OGC Newsletter - November 2001
The View From Here
GIS in Telecoms Conference
OGC In The News
Back issues of OGC News are available.
OGC is pleased to unveil the new OGC website on December 1st. We appreciate the feedback that members and visitors have provided, and hope the new layout makes it easier to navigate.
There is also an important way for all of you to participate in building the site. OGC provides a listing of products that implement OpenGIS Specifications from both members and non-members. The goal is to develop the definitive directory of these products. If you know of an implementation that is not listed, we encourage you to provide the details at http://www.opengeospatial.org/addimp.htm and make the product known to the world!
Please have a look at the new site and send any suggestions to webmaster [at] opengeospatial.org.
Editor, OGC News
OGC to Participate in Sustainable Development Project
The World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa, will be a forum for world leaders to address progress made on the "Agenda 21" issues raised at the previous summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. OGC intends to participate in the Geographic Information for Sustainable Development (GISD) project, cosponsored by the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development. Project results will be reported at that Summit.
The GISD project delivers on a commitment to bring digital information sources and information technologies to bear on Africa's pressing development problems. The goal is to work with sustainable development decision makers on that continent, actively engaging local practitioners. The strategy encompasses elements of funding, public diplomacy, education, and public-private partnerships.
OGC and its member organizations plan to address the fourth strategic element, creating a public-private partnership to promote understanding and application of interoperability standards and improve the ability of local practitioners to discover, share, and apply geographic information.
The last decade has been one of increasing cooperation between scientists, policy makers, and stakeholders in the sustainable development decision- making process. USGS and Europe's JRC, for example, just recently began a project, separate from the GISD project but synergistic with it, to take advantage of interoperability in support of sustainable development. Our members are assuring the interoperability infrastructure for worldwide agricultural production, famine warning, resource management, etc., but also for other activities. Many elements of the overall GISD program model and the scientific and practical models will be expandable to other areas.
The decision by sponsors of the first thread of the OGC Web Services initiative (OWS-1) to invite New York City to be the subject of that testbed activity highlights the universal value of interoperable geoprocessing. The city will provide a set of requirements and a diverse collection of spatial technologies and data. OWS-1 participants will engineer candidate open interfaces that will ultimately improve data sharing and communication for disaster management. The concurrent FEMA-sponsored Multi-hazard Mapping Initiative will focus on different but related interoperability issues for disaster management. Results from these initiatives will certainly apply in the coming months and years in New York City and elsewhere as governments devote more attention to critical infrastructure protection and disaster management. We will also report soon on an initiative to develop interoperability methods and measures related to scientific verification through repeatable experimental results involving spatial data. This, too, will have broad ramifications for many application domains.
There is quite a lot of activity! But as always, it's immensely gratifying to see the good coming from our commitment to interoperability in this industry.
David Schell, President, Open GIS Consortium
There is currently a Request for Comments (RFC) on the OpenGIS Web Feature Server (WFS) Implementation Specification. Comments are due Dec 1, 2001. The RFC is available at http://www.opengeospatial.org/techno/rfc13info.htm.
OGC staff and members contributed heavily to the recently held GIS in Telecom Conference sponsored by IIR on November 12-15 in Geneva, Switzerland. A full day was devoted to location based service issues with presentations and lively discussion by the OpenLS testbed team, a number of European operators, application and content providers. The second and third days of the conference featured a number of OGC members presenting on the following topics: enterprise development, network planning and engineering, emergency response, ISO and MAGIC interface developments. IIR will be publishing a CD- ROM containing all the presentations. The price is £399. Call +44 20 7915 5156 for details.
The OGC 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. Several ongoing Interoperability Initiatives have been picking up pace and more are scheduled to start next month. Here is an overview of IP status this month:
-Open Location Services 1 (OpenLS-1) Testbed ( http://www.openls.org)
The OpenLS-1 Test Bed held a very productive Technical Exchange Meeting on November 16th in Geneva at the same hotel that hosted the GIS in Telecom Conference. Attendees included Europe's Webraska, Hutchison 3G, Opt[e]way, and Ionic, North America's Navigation Technologies, Mobile GIS, Galdos, Cquay, Oracle, and ESRI as well as Intergraph's Intelliwhere division (Australia).
