Glossary of Terms - C

Definitions: 
CAD or CADD
Computer-aided design and drafting. CAD systems are used to create maps and plans and are closely related to GIS systems. Although most CAD systems lack certain features essential to GIS analysis, such as the power to manage different spatial coordinate systems and database capabilities, many CAD systems have been developed into full GIS with the addition of necessary functions.
cadastral survey
The means by which private and public land is defined, divided, traced, and recorded. The term derives from the French cadastre, a register of the survey of lands and is, in effect, the public record of the extent, value, and ownership of land for purposes of taxation. Cartesian Coordinates are a system of positional reference in which location is measured along two or three orthogonal (perpendicular) axes. Every location can be defined uniquely by its X, Y, and Z coordinates. Locations in the coordinate system can be established using any unit of measurement such as meters, feet, or miles.
Call for Communities
An OGC invitation to local, state, or national government agencies; transnational organizations; academic groups; or private sector companies involved in geospatial technologies to participate in a series of hands-on, collaborative engineering efforts (Pilot Projects) to test the effectiveness of new standards which support Web-based sharing and use of geospatial information.
capabilities document service profile
The result of invoking the "Get Capabilities" operation on a service is a message containing a "capabilities document" describing the service. Provides a high-level description of a service instance and its provider. Includes: a human readable description of the service, a specification of the functionalities that are provided by the service and a set of functional attributes that provide additional information and requirements about the service.
Capabilities XML
Service-level metadata describing the operations and content available at a service
Cartesian coordinates
Coordinates that differ from latitude-longitude coordinates in that the latter comprise a spherical (rather than planar) reference system.
catalog
A collection of entries, each of which describes and points to a feature collection. Catalogs include indexed listings of feature collections, their contents, their coverages, and other metadata. Registers the existence, location, and description of feature collections held by an Information Community. Catalogs provide the capability to add and delete entries. At a minimum Catalog will include the name for the feature collection and the locational handle that specifies where this data may be found. The means by which an Information Community advertises its holdings to members of the Information Community and to the rest of the world. Each catalog is unique to its Information Community.
catalog services
One thing that the OpenGIS Abstract Specification defines is a standard set of services to support on-line catalogs of geodata and geoprocessing capabilities accessible to users in networked environments. Currently, your Web browser can ask a Web indexing service such as Lycos or Alta Vista to report Web sites that contain certain text strings or combinations of text strings. OpenGIS conformant catalog services will enable our Web browser (or other software) to report Web sites (or perhaps non-Web network resources) that contain certain data themes for certain geographic areas for certain time frames. These services will also be able to report geoprocessing resources available on remote servers. Of course, you may not be the one doing the asking. Car computers, for example, will automatically use catalog services to obtain current information about road and traffic conditions.
CEN
Source: PreANVIL Glossary http://www.anvil.eu.com/find/Glossary-english.htm
European Committee for Normalization: makes standards for Europe, cooperates with ISO to avoid competition. http://www.cenorm.be/
centroid
The term given to the center of an area, region, or polygon. In the case of irregularly shaped polygons, the centroid is derived mathematically and is weighted to approximate a sort of `center of gravity.` Centroids are important in GIS because these discrete X-Y locations are often used to index or reference the polygon within which they are located. Sometimes attribute information is `attached,` `hung,` or `hooked` to the centroid location.
CIPI
CIPI is an OGC Interoperability Initiative to help organizations publish, discover, access, exchange, and maintain vital geo-spatial information and online geoprocessing services required to support critical infrastructure protection.
