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International standard

Standards are produced by many organisations, some for internal usage only, others for use by a groups of people, groups of companies, or a sub-section of an industry. A problem arises when different groups come together, each with a large user-base doing some well-established thing that between them is mutually incompatible.

There are many National Standards, but overall the International_Organization_for_Standardization, based in Geneva, Switzerland has established tens of thousands of standards covering almost every conceivable topic. Most of these are then adopted world-wide replacing all the incompatible 'home-grown' standards. Many of these standards are naturally evolved from those designed in-house within an industry, or by a particular country, whilst others have been built from scratch by groups of experts who sit on various Technical Committees.

The ISO Web Site (http://www.iso.ch/) describes more of the work that ISO does.

See also: List of ISO standards

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