The group reviewed and commented on the status of the work from the Directory, Navigation, Presentation and Location Utility Working Groups. Because the technical leads for Gateway and Encoding were unable to attend, those two topics were not addressed.
In addition to the weekly work being performed by the participants from their home locations, there will be a day and a half work session on December 6th and 7th in Vancouver, BC, Canada in conjunction with the OGC Technical Committee (TC) meeting being held there that week. The Location Services SIG time slot will be used for the test bed to report the status in detail to the overall TC.
-Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative, Phase 1 (MMI-1)
On October 24, 2001, OGC issued a Call for Participation / Request for Quotation to solicit industry participation in this major pilot. MMI, sponsored by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will define a collaborative open technology and information framework that provides on-line discovery, access, dissemination, and visualization of web-enabled geospatial information and geoprocessing services accessed and integrated from multiple distributed geoprocessing resources. The "MMI-1 Framework" seeks to facilitate and promote the use of georeferenced hazard information from multiple sources over the Internet. Spatial information from multiple agencies and sources will be accessed across the Internet using vendor products and reference implementations developed during OGC's previous Interoperability Initiatives. MMI-1 kick-off is scheduled for Dec 10th in the Washington, DC metro area. MMI is expected to run through March 2002, with initial demo presentation in February.
-OGC Web Services (OWS)
The first thread of OWS has been underway for a month, and is rapidly making progress on new draft specifications for interoperability. Sponsors and participants from around the globe are working in partnership to advance the design and testing of these new interfaces. OWS-1 intends to issue Interoperability Program Reports (essentially draft interface specifications see the discussion below). For OWS-1 the following DIPRs are expected: Service Model, Registry Service, Web Coverage Service, Web Feature Services, and Web Map Service, Coverage Portrayal Service, Sensor Model Language, Sensor Collection Service and others. I'll explain each of these in next month's newsletter. As part of the OWS-1 Demo preparation, OGC members visited the Office of Emergency Management in New York City on Nov 5, 2001. At the request of OWS sponsors and NYC officials, NYC will be the focus of OWS-1, with use cases designed to address some of the real interoperability issues experienced in geospatial operations in recent months.
-The OGC Military Pilot Project Phase 1
MPP-1 sponsors are supporting further work on Phase I of the OGC Military Project Pilot. During this extension, OGC and industry vendors will develop, test and validate interface specifications that are anticipated to lead to commercial products suitable for use by the sponsors and indeed by the broader geospatial community. In addition to working on Web Coverage Server (WCS) and Web Feature Server (WFS), this extension will develop IPRs for XML for Image and Map Annotation (XIMA) and Styled Layer Descriptor (SLD). MPP-1 will include a demonstration of software interfaces developed by Participants that are based on the DIPRs and IPRs.
-The OGC Object Domain Modeling Support (ODMS)
The ODMS Initiative Kickoff was held on Nov 5-7. During this event, ESRI, Galdos, SICAD, G-I-S Services and the Initiative Sponsor, CADD/GIS Center, came together to begin developing domain models for utilities as a vehicle to achieve semantic interoperability within and across information communities.
-GIS Day - Members of OGC supported the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) GIS Day showing off non-traditional GIS. US Census Bureau staff talked about GML and demonstrated GML tools developed during WMT-2.
-Working with potential Sponsors, OGC IP is now planning for next year's work with several new initiative areas under consideration including Critical Infrastructure Protection, Collaborating Communities and Sustainable Development.
Organizations interested in sponsoring or participating in OGC Interoperability Program initiatives should contact Jeff Harrison at (703) 491-9543.
- What's an IPR? OGC Interoperability Reports (IPRs) are not OGC Standards or Specifications, but they are still very important documents. IPRs and Draft IPRs (DIPRs)present a discussion of technology issues considered as part of an OGC Interoperability Program initiative. The purpose of the IPR and DIPR is to document the specification engineering from an OGC Interoperability Initiative and create discussion in the geospatial information industry. They do not represent the official position of the OGC nor of the OGC Technical Committee. However, the material found in IPRs and DIPRs is often intended to lead to the definition of OGC Implementation Specifications through the OGC Technical Committee's Specification Process.
Director, OGC Interoperability Program
How Does ISO Work, and How Can I Get Involved?
