OGC Newsletter - May 2001
Open Group Conference
First GETIS Validation Workshop
New OGC Membership Level
What's New on the OGC Website
OGC Interoperability Inititatives
OGC In The News
Back issues of OGC News are available.
Weaving the Spatial Web
Since the OGC and our members spend much of our work effort defining interfaces that support interoperability geospatial technologies, it's no wonder that we are particularly interested in the "Spatial Web." The Spatial Web is a way of looking at the Web, one focused on using maps, mappable data and geoprocessing via the Web on traditional browsers, wireless and other newly discovered devices.
The Spatial Web provides new context and new ways to query the resources of the Web. Consider using a traditional search engine: the best ones now search for text, audio, images and more. But, to date, no single engine can reach into arbitrary spatial databases. A traditional online mapping application can't pull together map data from several servers, in different locations, running different server software from different vendors into a single map display. Today, even non-geospatial services are challenging to find. So, how will we find geospatial services such as geocoding or overlaying? These are simple ways the Spatial Web can make mapping data and services available for a wide variety of uses.
But we must remember that the Spatial Web so dear to our hearts is just a single thread through the entire Internet experience. And, as a standards and specifications body we must work hard to weave that thread into all of the other parallel work being done on the Web including recent progress in Web services. Having other non-geospatial organizations addressing these issues along with us not only validates our commitments, but reminds us of the special expertise we bring to the Web environment.
David Schell, President, OGC
OPEN GROUP CONFERENCE
There was a strong spatial thread at the Open Group's "Boundaryless Information Flow: The Role of Web Services" held last week in Boston. Web inventor, and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Tim Berners-Lee highlighted the difference between the Web (where a user simply calls up documents, but makes no commitments) and Web services (where commitments, like buying car parts, are made). Mark Forman, Associate Director of Information technology and E-government at the Office of Budget and Management, highlighted the changes in the U.S. government enterprise and the role of Web services. One point he made was that state and local governments will deliver many of these services. That led nicely into Alan Leidner's exploration of New York's need and wide ranging use of integrated geospatial data and the Web. He highlighted GIS use for the 9/11 response and other more day-to-day services for residents and city agencies. The afternoon highlighted standards consortia including OASIS, W3C and DMTF, as well as OGC.
OGC's Carl Reed spoke of the Web services vision and focus of the OGC. He provided a brief overview of the OGC Web Services initiatives and called for better collaboration among the various standards and specifications organizations to enable the Spatial Web.
One somewhat controversial presentation was by Andrew Updegrove, an attorney at Lucash, Gesmer & Updegrove LLP who specializes in intellectual property. He made a strong case to keep standards open, arguing that the language of consortia should reflect "giving" more that "getting."
FIRST GETIS VALIDATION WORKSHOP
The first GETIS (Geo-processing Networks in a European Territorial Interoperability Study) Validation Meeting was held at the University of London Senate House on June 11, 2002. The purpose of the meeting was to present the GETIS project to a group of geoprocessing experts and get their feedback regarding the project's standards approach and use case methodology. There was useful discussion and general approval of how the disaster management use case narratives had been analyzed and diagrammed.
GETIS is a European Commission (EC) funded "IST [Information Society Technologies Programme] supporting measure" to provide practical guidelines for building nodes on a geo-processing network such as that envisioned by INSPIRE. A two-year project, GETIS passed its 12 month review in May, 2002. The GETIS consortium partners are PCI-UK (UK), SICAD Geomatics (Germany), OGC-Europe (UK), ITC (Netherlands), and Geobase (UK).
By supporting development, documentation and promotion of a successful methodology for building nodes on the emerging geo-processing network in Europe, the EC hopes that numerous product integrators and other technology providers will adopt the methodology in providing solutions for their customers. This will contribute to development of a "spatially enabled Web" in Europe, improving information flow in disaster management and other activities and providing new business for technology providers as well as data providers and others who have a role in building and supporting such a network.
NEW OGC MEMBERSHIP LEVEL
OGC has introduced a new membership level called Principal Plus. Designed for public and private organizations, Principal Plus members benefit by taking a more active role in shaping the direction of the Consortium's technology specification activities and in encouraging the use and acceptance of OpenGIS® specifications worldwide.
For more information visit http://www.opengeospatial.org/about/mLevels.htm.
