OGC Newsletter - March 2001
OGC at GIS 2001 and GITA
EC Commissioner for Research to Speak at Next OGC Meeting
OGC In The News
Back issues of OGC News are available.
The third week in March saw the 2001 version of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) Wireless Show. One hot topic was location-based services (LBS). No less than ten companies made announcements about new partnerships or contracts to provide location sensitive information to hand-held PCs, mobile phones and automobiles. This renewed interest in geography is most gratifying to those of us involved in spatial technologies. However, the blinding speed with which platforms and devices are developing worries me from an interoperability standpoint.
With roughly 30 years of non-interoperable GIS software behind us, the geospatial community has finally embraced open standards, with OGC as a driving force. As a result, OGC is now well positioned to take a leading role in the development of interoperability standards for LBS. OGC has identified this market as the next major business opportunity for providers of geospatial data and services.
In recent months we have made significant efforts to become actively engaged in the LBS market by building partnerships with other leading LBS focused organizations such as the Location Interoperability Forum. We have made significant progress in establishing relationships with many of the technology organizations involved in fielding the infrastructure and applications needed to make LBS a success. Most importantly, we have expressed OGC's commitment to driving the LBS market with a family of interoperability specifications through the OpenLS Initiative, an Interoperability Program project scheduled to begin later this year.
Our great hope is to be able to build LBS interoperability standards in the early stages of the market, even as the most basic location services capabilities are being developed. By bringing together the key industry players before the US Congress mandates cell phone location determination, I believe that we have the opportunity to build such standards. This early work ensures that the technology architecture will be capable of supporting the growth that the industry and our members expect.
I invite you to join us in this exciting enterprise. For more information you can visit our LBS oriented website, www.openls.org, or contact the OGC staff.
David Schell, President, Open GIS Consortium
OGC has finally reached a level of specification activity to enable true interoperability. We are generating technical specifications faster than ever before, with the aid of our innovative Interoperability Program. Users are trying to procure and, in fact, are beginning to demand, that vendors build conformant products. The user's needs for conformant products makes a "fully-enabled" testing program crucial.
Such a program has been hampered by a "chicken and egg" challenge at OGC. Resources and vendor interest are required to put the conformance test suites and testing guidelines in place for each specification. OGC is developing a course of action to identify the resources and vendor interest required to make this "fully-enabled" program a reality. For testing to reach its goals, both the voice of the user and the commitment of the vendor must be heard and supported. Stay tuned for upcoming actions regarding conformance testing!
Kurt A. Buehler, OGC Chief Technical Officer
OGC AT GIS 2001 AND GITA
The OGC booth was very busy at both GIS 2001 in Vancouver and GITA in San Diego held in the past month. With Ron Lake of Galdos Systems giving workshops on XML and GML at GIS 2001, there was much discussion in the booth about the future of those two transport methods. Cubewerx, a company very active in OGC Web mapping initiatives demonstrated products implementing Web specifications. At GITA there was further discussion of GML and its place in the utility arena.
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 Web Mapping Services specification but its product has not yet tested conformant: Autodesk.
For specific product details, please see the Conformant Product Listing at http://www.opengeospatial.org/techno/conformance.htm#products
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.org.
The Interoperability Program (IP) is a global, collaborative, hands-on engineering and testing program designed to deliver proven candidate specifications into OGC's Specification Development Program.
The Military Pilot Project (MPP) is now underway as a Phase I initiative. The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is the lead Sponsor of this Interoperability Initiative designed to implement a prototype infrastructure to support intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and geospatial information dissemination and utilization on multinational coalition networks and Advanced Concepts Technology Demonstrations (ACTDs). The Sponsor has selected MPP 1 participant organizations, and notification is underway.
The OGC Web Services Initiative was announced recently. This Initiative will address a range of important interoperability topics. Details on the initiative can be found in a Request for Technologies now available on the OGC website. Proposals must be received by OGC no later than 5:00 PM on May 14, 2001. Interested sponsors should contact Mr. Jeff Harrison, Interoperability Program Manager, at (703) 628-8655.
