OGC Newsletter - February 2002
OGC Job Opportunity
News From the New York Meeting
Implementations of OGC Specifications
Contracts and Implementations
OGC In The News
Back issues of OGC News are available.
Various communities that recognize the importance of OGC's vision to their work are pulling us into new and exciting institutional contexts. OGC's February 4-7 meetings at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory represented the commencement of three important new areas of activity for OGC.
The Columbia Earth Institute (CEI), a collection of Columbia University institutes that includes Lamont Doherty, will soon sign a memorandum of understanding with OGC designed to extend our activities into the domains of science and sustainable development. CEI and OGC will address specific science related issues regarding the repeatability of results in investigations that draw on diverse spatial resources. This is pioneering work made practical by OGC's delivery of an interoperability framework that can be used by researchers around the world. It is tremendously significant in itself, but it gains significance by CEI's larger mission, which is to apply Earth science in helping to solve the most serious problems of our age -- hunger, poverty, overpopulation, and human-induced global change. CEI Associate Vice Provost John Mutter and other CEI leaders spoke eloquently about their institution's commitment to this challenge. Columbia, respected as it is in the world of science and in the world of US federal policymaking, is in a unique position to meet this challenge. OGC's work with CEI begins in parallel with OGC's new initiatives to help the UN develop a spatial information management strategy and to help the US State Department and USAID support African data centers. There are clear synergies in this constellation of activities.
The venue for the meetings was chosen not only because of our progress toward an MOU with CEI, but also because of our current New York City Testbed. Bruce Cahan (Urban Logic, an OGC member organization) introduced us a few months ago to New York City's Director of City-wide GIS Programs, Alan Leidner, who embraced the idea of a Testbed and made it possible. At the Monday plenary session and again at the Wednesday reception we heard Alan's dramatic account of how, immediately after the City's main spatial data center was destroyed in the September 11 attack, he and his colleagues gathered GIS experts, computers, software, printers and data in a building on Pier 92 to provide maps and integrated information support during rescue and recovery operations. Coordinating data from multiple sources, including new data being collected by city and federal agencies, they produced thousands of hardcopy and softcopy maps for the National Guard, police and fire departments, other local, state and federal agencies, and citizens of New York. Alan noted how connectivity and processing capability in the field -- soon to be augmented by implementations of OGC Web Services and Open Location Services -- provides tremendous new benefits in disaster management. Through Alan's account, we were reminded of just how essential spatial data is to the protection of critical infrastructure as part of Homeland Security. The OGC Web Services Testbed focus on New York City to support data coordination and fast access to securely held spatial resources, defines an important new role for OGC.
Thanks to substantial progress made by OGC's members since 1994, we can now support community building and regional integration. Globally and locally, the interoperability we enable supports the convergence of institutions and increases their summed capabilities. New members from the international science and sustainable development communities will now contribute new requirements based on their global imperatives for such convergence. Likewise, our scope will be broadened by new members representing cooperating communities working toward the mutually supportive goals of Critical Infrastructure Protection and more efficient day-to-day local government operations. It is rewarding to see our work making a difference.
President, Open GIS Consortium
OGC JOB OPPORTUNITY
OGC seeks to hire a Technical Document Management Specialist. The OGC specification process generates many technical documents, ranging from draft engineering documents to white papers to final adopted OpenGIS Implementation Specifications. Many of these undergo regular revision. Most are posted on OGC's website. The person hired for this job will establish process and quality assurance procedures to manage these documents and associated database processes. The preferred locations for this position are Boston, MA or Washington, DC.
NEWS FROM THE NEW YORK MEETING
Our thanks to Columbia Earth Institute and Ionic Enterprise, who hosted the OGC Technical Committee meetings in Palisades, New York the week of February 4. These were good, productive working meetings interspersed with interesting and inspirational talks by the presenters mentioned in the President's Message above.
The Technical Committee (TC) recommended that GML 2.1 be brought to an electronic vote. Significant progress and consensus along with an aggressive work schedule, have lead to a LOT of work on GML 3.0. In parallel, The Coordinate Transformation Working Group focused on reaching consensus on a set of schemas that can be integrated into GML 3.0. As an example of a production use of GML, the UK Ordnance Survey presented its GML-based MasterMap data products. We expect to have key components of GML 3.0 ready for a vote at the April meetings.
The Conformance Testing Ad Hoc Committee made progress, recommending that the TC approve a proposal to the Planning Committee (PC) to form a Conformance Testing and Interoperability Evaluation CTIEP Subcommittee of the PC. See more below in Implementations and Conformance Testing.
The Decision Support Services Special Interest Group (SIG) worked on a revised Charter and Mission, and explored the kinds of use cases that would pose appropriate requirements related to data mining and extraction of spatial data and the introduction of OGC core services into modeling and visualization environments. There was agreement that the Web Terrain Server (WTS) belongs in this SIG.