WHAT'S NEW ON THE OGC WEBSITE
The following products were added to the list of implementing products
Specification: GML 2.1
OGC INTEROPERABILITY INITITATIVES
- OGC Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative (CIPI)
OGC's Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative (CIPI) takes a new approach to helping organizations publish, discover, access, exchange, and maintain vital geospatial information and online geoprocessing services required to support Homeland Security. The CIPI Request for Quotation release is expected in August. Interested parties should check back at www.opengeospatial.org, or subscribe to OGC News Flashes (visit our Press Room) for immediate notification of RFQ availability.
A Call for Communities (CFC) issued May 17, 2002 continues to receive interest from government, academic and private sector organizations worldwide. The CFC aims to address the growing interest of organizations that wish to provide access to their skills, geosptial information, and infrastructure to advance testing and validation of interoperable technologies in support of Critical Infrastructure Protection and other initiatives. To date, more than 45 organizations have registered. The CIPI Advisory Committee (CAC) considered responses to further questions and other factors, and has selected the Detroit/Windsor area along the United States/Canada border for the first CIPI pilot project.
To learn more about the CIPI CFC visit http://ip.opengeospatial.org/cfc/.
For more information, contact Terry Idol at terry.idol [at] baesystems.com.
- Geospatial One-Stop Transportation Pilot
OGC is providing a range of support for the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) led Geospatial One-Stop initiative launched as part of the U.S. e-government program. OGC will provide support to develop and test interoperable capabilities that can address the semantic differences that exist between similar geospatial data sets developed and maintained by federal, state and local government, and other organizations. For a theme such as transportation, these differences in feature descriptions, attributes etc. drastically limit the ability of collaborating communities to share and apply geospatial information.
OGC is supporting a Modeling Advisory Teams (MAT) established
by the FGDC to accelerate the nationwide consensus development
of National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Framework Data
Standards. Specifically OGC is supporting the development
of Unified Modeling Language (UML) and processes to generate
Geography Markup Language (GML) representation of the Transportation
Framework Standard (roads, transit, rail).
OGC will also develop a limited prototype capability to test and validate the ability to resolve data model differences between two or more geospatial data sets in real time via Web Feature Servers that employ the GML applications schema noted above.
The results of this initiative promise to illustrate the ability to support rapid data integration over an area by resolving data model differences on the fly. This capability will be a critical link in helping data sharing communities to maximize the return on investment in their existing data sets by minimizing cost of modifying their data sets to conform to a single data standard/model. OGC is working to integrate the capabilities of this initiative with other ongoing initiatives such as CIPI.
For more information, please contact Kurt Buehler at kurt [at] opengeospatial.org.
- OGC Web Services Phase 1.2 Initiative (OWS 1.2)
OGC Web Services Phase 1.2 is underway. OGC Web Services are self-contained, self-describing, modular applications that are published, located, and dynamically invoked across the Web. OWS 1.2 is working to extend the capabilities of existing interfaces created as part of previous OGC Interoperability Initiatives into an evolutionary, standards-based framework that leverages the power of the Web Services movement to enable seamless integration of online geoprocessing services. This framework will allow future geoprocessing applications assembled from multiple, network-enabled, self-describing Web Services.
An interim meeting of Sponsors and Participants is being held at the Northrop Grumman Information Systems/TASC facility in Westfields, Virginia from July 29 to 31, 2002. During this meeting, more than 60 representatives of OGC member organizations participating in the initiative have gathered to conduct collaborative engineering on sponsor-promoted Use Cases and over 15 new draft engineering specifications, making this effort a focal point of activity for developing geoprocessing interoperability. OWS 1.2 Working Groups include Common Architecture, Sensor Web, Image and Feature Handling, and Multi-Source Integrated Client. During the event, each of these groups are working to solidify the collaborative work they have conducted since the kickoff in May 2002 and to prepare for upcoming Technology Integration Experiments, to be conducted on OGCNetwork. Demonstrations are scheduled for later this year.
For more information, please contact Jim Stephens at stephens [at] opengeospatial.org.
- Geospatial Information for Sustainable Development - Initial Capability Pilot (GISD-ICP)
The Geospatial Information for Sustainable Development - Initial Capability Pilot (GISD-ICP) continues preparation for demonstrations at the U.N. World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in late August and early September in South Africa. The seven participating OGC member companies are now joined by more than 20 organizations providing data for use during the demonstration and for up to two years afterwards.
