Established in 1983, the DGIWG is the multi-national body responsible to the defence organisations of member nations. It operates in accordance with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between member nations and addresses the need for the provision and exchange of operational geospatial information for multinational exercises and operations. Though not a NATO body, it supports the requirements of NATO and the other alliances that its member nations participate in, including UN sanctioned peacekeeping. The Requirements have been identified to address a specific set of operational scenarios.

It meets coalition interoperability challenges by creating the standards, implementation guidance and procedures required to enable the provision, exchange and use of standardised geospatial information. Many of the standards developed by the DGIWG are built upon the generic and abstract standards for geographic information defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO TC/211). DGIWG also makes use of the web services standards that are developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC).

DGIWG defines information components for use in the development of product specifications and application schemas for military geospatial data. DGIWG also establishes service specifications, encoding formats and testing methodologies to meet military geospatial intelligence requirements.

Membership is limited to the defence organisations of nations which have signed the MoU. Members may invite other nations that have expressed interest to observe on a temporary basis prior to signing the MoU. See the Membership page for a complete list of current members.