Our newest OGC staff member: Joshua Lieberman

I’m very pleased to be joining the staff of OGC as a Director of the Innovation Program, in a new and exciting phase of an involvement with OGC that has extended over many years and almost as many roles. The scope and diversity of current Innovation Program initiatives are truly inspiring. I believe this reflects the increasing intertwining of innovation and standardization as interoperation really comes to define modern information systems.

I actually first met David Schell and talked with him about Open GIS in 1993, but continued to work in water resources engineering for most of that decade. In 2000, I joined Raj Singh at Web GIS startup Syncline and finally became an OGC member. There we participated in a number of IP initiatives such as the Military Pilot Program - Phase 1 and Critical Infrastructure Pilots. I continued OGC member activities with Traverse Technologies and also took on a role of IP Pool architect, helping to lead OWS testbeds and GEOSS AIP phases, as well as directing the Geospatial Semantics Interoperability Experiment. Subsequently I started Domain Working Groups to focus on geosemantic issues of cross-community interoperability and geospatial aspects of agricultural practice. I also began to serve on the OGC Architecture Board.

In 2011, I was honored to receive the OGC Gardels Award, joining a group of fellow members whom I’ve long respected and profited from working with. Since then I’ve continued my OGC involvement both as proprietor of Tumbling Walls and as a researcher at the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis. This has included re-engaging with the water resources domain through development of the Hydrologic Features Conceptual Model of WaterML 2 and corresponding OWL ontologies that represent both the semantic and geographic connections between surface water features. As an IP architect, I’ve had a hand in aviation informatics, Testbed threads for semantic mediation, and the Internet of (Geospatial) Things for first responders.

My love of maps and mapping comes, I suppose, from a background in earth sciences that includes an A.B. degree (and plane table mapping) at Dartmouth College, an M.S. from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington where I mapped and built computational models of metamorphic rocks on Alaska’s Seward Peninsula. While I don’t do field geology any more, I’ve kept a hand in teaching with courses in spatial modeling at UMBC and in geographic analysis at the Harvard Extension School.

As IP Director, I look forward immediately to expanding my current involvement with the Underground Data Pilot and Smart City Interoperable Reference Architecture (SCIRA) initiatives. These different but complementary activities both seek new ways for geospatial information sharing to improve how cities and towns serve those who live in them. My larger goal in directing these and other IP initiatives will be to continue to provide OGC’s members and supporters the benefits of a productive symbiosis between innovation and standards development.