OGC Members invited to comment on EU Core Location Vocabulary

The European Commission's ISA (Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations) programme invites the public to provide input on the important steps towards improving interoperability across Europe. In an open review process, citizens are invited to comment on three fundamental data entities: Core Person Vocabulary, Core Business Vocabulary, Core Location Vocabulary. [1]

The three Core Vocabulary specifications now open for public review have been developed over the past three months by three Working Groups, one for each draft core vocabulary, totalling 67 experts. Each of the three Working Groups, or task forces, includes specialists from the European Commission, international standards organisations, academics and experts from 21 EU Member States.

I represented the Consortium in the Core Location Vocabulary working group over the past couple of months to make sure their definition of location was compatible with the one OGC members have agreed to through our open and consensus-driven process. The concrete results are that the XML definition of location is specified as GML, and more specifically, GML_CE_Geometry, which is a new, simpler, compact representation of geometry found in the latest GML 3.3 specification. This is good not only because of its simplicity, but because it is the same specification used by the W3C Point Of Interest working group, where the OGC is also involved. [2]

A challenge of the Core Location Vocabulary may be that there are too many different ways to specify location. This makes data publication easier for organizations, but makes it more time-consuming for developers to write software that makes use of all the various potential formats -- a fact that can only hinder interoperability. This is a constant balancing act in the standards development process -- trying to encourage 100% participation in data publication, but also encouraging publishers to support a format that allows developers to create great applications.

The only way to know if organizations could fully participate with fewer formats is by your participation in the open review phase of the Core Location Vocabularies, so please take the time to comment. [3]

More information can be found at the provided links.

[1] http://ec.europa.eu/isa/news/2012/press_release_en.htm

[2] http://www.w3.org/2010/POI/

[3] https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/asset/core_location/description