OGRS discussion to focus on Standards and Research

Contributed by: 
Olivier Ertz, Institute for Information and Communication Technologies, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland

The Open Source Geospatial Research and Education Symposium (OGRS) is a meeting dedicated to sharing knowledge, new solutions, methods, practices, ideas and trends in the field of geospatial information through the development and the use of free and open source software in both research and education. The second edition of the symposium, OGRS 2012, will take place from 24th to 26th October 2012 in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland. In keynote talks, regular presentations, workshops, discussion groups and a poster session with short presentations, the OGRS 2012 program provides opportunities for presenting results, principles, methods and practices.

The discussion groups are organized to address specific subjects in an open and comfortable context of sharing. One subject of particular interest for OGC followers is, "Academic research and open source software to serve open standards development".

Standardisation challenges for the geospatial community are manifold and academic research in these areas is continuously ongoing. Research leads to standards, and vice versa, standards generate needs for further research. The white paper "Modernising ICT Standardisation in the EU - The Way Forward" (Commission of the European Communities, Brussels, 3.7.2009) highlights as a major goal "Fostering synergy between ICT research, innovation and standardisation". It states that research results are often insufficiently translated into concrete applications and that standards are one important way to promote this translation.

The definition of such a goal by the Commission underscores the importance of the starting point of this OGRS discussion: the observation that in the geospatial world, it seems there is a gap between research and standardisation, a gap in terms of involvement of research bodies in standardisation processes. Thus, in this discussion we will argue and evaluate the reality of this observation and identify opportunities to make a better connection between research and standardization in the geospatial domain.

The discussion should provide as an outcome some suggested actions for standards organizations, organizations funding research and innovation, researchers and research organizations and evaluation agencies. To feed the discussion, questions and suggestions such as the following might be considered:

  • Are all such bodies aware of the economical benefits of standards and standardization regarding research and innovation?
  • While open source supports the dissemination and transfer of knowledge and technologies through open innovation, what about open standards?
  • In their research planning, do research bodies include goals related to informing and advancing the work of standardization bodies?
  • Do funding organizations and research evaluation agencies consider the value of standardisation activities in weighing the merits of academic research projects?
  • Do standardisation bodies recognize a role for academic research and do they favor the inclusion of research teams and their results?
  • How does open source software support both research and standardisation?

All bodies concerned with standardisation are invited to join this discussion group to testify and to argue on the subject. More information: www.ogrs2012.org. Contact: info [at] orgs2012.org.