OGC Membership Supports Disaster Management and Risk Management

The ability to rapidly share, integrate and apply geospatial information is critical to disaster management and risk management in all relevant industry domains: emergency services, civil protection, telecommunications, energy, transportation, banking and finance, water supply, and healthcare.

The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC®) plays a key role in enabling interoperability among diverse organizations operating across jurisdictions and information domains. Only a well-run global consensus standards process can provide the standards platform that can make location information ubiquitous in mainstream information processing, so that it is always available when it is needed.

Benefits of OGC Membership:

  • Develop needed standards in an industry consortium with a proven track record and experience working with other standards organizations.
  • Work with all the major geospatial vendors, who are already engaged in the OGC consensus process.
  • See fast development and commercial uptake - Vendors are committed, so results appear quickly.
  • Take advantage of opportunities for business development, public relations and representing your company's and customers' needs.
  • As a government or commercial user, provide requirements to shape the standards so they address risk management needs.
  • As a vendor, reduce R&D costs. As a user, reduce procurement costs.

OGC Interoperability Initiatives often feature disaster scenarios. In the 2005 OGC Web Services (OWS-3) test bed, a team of experts from OGC member companies demonstrated geospatial information system interoperability in a fictional scenario involving a forest fire approaching a warehouse full of toxic chemicals in a heavily populated area. Live aerial imaging, first responders with cell phones, GPS and video cameras, and multiple decision support systems were involved in giving all parties improved awareness and information for planning and coordination.

The scenario for the 2006 OWS-4 testbed also addressed a disaster. Activities in the scenario were supported by interoperability between a building information model (BIM), an indoor navigation system, IEEE 1451 sensors, wireless communications, live imaging from an unmanned aerial vehicle, maps and modeling and simulation tools.


Use Cases & Communities

OGC Members

The OGC® is an international industry consortium of more than 335 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OGC members include:
  • Government: Federal, national, regional and local agencies and organizations with risk management mandates.
  • Private sector: Planning, civil engineering and construction companies, vendors, system integrators and data providers.
  • Academia: Research groups and advisory councils that serve decision-makers at all levels.

Risk and Crisis Management (RCM) Working Group

OGC specifications are only part of the mix of standards needed for interoperability among risk and crisis management systems. The OGC's RCM WG works closely with other Working Groups in the OGC, such as the Earth Observation and Natural Resources / Environment WG and the Sensor Web Enablement WG. In addition, the OGC works closely with ISO, OASIS, IETF, W3C and other standards groups.

Sensor Web Enablement and Disaster Management

Sensors and networks, both wired and wireless, are key components in building distributed sensor networks for monitoring and protecting critical infrastructure such as buildings, airports, railways, bridges, utilities, and water supplies. Such networks also play a role in tsunami and earthquake warning systems, severe weather forecasting and tracking, flood warnings, and environmental health.

The Sensor Web Enablement effort involves OGC members and other standards organizations (e.g. IEEE) in developing standards and best practices to network all types of sensors for Web-based discovery, access, control, integration, analysis, exploitation and visualization of online sensors, transducers, and sensor data repositories.

OpenGIS® Specifications

The OGC Specification Program provides an effective and well-trusted industry consensus process to plan, review and officially adopt OpenGIS® Specifications for interfaces, encodings and protocols that enable interoperable geoprocessing services, data, and applications. Virtually all of the OGC's current standards work is geared towards open Service Oriented Architectures (SOA). The Specification Program allows members from government, research and industry segments worldwide to do this work together in a collaborative and collegial environment. The OGC and its members promote worldwide use of these standards.

Why is the OGC Involved in Risk Management?

The OGC has become involved in risk and crisis management standards efforts because this domain needs standards that address a wide ranging set of critical real world information interoperability demands. Major software vendors, solution providers and government members in the OGC consensus process are working to accelerate the development and adoption of these standards. The OGC has demonstrated its ability to rapidly develop, test and validate standards that meet real world business requirements and that work well with other standards. This saves organizations time and money.

To learn more about what the OGC is doing and how your organization can benefit from participation, contact:

Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.
Phone: +1 (508) 655-5858
outreach [at] opengeospatial.org


Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org.