Lance McKee's blog

Standards helped response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

  • Posted on: 25 June 2012
Contributing Author Information:
Contributed by: 
Morishige Ota, Fellow, Kokusai Kogyo Co.,, Ltd.

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.

Harmonization of License Conditions: Opportunity or Futility?

  • Posted on: 21 June 2012
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Contributed by: 
Rudiger Gartmann, Conterra

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

Persistent Test Bed Phase 3 - Call for Participation: Authenticated Access to European Spatial Data Sets

  • Posted on: 18 June 2012
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Contributed by: 
Johannes Brauner, Technische Universität Dresden

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.

David Schell's Recent Lifetime Achievement Award


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.

New OGC standard has an important role in improving shared situational awareness.

  • Posted on: 23 May 2012
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Contributed by: 
Roger Brackin, MSc, Envitia Research Director

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.

OWS-9 Testbed Kick-off at George Mason University

The OGC's OWS-9 Interoperability Initiative, backed by 10 sponsors and 39 participating organizations, has started up with a May 14-16 Kickoff Event at George Mason University (GMU).

OWS-9 kickoff group photo

Prof Vikas Chandhoke, Dean of the College of Science, provided introductions on the first day, and Nadine Alameh, Ph.D., OWS-9 Initiative Manager, led the 3-day event.

Emergency Response will be only as useful as privacy laws allow

  • Posted on: 14 May 2012
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Contributed by: 
Kevin Pomfret

There are several free and “for fee” apps in the iPhone and Android app marketplaces that leverage the Open GeoSMS standard recently approved by the OGC. One of the apps’ primary benefits is for people to send location-enabled texts to first responders in order to learn the best evacuation procedures during a crisis and/or to facilitate rescue.   Without the automatic inclusion of location in the texts, first responders often have difficulty determining the location of the sender of the text, and how best to respond.

Athina Trakas to speak at FOSS4G Central and East Europe Conference

  • Posted on: 12 May 2012
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Contributed by: 
Chair of the conference Dr. Karel Charvat, and Tomas Mildorf

Athina Trakas (OGC) will speak about OGC standards at the plenary session at the Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial in Central and East Europe (FOSS4G-CEE) & Geoinformatics, an international conference addressing geospatial technologies developed by, or relevant to, the Open Source community in Central and Eastern Europe. It will be held from 21st till 23rd May 2012 in Prague, Czech Republic.

Convergence, interoperability and standards

  • Posted on: 5 April 2012
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Contributed by: 
Geoff Zeiss, Director of Utility Industry Program, Autodesk, Inc.

In the 200 years since the beginning of the industrial revolution, urbanisation has been occurring at an exponential rate – representing the largest impact humans have had on the planet. Infrastructure development and maintenance is in need of major investment, estimated to be on the order of $24 trillion over the next couple of decades – and most of the funding will have to come from the private sector. The World Economic Forum estimates that we will have to build the same urban capacity (housing, infrastructure and facilities) in the next 40 years

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