Test and Integration Experiments (TIEs) had been successfully conducted by the third week in July on many of the Web Map Server providers and the Web Feature Providers are expected to finish their TIEs by early August. OGC will run a display at the WSSD from August 26th until September 4th. It will feature clients from each of the seven participating organizations accessing data servers from around the world.
Participating companies include: Advanced Technology Solutions, Inc.;
CubeWerx, Inc.; ESRI; FGDC; Intergraph; Ionic, and Laser-Scan.
OGC members are encouraged to add their data to the framework by standing up the appropriate WMS or WFS and sending the URL to the program manager (see below). He will send a request to gather information to populate the GSDI Clearinghouse that will catalog the data and make your URL available.
For more information please contact Sam Bacharach at sam [at] opengeospatial.org.
For more information on OGC's Interoperability Program, please contact Jeff Harrison at jharrison [at] opengeospatial.org">jharrison [at] opengeospatial.org.
Oracle has played a central role in the Open GIS Consortium's standards process since its inception. Oracle was among the very first private sector companies to recognize the strategic significance of OGC's mission and to make an investment in its success via active participation since 1996. Oracle has supported the growth of OGC at every level in the organization. Participation on the Board of Directors, from the time this body was constituted, has helped to shape both the strategic direction and global growth of OGC. Oracle's ongoing leadership in the Technical Committee is evidenced by much of the early formative work; the initial specifications for interoperable geoprocessing (Simple Features) and in recent initiatives such as the Open Location Services testbed which Oracle helped to define and actively supports via commercially available technology. John Herring, Oracle's Spatial Architect, was the first recipient of OGC's prestigious Gardel's Award for overall, long-term contributions to the community. Finally, Oracle's active operational involvement via the Planning Committee has helped to blend the work in the technical committee with the vision expressed by the BOD.
Geospatial applications have become much more mainstream since OGC's inception giving rise to new application areas such as location-based services and in-vehicle telematics. This mainstreaming is in no small part due to the collective efforts and success of OGC and its member organizations, many of whom Oracle is proud to partner with on a regular basis. As OGC has matured and as its hard earned visibility and scope have grown, Oracle continues to work to promote and protect the process. As one of the most outspoken advocates for both open standards and for harmonization across relevant related standards bodies, Oracle continues to work in OGC and in the context of ISO, the SQL-MM community, OMG and in the newly formed OMA or Open Mobile Association to promote both open standards and the vision of interoperability that gave rise to OGC.
Brigadier General US Army Jack Pellicci (Ret.)
Group VP, Business Development
Oracle Government, Education and Health
The Open GIS Consortium welcomes our members who've joined us since June 2002:
University College London
OGC IN THE NEWS
- OGC in the Press
GIS One-stop Project Ramps Up
Technology Briefs, Federal Computer Week
Ubiquitous Wireless Location Interoperability
A look at interoperability efforts for location-based services, Jim VanderMeer, Directions Magazine, July 23, 2002
Homeland Homework: Reconfiguring for Wider Spatial Integration
A broad view of interoperability, Jonathan W. Lowe, GeoSpatial Solutions, July 2002
Mainstreaming GIS Crucial to More Sharing
The place of database storage of GIS data in sharing for homeland security, Brian Robinson, Federal Computer Week, June 24, 2002. This article is part of a supplement devoted to Homeland Security
http://www.fcw.com/supplements/homeland/2002/sup2/index.asp that includes this statement, "But perhaps the most aggressive in pushing GIS interoperability, at least at the technical level, is the Open GIS Consortium Inc."
- OGC Press Releases
July 8, 2002 OGC Seeks Interested Parties for Geospatial One-Stop Transportation Pilot Activity http://www.opengeospatial.org/press/pressrelease/20020701_GOS_Transp_Pilot_PR.htm
August 5-8, 2002, Champaign, IL, USA, GIS Standards Conference
August 19-21, 2002 Philadelphia, PA, USA, Information Sharing
& Homeland Security Conference
August 19-21, 2002 Melbourne, Australia, GITA Australia/New Zealand's 7th Annual Conference
September 9-13, 2002 Noordwijk, (Holland) The Netherlands
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings hosted by Shell International Exploration and Production, Inc.
December 9-13, 2002 Thousand Oaks, California
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings
For further info on events please contact Greg Buehler,
gbuehler [at] opengeospatial.org.
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Editor, OGC News
adena [at] opengeospatial.org
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Copyright 2001 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.