(updated 4 July 2012)
Once each year, the OGC awards its highest honor, the Gardels Award, to an OGC member who has “made exemplary contributions to the OGC's consensus standards process”. I had the pleasure of delivering the 2012 Gardels Award to Mr. David Wesloh of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency for his exemplary service to the Consortium in addressing interoperability issues on behalf of his agency and the broader defense and intelligence community. The impacts of his contribution indeed extend well beyond his community of interest. His
A broad-based effort to employ geospatial analysis and information sharing contributed greatly to the disaster response effort after the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011. OGC standards played an important role.
Sinsai.info (http://www.sinsai.info), a crisis-mapping site that uses the Ushahidi platform, was launched 4 hours after the earthquake occurred. "Sinsai" means earthquake disaster in Japanese. Volunteers organized by Open Street Map Japan confirmed, geo-coded and uploaded more than 110,000 calls.
Licensing of OGC services surely is a means to get more data published, which requires certain agreements and which otherwise is just locked away. At the recent GSDI World Conference (GSDI 13) in Quebec City I heard much talk about harmonizing license conditions in order to make it easier to classify them and build tools to support them. I fully agree that this would make life much easier, especially for software vendors like con terra. But our experience in dealing with these issues practically for many years – and in providing an off-the-shelf product to
Though more and more geodata from administrative bodies such as National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies becomes open, these government bodies usually hesitate to provide fully unrestricted access to their datasets, especially in Europe. Nevertheless, access to these data sets is often important for the research community. Additionally, particular license models are still lacking. These issues were raised by the recent OGC Web Services (OWS) Shibboleth Interoperability Experiment, the OGC Authentication Interoperability Experiment, and the EU-funded project ESDIN as well.
I was really happy to see all the excitement about OGC standards at MundoGeo Meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil last week. My keynote presentation had a lot in common with other speakers, emphasizing the need and challenges of making available more current geospatial data. These includes data that has been changed due to natural disasters and data merged with new technologies.
David Schell, founder of the OGC, was at the top of the list of recipients of geospatial leadership awards at the Geospatial World Forum 2012, held 23-27 April in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Forum organizers focused on his role in transforming the geospatial industry through a consensus standards process.
The work of the OGC has relevance across a number of domains or communities of interest, but in no domain has there has been more work done to harness the power of open geospatial standards than in the domain of Spatial Data Infrastructures. Earlier this month I had the pleasure of joining Mark Reichardt, Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Association Board member and President and CEO of the OGC, at the Global Geospatial Conference in Quebec. The GSDI Association was one of the primary
Brazil exports airplanes to France. Colombia exports coffee and cotton. Other countries in South America lead in other industries and markets, but not yet in Geospatial Standards. Standards, which are formal agreements published by a standard organization, are the prime material of Spatial Data Infrastructures. Currently these come mostly from brainpower and requirements from Europe and the US. OGC has about 30 domain groups and 40 standard working groups. People from 450 organizations form these working groups. But, how many organizations in South America are OGC members? Only one.
A new standard being developed in the OGC has an important part in improving shared situational awareness. The candidate OGC Web Services (OWS) Context standard encodes the key elements of a common operating picture: the geographic area, an optional time range, and an ordered series of layers from different services or inline content. This allows a situational awareness view of one user to be passed to other users so that the same picture can be reconstructed.