Points of Interest Working Group Charter

The mission of the Points of Interest Working Group, part of the Ubiquitous Web Applications Activity, is to develop technical specifications for the representation of "Points of Interest" information on the Web. Points of Interest data has many uses, including augmented reality browsers, location-based social networking games, geocaching, mapping, navigation systems, and many others. In addition, the group will explore how the AR industry could best use, influence and contribute to Web standards.

Join the Points of Interest Working Group.

End date31 December 2011
ConfidentialityProceedings are public
Initial ChairAndrew Braun, Sony Ericsson
Initial Team ContactMatt Womer, W3C/ERCIM
(FTE %: 20)
Usual Meeting ScheduleTeleconferences: Weekly
Face-to-face: 2-3 per year


The Points of Interest (POI) Working Group will develop a specification for representing Points of Interest, including common properties such as the name, location and shape, while also ensuring extensibility.

For the purposes of this Working Group, a "Point of Interest" is defined simply as an entity at a physical location about which information is available. For example, the Taj Mahal in India is a point of interest, located at 27.174799° N, 78.042111°E (in the WGS84 geodetic system). Additional information could be associated with it, such as: it was completed around 1653, has a particular shape, and that it is open to visitors during specific hours.

Points of Interest information is used in a wide variety of applications such as: augmented reality ("AR"), mapping and navigation systems, geocaching, etc. This group will primarily focus on POI use within AR applications but will strive to ensure reusability across applications. (Note: For the purposes of this charter, the term "augmented reality" is used to refer to applications that combine a view of the physical world with information.)

The objective of the POI WG is to develop a Recommendation that defines a POI data format that allows digital content publishers to effectively describe and efficiently serve points of interest data. In addition, the WG may develop additional Recommendations and Notes that extend the format for particular use cases, such as AR. The WG is also expecting to produce Notes about augmented reality and how best to re-use and/or influence current and future W3C Recommendations.

Success Criteria

The POI WG will be a success if it produces a Point of Interest format Recommendation that has two or more complete, independent and interoperable implementations.


The Working Group will deliver the following documents:

Points of Interest Recommendation
This Recommendation defines a format for the common components of a Point of Interest
Points of Interest: Augmented Reality Vocabulary
This Working Group Note specifies a vocabulary of properties to enable Augmented Reality applications by attaching additional information to POI data, e.g. logo, business hours, or social media related properties
Augmented Reality and Web Standards
This Working Group Note details how Augmented Reality applications may best re-use and/or influence current and future W3C Recommendations

Other Deliverables

In addition to the deliverables listed above, the Working Group is intending to produce a test suite for the POI Recommendation, and the AR Vocabulary Note to assist in ensuring interoperability. The WG may also publish use case and requirements, primers and best practices for Points of Interest as Working Group Notes. The Working Group may also explore the Augmented Reality landscape with regards to Web standards and publish these findings as a Working Group Note.


Note: The group will document significant changes from this initial schedule on the group home page.
Points of Interest RecommendationApril 2011July 2011September 2011November 2011December 2011
Points of Interest: Augmented Reality Vocabulary NoteApril 2011
Augmented Reality and Web Standards Working Group NoteApril 2011

Timeline View Summary

Dependencies and Liaisons

Liaisons with W3C Groups

This Working Group expects to maintain contacts with at least the following groups and Activities within W3C (in alphabetical order):

Geolocation Working Group
This group maintains an API for determining the location and orientation of a browser user, which could be used to find nearby Points of Interest. The POI WG expects to provide and receive reviews to and from the Geolocation WG
Internationalization Core Working Group
The POI WG will solicit review from the Internationalization WG to ensure that the POI documents are applicable around the world
Web Accessibility Initiative
The POI Working Group will solicit reviews from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group to ensure that any accessibility concerns in this work are taken into account and addressed.

Liaisons with External Groups

The following is a tentative list of external bodies the Working Group should collaborate with:

Open GeoSpatial Consortium
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an SDO focused on geospatial technologies, both on the Web and off.
IETF GEOPRIV Working Group
The IETF GEOPRIV Working Group is working on formats and protocols for exchanging geographic information
Open Mobile Alliance (OMA)
The OMA may develop specifications that are related to Mobile AR
This subcommittee develops standards for environment representation and image processing
Web3D Consortium
The Web3D Consortium develops X3D, a format for 3D graphics
OStatus is developing specifications for distributed status updates used in social networks, which may include POI related aspects to support location-based social networking games


Effective participation in the AR Working Group is expected to consume one work day per week for each participant.

Participants are reminded of the Good Standing requirements of the W3C Process.


This group primarily conducts its technical work on the public mailing list at public-poiwg@w3.org (archive).

There is also a member-only list to be used for administrative purposes at member-poiwg@w3.org (archive). The member-only list may also be used, at the discretion of the Chair, for discussions in special cases when a member requests such a discussion.

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) will be available from the Points of Interest Working Group home page.

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Points of Interest Working Group has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Matt Womer, <mdw@w3.org>, Team Contact

Copyright © 2010 W3C ® (MIT , ERCIM , Keio), All Rights Reserved.

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