OGC Newsletter - February 2001
News From the Atlanta Meeting
Lockheed Martin's Stephens to Join OGC For One-year Assignment
OGC News Grows!
Contracts and Implementations
OGC In The News
Back issues of OGC News are available.
Even though weve been living with the time-compressed "Internet Year" for some time now, it still feels new. And, it takes some time to adjust processes to work at 'Internet speed.' Im pleased to report that the OGC membership has made sure that our work keeps pace. Through the work of the Interoperability Program and the Specification Program, new specifications are being developed, updated and approved in record numbers and in shorter timeframes. We need to stay focused to adapt to all of the complexity and opportunity we see in the upcoming initiatives.
In particular, I want to point out our new Roadmap project. A Roadmap subcommittee had its first meeting in Atlanta. Their task is to outline where weve been, where we are and where we are heading to ensure future initiatives meet market needs for commercial clients, government agencies, and the general public. The Roadmap will be a key tool for OGC staff, the membership and perhaps most importantly, the technology end-users exploring where OGC specifications and implementing products fit their needs.
David Schell, President, Open GIS Consortium
NEWS FROM THE ATLANTA MEETING
-Social Change Online, an organization quite active in the OGC Interoperability Program, led the formation of an Australian Special Interest Group (SIG). The SIG, which includes vendors, government and research agencies met in January in Adelaide, established goals focused on demonstrating end-to-end solutions and providing local content. They hope to grow interest in OGC within the continent. The Australian SIG activity has helped to spark interest in other geographically focused SIGs.
-Last years Interoperability Program testbeds generated many Candidate Implementation Specifications (CIS) and Draft CISs. Members anxious to keep up the momentum throughout the process presented several in-process specifications to the Technical Committee with the recommendation that they be made available for public comment as Discussion Papers. The Technical Committee agreed, and the documents will start appearing on the OGC website soon.
The Discussion Papers cover OGC Web Services (Web Mapping Server, Web Feature Server, Filter, Web Coverage Server, and Web Registry Service), XML for Imagery and Map Annotations, Styled Layer Descriptor for geospatial data, and the OGC Basic Services Model. This early release of CISs encourages broad public review early in the process and can speed approval. In the near future, OGC expects to release other in-work OGC specifications for public review, or for review by leading standards organizations
-Three new Special Interest Groups (SIGs) were created and met officially for the first time in Atlanta. The Earth Observation SIG will focus on earth imagery interoperability. The Natural Resources and Environmental SIG hopes to pull together the interest, data and worldwide perspective of practitioners using geospatial data in air and water quality, pollution control, agriculture and forestry, development, health, extractive industries, and other fields. The group plans to reach out to those players and to provide OGC with insight into the sectors needs. The Open Spatial Publishing and Discovery Infrastructure Working Group (WG) will focus on documenting the requirements for developing an open infrastructure for the publishing and discovery of spatially enabled information. The WG is on an aggressive schedule and hopes to have a specification completed by yearend.
In other SIG news, the Terrain Analysis SIG changed its name to the Decision Support SIG to highlight the importance of that topic in their work.
LOCKHEED MARTIN'S STEPHENS TO JOIN OGC FOR ONE-YEAR ASSIGNMENT
Mr. Jim Stephens of Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMC) has been named Deputy Program Manager for OGCs Interoperability Program. During the one-year assignment funded by LMC, Mr. Stephens will provide support to OGCs Interoperability Program initiatives and will represent LMC to the OGC Technical Committee.
OGC NEWS GROWS!
We are pleased to report that since last month weve received nearly 300 new subscribers to the OGC News. If a colleague, client or friend needs to know about OGC, point them to the OGC News Home Page to subscribe and look over past issues.
OGC News Home Page
No new specifications were passed at the Atlanta meeting. However, GML 1.0, currently a recommendation paper is receiving final edits. GML 2.0 should be brought to a vote within a few weeks and will be available for public review in a few months.
Details of the specifications
This regular feature will present a list of newly reported or newly announced implementations of OGC specifications.
For this edition, the following company implemented the Simple Features Specification but its product has not yet tested conformant: IBM.
If you would like to add a product with an implementation of an OGC specification to our register, please contact Greg Buehler, gbuehler [at] opengeospatial [dot] org.
Conformant Product Listing
CONTRACTS AND IMPLEMENTATIONS
-Digital Earth will be a virtual representation of our planet that enables a person to explore and interact with the vast amounts of natural and cultural information gathered about the Earth. The Digital Earth Initiative, headed by NASA, draws from a variety of standards organizations, including OGC.
As part of its participation in Digital Earth and the Web Mapping Testbed, NASA has developed an HTML-based Viewer Client for OGC Web Map Servers. The application requires no additional software download and is very easy to use. Users can zoom, pan, crop and resize maps, display several maps stacked atop one another, and add to, subtract from or reorder the map stack. If the Map Server providing the data includes legends, they are displayed, too.
The Digital Earth Web Map Viewer prototypes the use of "Context" files. These XML (Extensible Markup Language) documents describe a particular view of a collection of maps and can be used both as permanent starting viewpoints and as temporary records of the state of the viewer. The Context XML format was drafted with IONIC Software (Belgium).
A small but growing collection of OGC Web Map Servers is available to this viewer. Besides directly displaying the holdings of some 20 map servers, users can use one of two Stateless Catalogs to search for other maps without needing information about their servers. SGT, Inc. (USA) and Compusult Ltd (Canada) built the Catalogs. This aspect of the Viewer Client, and the Stateless Catalog specification itself, are still under development.