CITE
The OGC Conformance & Interoperability Testing & Evaluation Initiative (CITE) is an OGC Interoperability Initiative designed to test and evaluate OGC Interfaces and products that implement them. The CITE Initiative has three focus areas related to the establishment of a successful and robust OGC Conformance and Interoperability Test and Evaluation Program: * Planning and Feasibility Study, * Conformance Engine, Scripts and Guidelines, and * CITE Portal and Reference Implementations.
classification scheme
An arrangement or division of objects into groups based on characteristics that the objects have in common, e.g., origin, composition, structure, application, function, etc. It is a set of concepts, organized in some specified structure, limited in content by a scope, and designed for assigning objects to classes (concepts) defined within it ISO 11179. It helps to organize the contents of a registry and supports more meaningful queries.
clearinghouse
Source: GETIS glossary
"In general a clearinghouse provides a central access point for value-added topical guides which identify, describe, and evaluate Internet-based information resources. In our case a clearinghouse is a decentralized system of servers located on the Internet which contain field-level descriptions of available digital spatial data. This descriptive information, known as metadata, are collected in a standard format to facilitate query and consistent presentation across multiple participating sites. A clearinghouse uses readily available Web technology for the client side and uses standards for the query, search, and presentation of search results to the Web client. A clearinghouse provides information about who is providing which authorized geoinformation for which application."
client
A software component that can invoke an operation performed by a server.
client/server
The network computing revolution (which includes the distributed geoprocessing revolution) is based on software entities (clients) that tell other software entities (servers) to do things for them. Software clients say, `Send me this specific data from your database!` or `Tell me what Internet address contains this information!` or `Take this data and do a correlation operation on it!` In a simple sense, your word processor is a client when you click on `Save` and the word processor instructs the operating system (acting as a server) to save your file to disk. Interoperability interfaces make it possible for diverse computers to request things of each other over networks and get predictable responses.
COM
"Component Object Model, the Microsoft (MS) paradigm to connect components. MS has implemented the base technology for COM on the NT platform. Software AG has ported these on MVS and UNIX. A COM-object defines its interfaces. Components from different machines can be combined using DCOM ."
Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA)
The basic distributed object scheme developed by the Object Management Group (OMG), a consortium similar to OGC but focused on object technology instead of distributed geoprocessing. Object Request Brokers (ORBs) help clients find servers.
Communications Service Interface (CSI)
The interface by which an application platform accesses external entities which provide data transport services. The service provided is data transport among application platforms.
component
In the context of distributed computing, a component is a software program unit that performs one or more functions and that communicates and interoperates with other components through common interfaces.
componentware
Software that exists in relatively small modules with standard interfaces. Components can be combined easily to create tailored applications that are easier to maintain and upgrade than `monolithic` applications that provide the same functionality. Another benefit is that components from different vendors can be used together to provide flexible, economic solutions. componentware can be defined as software products constructed using object technology.
composite curve
Sequence of Curves such that each curve (except the first) starts at the end point of the previous curve in the sequence. (see OGC Abstract Specification (Topic 1) clause 7.3.10.4)
composite map
Two or more maps with the same geographic extent and coordinate reference system can be accurately layered to produce a composite map.
computational viewpoint
Viewpoint in RM-ODP concerned with the functional decomposition of the system into a set of services that interact at interfaces. This viewpoint captures the details of these components and interfaces without regard to distribution. (See the ORM for further definition.)
computer architecture
The functional composition of a system and its components, the interfaces between components, and interfaces with the external environment, including users and other systems.
computer environment
The general term describing the people, hardware, software, and databases comprising a single computer system or several network-connected computer systems, and the associated standards.
conceptual architecture
A diagram and accompanying text that provides a model of how a system works
conceptual schema
Base schema. Formal description of the model of any geospatial information. Application schemas are built from conceptual schemas.
Conformance Test Suite and Guidelines
The set of materials, defined under the OGC Conformance Testing Program document (available at http://www.opengeospatial.org/compliance ), required to test an implementation for conformance to a specification. (Conformance Test Suite and Guidelines refer to OpenGIS Implementation Specifications.) A software vendor whose software implements interfaces based on OGC`s standards can claim that a product "implements" particular OpenGIS Specifications. If the product has passed a conformance test for a particular OpenGIS Specification, the vendor can claim that their product conforms to that version of a specification and they can use OGC`s trademarks to assure buyers of the veracity of those claims.
