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Winter 2003/2004
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World Standards Day Reflects Importance of International Standards

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards contribute to the efficiency, safety, and availability of products and services offered to the public. Numerous industries have adopted ISO standards and use them to increase the quality of their operations.

In the GIS community, international standards in technology lead to the GIS interoperability that is critical to the user community.

Despite the ubiquitous presence of standards, few people realize the daily benefits resulting from standardization. To raise awareness about the importance of global standardization and promote its role in helping meet the needs of business, industry, government, and consumers worldwide, World Standards Day was created in 1970.

In the United States, World Standards Day is a joint effort between the private and public sectors. The 2003 event, held on September 30, was funded by the World Standards Day Committee, which is cochaired by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The World Standards Day Committee consists of representatives from more than 50 major companies, professional and technical societies, trade associations, standards developing organizations, and government agencies.

The theme of this year's event, "Building Global Security Through Standards," was emphasized by Esri President Jack Dangermond's role as the honorary chairman during a special World Standards Day exhibition, reception, and dinner. Dangermond's participation marked Esri's commitment to the development and interoperability of GIS standards, which help ensure a secure information technology infrastructure and stable communications systems.

"Esri and the GIS community as a whole are committed to designing and implementing technology and data standards," said Dangermond.

More information about the role of World Standards Day is available at the ANSI Web site. To find out more about GIS open standards and interoperability, visit

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