This article is intended to give interested members a deeper understanding of ISO policies and procedures.
The ISO policies and procedures are provided in the new ISO/IEC Directives (4th edition, 2001) that are accessible at http://www.iso.ch/sdis/directives (click on the "log-in as guest" button). The Directives provide the procedural rules to be followed by ISO committees for the development and maintenance of International Standards and other ISO deliverables, and the rules for the structure and drafting of these documents.
The three ISO/IEC Directive documents are:
- Part 1, Procedures for the technical work
- Part 2, Rules for the structure and drafting of International Standards
- ISO Supplement, Procedures specific to ISO (1st edition, 2001)
The first of these, Procedures for the technical work (Part 1, 2001) describes the procedural rules. It is complemented by the procedures and guidelines provided in the Supplement Procedures specific to ISO (the "ISO Supplement").
The second, Rules for the structure and drafting of International Standards (Part 2, 2001), specifies the rules for the structure and drafting of documents intended to become International Standards, Technical Specifications or Publicly Available Specifications. As far as practicable, the rules also apply to documents intended to become Technical Reports or Guides. The rules are intended to ensure that such documents are drafted in as uniform a manner as practicable, irrespective of the technical content.
The "ISO Supplement Procedures specific to ISO" is a user-friendly handbook. It gives further "simplified" detailed information and also includes the latest release of the ISO Forms. The Supplement is the "all in one", and it is strongly suggested that you keep a copy handy. The ISO forms are also available at http://www.iso.ch/sdis/forms.
ISO recommends that the provisions in Part 2 be applied from now on. The application of Part 2, however, is mandatory for the registration of all enquiry drafts (DIS-stage 40.00) by the Central Secretariat after 1 January 2002 and for the registration of final draft International Standards (FDIS - stage 50.00) after 1 July 2002. The ISO Supplement includes the ISO forms and model letters. These are accessible at http://www.iso.ch/sdis/forms.
It should be noted that these procedures do not apply to ISO/IEC JTC 1, or to committees cooperating with CEN under the "Vienna Agreement." Questions or comments on the ISO/IEC Directives or the ISO Supplement can be sent to the ISO Directives Helpdesk (directives [at] iso.ch). So, how can OGC members get more involved in ISO, especially in ISO/TC211? Basically there are three methods:
- Use the Liaison relationship that ISO shares with OGC
- Contact your country's National Body, and advance your ideas and drafts through this channel
- Use the TOCG Agreement (the TC211/OGC Coordinating Group) a unique understanding between OGC and ISO/TC211.
Next month: More on the TOCG.
Cliff Kottman, VP and Chief Scientist, Open GIS Consortium
The Open GIS Consortium welcomes our members who've joined us since October 2001.
Asian Institute of Technology, Asian Center for Research on Remote-Sensing
Hutchison 3G UK Ltd.
University of Northern British Columbia
Vision for New York
-OGC in the Press
October 31, 2001
Syncline Chosen by OGC to Develop Software Specifications for Geographic Web Services
November 11, 2001
LocatioNet Joins Sun Microsystems in Sponsoring OpenLS Initiative
Geospatial Standards Web Site at Natural Resources Canada
- OGC Press Releases
November 08, 2001
OGC Seeks Input on Next Web Mapping Specification
November 07, 2001
OGC Requests Input to Build Directory of Interoperable Products
October 25, 2001
OGC Releases Call for Participation / Request for Quotation for Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative
October 23, 2001
OGC Announces Kick Off of OGC Web Services Initiative
December 3-7, 2001 Vancouver, BC, Canada
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings,
Hosted by Galdos, Inc., and Natural Resources Canada
December 12, 2001
GITA Interoperability Webcast Seminar, cosponsored by OGC and FGDC
February 4-8, 2002 Palisades, New York, USA
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings
Hosted by Columbia Earth Institute of Columbia University at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
April 8-12, 2002 Location TBD,
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings
June 3-7, 2002 London, England,
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings,
Hosted by Cadcorp, Ltd.
OGC Events Calendar
For further info on events please contact Greg Buehler,
gbuehler [at] opengeospatial.org"> gbuehler [at] opengeospatial.org.
Please send comments and suggestions to:
Editor, OGC News
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Copyright 2001 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.