Open Web Services Initiative Request for Technology http://ip.opengeospatial.org/ows/rft.htm
Geospatial Fusion Services Pilot Project (GFSPP) participants are currently conducting systems testing of an Operational Prototype based on OGC Geospatial Fusion Services Testbed (GFST-1) and Web Mapping Testbed 2 (WMT-2) technology. The goal of the GFSPP is to demonstrate the utility and effectiveness of geospatial fusion technologies in near-operational settings and provide feedback into the OGC Specification development process. Participants of the GFSPP include Ionic Software, Social Change Online, Galdos Systems, Polexis, ESRI, SAIC and Lockheed Martin. The GFSPP is sponsored by In-Q-Tel.
EC COMMISSIONER FOR RESEARCH TO SPEAK AT NEXT OGC MEETING
Mr. Phillipe Busquin, the European Commission's Commissioner for Research, will be the main speaker at the OGC Evening Reception on April 4 at the Colonster Castle in Liege, Belgium. This reception is part of OGC's program of Technical Committee and Planning Committee meetings scheduled for 2 - 5 April in Liege, hosted by OGC member company Ionic Software. Invitees include senior officials from the USGS, Ordnance Survey, European Space Agency, and the American Meteorological Society.
Mr. Busquin, one of 20 Commissioners on the EC, oversees all of the EC's research programs. His responsibilities include European co-operation inside the European Union's research programs, research conducted by the European Union's Joint Research Center (JRC), and the development of research policies and strategies.
There will be a press conference in the morning on April 4.
OGC Meeting Information http://www.opengeospatial.org/events/nexttc.htm.
More on Mr. Busquin http://europa.eu.int/comm/commissioners/index_en.htm
Geospatial technology offers information from data. As we move ever faster into information overload, geographic presentation offers us humans the ability to absorb content that would be hidden in any other medium or type of presentation. OGC has taken the lead in proving that we can tackle these issues a bit at a time and solve them in a manner to make the geospatial aspect of information readily available, across the globe and beyond.
Byers Engineering Company
Spatial Age Division
Intergraph has been committed to an open systems philosophy for many years. We are a founding and principal member of the Open GIS Consortium and continue to actively participate in, and benefit from, ongoing OGC initiatives. With the Internet rapidly shaping data access and processing requirements, the need for open, extensible distributed geoprocessing and geodata access is more important than ever. The availability of the Web Map Server, Web Feature Server, and other related OGC interfaces now gives our industry the capability for providing commercially available products that meet the needs of GIS computing over the Internet. These interfaces were defined and agreed on through the consensus process and combined efforts of the OGC members and OGC staff, a testament to the power of collaboration. These initiatives enable Intergraph to bring new innovations to our users and to the GIS industry at large.
Executive Product Director
Intergraph Mapping and GIS Solutions
If you'd like to share your thoughts on what the Open GIS Consortium means to your organization, please contact the editor, adena [at] opengeospatial.org.
The Open GIS Consortium welcomes our members whove joined us since February 2001.
Florida International University
University of Sheffield
US EPA EMPACT
OGC IN THE NEWS
Susan Smith talks about the need for standards and how OGC is moving forward in this arena.
The Long Road to Standards - Susan Smith, GISVision, March 2001 http://www.giscafe.com/GISVision/Editorial/Long_Road.html
Louis Hecht highlights the role of OGC in the National Spatial Data Infrastructure.
OGC Offers NSDI Priorities for Bush Administration - Louis Hecht, GeoWorld, March 2001 http://www.geoplace.com/gw/2001/0301/0301open.asp
-OGC Press Releases
Mar 22, 2001
EC Commissioner For Research to Speak at OGC Meeting
Mar 12, 2001
GML 2 On the Way to Adoption
Mar 9, 2001
OGC Seeks Input For Geographic Web Services Testbeds
Feb 27, 2001
Lockheed Martin Corporation Sponsors Assignment of James Stephens to OGC Staff for One-year Assignment
Press releases and other press information can be found in our Press Room.
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
June 4-8, 2001 - Nashua, NH, USA OGC Technical and Management Committee Meetings
June 26-28, 2001 - Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, Digital Earth conference http://dbs.cordis.lu/cgi- bin/srchidadb?CALLER=NHP_EN_NEWS&ACTION=D&SESSION=&RCN=EN_RCN_ID:16444
Please send comments and suggestions to:
Editor, OGC News
adena [at] opengeospatial.org
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Copyright 2001 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.