concept dictionaries to be established and managed as registers. It does not specify schemas for feature catalogues or for the management of feature catalogues as registers. However, because feature catalogues are often derived from feature concept dictionaries, this International Standard does specify a schema for a hierarchical register of feature concept dictionaries and feature catalogues. These registers are in accordance with ISO 19135.

Implementation benefits

The main function of ISO 19126:2009 is to specify how to create an online register for a feature concept dictionary, that contains abstract feature concepts, which may then be specified in detail as feature types or in feature catalogues, using ISO 19110:2005, Geographic information – Methodology for feature catalogues, or in data product specifications, using ISO 19131:2007, Geographic information -- Data product specifications.

Superficially, this might appear that ISO 19126:2009 is too abstract or too theoretical for most users. However, the power of ISO 19126:2009 is that it allows different scientific and other disciplines to define and maintain concepts relevant to their field in online registers. Any community of interest can then use these registers in defining their feature types and constructing their feature catalogues appropriately. This is similar to the meta-languages or domain models used in ISO 19144-2:2012, Geographic information – Classification systems – Part 2: Land Cover Meta Language (LCML), and ISO 19152, Geographic information – Land Administration Domain Model (LADM).

Implementation guidelines

Clause 5 of ISO 19126:2009 is primarily about establishing a register, according to ISO 19135:2005, Geographic information – Procedures for item registration. A register is defined as a “set of files containing identifiers assigned to items with descriptions of the associated items”, and is maintained in an information system known as a registry. Each register has a register owner (the organisation that establishes the register), a register manager (to whom responsibility for running the register has been delegated by the register owner), a control body (the group of technical experts that makes the decisions about the contents of the register) and users.

Clause 6 specifies the feature concept dictionary schema, which may include definitions of feature concepts, feature attribute concepts, feature association concepts, feature operation concepts feature role concepts (link between an association and an attribute or operation) and nominal value concepts (category, class, kind or type that may be identified as an element of an enumeration or code list). Each feature concept dictionary has a scope, a possible field of application and possible themes.

Clause 7 specifies procedures for the management of feature concept dictionaries as registers, which are taken largely from ISO 19135:2005. Clause 8 describes a register of feature concept dictionaries and feature catalogues, again drawing largely on ISO 19135:2005.

Annex A provides an overview of how feature concepts in dictionaries, catalogues and application schemas relate to one another. Annex C describes the information to be included in registration proposals. Annex D provides an example implementation of the feature concept dictionary schema as a register. Annex E describes the UML notation used.

See also