Thanks to Dr Jeff de La Beaujardiere, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, for introducing this important implementation.
Digital Earth Home Page
Digital Earth Viewer
The Interoperability Program (IP) is a global, collaborative, hands-on engineering and testing program designed to deliver proven candidate specifications into OGCs Specification Development Program. There has been significant activity in the past month.
-The OGC has introduced a way for organizations to "prequalify" for participation in OGC IP initiatives. The IP Partners Program includes two types of partners: Project Partners are those who specialize in project management, design and integration while Technology Partners provide technology components. The former are typically software integrators while the latter are software developers. The first call for partners will go out in February.
-The Web Mapping Testbed Military Pilot Project (WMT MPP) will promote collaborative development and testing of interoperable, Web-based geospatial and intelligence information infrastructures. The call for sponsors yielded so much interest that a second pilot project has been added. Meanwhile MPP1, sponsored by US Army ERDC, will emphasize a "common thread of interoperability" across coalitions and nations supporting military operations.
Kevin Backe, Senior Physical Scientist/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Engineer Research & Development Center, sees great potential for the initiative: "The Web Mapping military pilot project is a great opportunity to demonstrate to the military community the breakthrough in interoperable commercial web-based geospatial technologies. These technologies should serve as the backbone for the next generation of network-centric architectures that will provide more timely and relevant situational awareness information to a commander, or any decision maker."
A Request for Quotations (RFQ) for MPP1 went out the week of Feb 12 with responses due Feb 28, 2001.
-The Open Location Service (OpenLS) Initiative, announced in October, will begin with a testbed geared to develop candidate interface specifications in support of interoperable location services. Sponsors are in place and the Request for Technology (RFT) closed January 12, 2001.
-In-Q-Tel, who sponsored Geospatial Fusion Services Testbed (GFST-1), leads an effort to extend that work, as well as results from Web Mapping Testbed 2 (WMT2) in the GeoSpatial Fusion Pilot Project (GFSPP). The goal is to implement a system capable of applying geospatial data fusion to intelligence analysis problems. Vendor participants include IONIC Software, Social Change Online, Polexis, Galdos and ESRI, while integration and management tasks are covered by Lockheed Martin and SAIC. Image Matters will cover documentation and architecture with OGC coordinating the program. Work is underway and demonstrations are expected in April.
-Web Mapping Testbed 2 (WMT2) is giving way to OGC Web Services Initiative. The goal is to knit together some key technologies still needed for interoperable Web mapping. These include Web Mapping Testbed 3 (WMT3), 4D, Geoanalysis and Decision Support (GDS), Information Community Enablement (ICE), and Web Based Exploitation (WBE).
Open GIS Interoperability Program Site
OpenLS Initiative Site
MPP 1 Site
GeoConnections is the national program that is developing the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) -- an inter-connected network of data, services and technology suppliers. GeoConnections is a sponsor of the current OGC interoperability program and plans to participate in future programs. In addition, GeoConnections has supported the development of a number OGC compliant map servers and catalog servers in Canada, and our experience confirms that the OGC process is leading to improved interoperability of geospatial data and services. Overall the software and outputs of the OGC program could become important building blocks of the CGDI.
Canada Centre for Remote Sensing
Natural Resources Canada
If youd like to share your thoughts on what the Open GIS Consortium means to your organization, please contact the editor, adena [at] opengeospatial [dot] org.
Correction: In the last issue we inadvertently provided the wrong web address for VTT Information Technology. The correct link is below. We regret the error.
VTT Information Technology
The Open GIS Consortium welcomes our members whove joined us since January 2001.
International Business Machine Corporation (IBM)
Skyline Software Systems, Inc.
U. of Bonn, Inst. for Cartography & Geoinformation
OGC IN THE NEWS
-OGC in the Press
Shane Peterson notes that "One interface could accelerate the development and deployment of location services" as he looks at interoperability efforts in location-based services.
A Standard for Location? Shane Peterson, Mbusiness, Jan 2001http://www.mbizcentral.com/m-business_story/standard-4-location
Lance Mckee looks at the state of Web mapping and highlights the importance of interoperability including OGCs role.
Geography Connects Cyberspace with the Real World Lance McKee, GeoWorld, Feb 2001
Fred Limp reviews the changes in Web mapping since 1999 highlighting the questions implementers should ask.
User Needs Drive Web Mapping Product Selection - Fred Limp, GeoWorld Feb 2001
Randall Newton looks into the future of GIS, highlighting that OGC is "emerging to safeguard geoengineering data."
New frontiers for Geoengineering - Randall S. Newton, MicroStation Manager, Feb 2001
-OGC Press Releases
Press releases and other press information can be found in our new Press Room.
March 4-7, 2001 - San Diego, CA, USA GITA Annual Conference XXIV, exhibitor
April 2-6, 2001 - Liege, Belgium OGC Technical and Management Committee Meetings
June 4-8, 2001 - Nashua, NH, USA OGC Technical and Management Committee Meetings
October 1-5, 2001 - TBD OGC Technical and Management Committee Meetings (tentative date)
December 3-7, 2001 - Vancouver, BC, Canada, OGC Technical and Management Committee Meetings
OGC will have an exhibit booth at both GIS 2001 and GITA. OGC members who are exhibiting and are interested in assisting or working with us should contact Greg Buehler, gbuehler [at] opengeospatial [dot] org.
OGC Events Calendar
Please send comments and suggestions to:
Editor, OGC News
adena [at] opengeospatial [dot] org
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Copyright 2001 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.