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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 subsection 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 worldwide replacing all the incompatible 'homegrown' 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.

See also: List of ISO standards

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