connectivity
A topological property relating to how geographical features are attached to one another functionally, spatially, or logically. In a water distribution system, connectivity would refer to the way pipes, valves, and reservoirs are attached, implying that water could be `traced` from its source in the network, from connection to connection, to any given final point. Functional, spatial, and logical connectivity are examples of relationships that can be represented and analyzed in a GIS database.
container
Association role between topology primitives and those of co-deminsion -2 or greater. (see OGC Abstract Specification (Topic 1) clause 7.3.10.4)
content standard
A standard data model
conversion
The process of transferring data derived from existing records and maps to a digital database. Conversion is a major input problem and can consume the greatest share of time in a GIS project.
coordinate conversion
A mathematical operation on coordinates that does not include a change of datum. The best-known example of a coordinate conversion is a map projection. The parameters describing coordinate conversions are defined rather than empirically derived.
coordinate reference system (CRS)
A coordinate system that has a reference to the Earth. Consists of a coordinate system and a datum.
coordinate system
Composed of a set of coordinate axes with a known metric. The concept 'metric of a coordinate space' consists of the set of mathematical rules that defines the relationships between the coordinate values and the invariant spatial quantities between points; for example, the mathematical rules (formulae) required for calculating angles and distances between points from coordinate values and vice versa.
coordinate transformation
Source: GETIS glossary
A mathematical operation on coordinates that includes a change of datum. The parameters of a coordinate transformation are empirically derived from a dataset containing the coordinates of a series of points in both coordinate reference systems. This computational process is usually "over determined", allowing derivation of error (or accuracy) estimates for the transformation. Also, the stochastic nature of the parameters may result in multiple (different) instantiations of the same coordinate transformation.
coordinates
A tuple of ordered scalar values that define the position of a single point feature in a coordinate reference system. The tuple is composed of one, two or three 'ordinates'. The ordinates must be mutually independent and their number must be equal to the dimension of the coordinate space; for example, a tuple of coordinates may not contain two heights.
CORBA
"Common Object Request Broker Architecture: CORBA is an architecture and specification for creating, distributing, and managing distributed program objects in a network. It allows programs at different locations and developed by different vendors to communicate in a network through an `interface broker.` CORBA was developed under the auspices of the OMG (Object Management Group) and has been sanctioned by both ISO and X/Open as the standard architecture for distributed objects (also known as components)."
core technology
The set of Implementation Specifications resulting from the Technology Development process that are based on the Abstract Specification.
coverage
Source: The OpenGIS® Abstract Specification Topic 6: Schema for coverage geometry and functions, Version 7 .
A feature that associates positions within a bounded space (its spatiotemporal domain) to feature attribute values (its range). GIS coverages (including the special case of Earth images) are two- (and sometimes higher-) dimensional metaphors for phenomena found on or near a portion of the Earth's surface. A coverage can consist of a set of features or Feature Collections. Earth images are seen as Grid Coverages that contain features whose geometries are of type "set of cells" or "set of pixels" (surfaces).
coverage domain model
The definition of a domain-specific application schema for a well-known geospatial coverage. For example: DTED.
Coverage Model
Source: The OpenGIS® Abstract Specification Topic 6: The Coverage Type and its Subtypes Version 6. http://www.opengis.org/techno/abstract/00-106.pdf
The basic model for how earth information may be represented as raster or grid coverages (e.g., an image or digital terrain model).
critical infrastructure
Critical infrastructure encompasses large-scale systems in a range of sectors - energy, tele-communications, transportation, public health services, banking, government, public safety etc. These systems are essential to maintaining society.
curve
1-deminsional geometric primitive, representing the continuous image of a line (see OGC Abstract Specification (Topic 1) clause 6.3.16)
curve segment
1-deminsional geometric object used to represent a continuous component of a curve using homogeneous interpolation and definition methods. (see OGC Abstract Specification (Topic 1) clause 6.3.17)



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If you have terms that you would like to add to the OGC Glossary or have any other comments or suggestions please contact editor [at] opengeospatial.org