In the joint Earth Observation and WWW SIG, presentations were made on a proposed Earth Science Markup Language (an XML encoding) and on a significant approach to web architecture as it relates to ongoing OGC work on Web Services. There was also a demonstration of a production E-commerce website geospatially enabled using OGC interface specifications. Finally, there was discussion on how to refocus the WWW SIG in a more meaningful way. The conclusion was that the SIG should move its focus from portrayal into technical discussions and guidance related to architecture and technologies required in the Web world.
In the Metadata SIG, a presentation was given on an XML implementation of the ISO 19115 metadata standard. The recommendation was to provide this as an informative annex to 19115. A major action item is to determine the best, coordinated method for incorporating consistent metadata in existing and emerging OGC interface specifications.
The Documentation Subcommittee reviewed specification workflow improvements and the importance of applying UML expertise.
One of the benefits of membership is the ability to access http://www.opengeospatial.org/members/0202tc/index.htm for more details of the work that went on in these groups and in the SIGs for Earth Observation, WWW Mapping, Image Exploitation, Location Services, Metadata, and Natural Resources and Environment.
Carl Reed Executive Director, OGC
CAP Grant Proposals Due March 15, 2002
The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) has begun accepting proposals for the 2001 National Spatial Data Infrastructure Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP). Grants are available in four areas, one of which supports projects to extend existing clearinghouse nodes with OpenGIS Consortium (OGC) compliant web mapping service capabilities and related standards-based services.
OGC at GIS 2002
OGC is a supporting organization of GIS 2002, the sixteenth successive Canadian event, to be held April 8 - 11 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Several panels and sessions include discussions of interoperability related topics including a half-day workshop on Web Services led by Edric Keighan, President and CEO, CubeWerx, and another titled Introduction to XML with Geospatial Applications led by Ron Lake, President, Galdos Systems Inc. OGC Board Member Fred Limp will be featured on two panels.
OGC and LIF Partner
The Location Interoperability Forum (LIF) and the OGC have agreed to work together on interoperability, education and market development for mobile location based services.
IMPLEMENTATIONS OF OGC SPECIFICATIONS
The following products were added to the list of implementing products http://www.opengeospatial.org/cgi-bin/implement.pl
Java based wmsClient v.1.0
Web Map Server (WMS) 1.0.0
University of Bonn
JaGo - Java Framework for Geospatial Solutions v.0.5.5
FME (Feature Manipulation Engine) v.2002
Simple Features OLE/COM (SFO) 1.1 OLE DB Provider(Server and Client) http://www.safe.com/products/fme/index.htm
University of Minnesota
Jen Barmann (TASC) introduced a Conformance Testing and Interoperability Evaluation (CTIE) Subcommittee charter document at the Technical Meeting this month in Palisades, New York. The goal of CTIE subcommittee is to provide guidance and to advise the OGC staff on the operation of the Conformance Testing and Interoperability Evaluation Program (CTIEP) of the Consortium. The Subcommittee will provide a forum for an open, consensus discussion regarding approaches and issues related to conformance and interoperability testing becoming an integral component in the OGC specification process. Further, the Subcommittee will work with members and OGC staff to create a well-understood process that will allow vendors to achieve OGC certification in a timely, cost effective manner.
The Subcommittee membership is open to all TC members in
good standing. The following members have already expressed an interest:
Jen Barmann, TASC
Rob Atkinson, SCO
Dave Danko, ESRI
Ignacio Guerrero, Intergraph
Vincent Dessard, Ionic Software
Field Operations Manager, OGC
CONTRACTS AND IMPLEMENTATIONS
Hitachi has begun marketing GIS*Anywhere, a Simple Feature Specification conformant solution for integrating GIS data.
Cadcorp announced its mSIS an applications for PocketPC that implements Simple Features (vector data structures), Coordinate Transformation Services and Grid Coverages (raster data).
The OGC Interoperability Program (IP) is a global, collaborative, hands-on engineering and testing program designed to deliver proven candidate interface specifications into the OGC Specification Development Program. This month we introduce some new initiatives and provide updates to work in progress.
OGC Domain Modeling Support, Phase 1 (ODMS-1)
ERDC and the CADD/GIS Center for Facilities, Infrastructure, and Environment have sponsored an initiative to support the evolution of the information communities. The ODMS project produced a domain model for utilities with a focus on providing greater interoperability within and across information communities.
ODMS-1 focused on geospatial features associated with gas, electric, and water utilities. The model was developed using the Unified Modeling Language (UML). The final UML model and the associated Interoperability Program report were finalized and submitted to ERDC and CADD/GIS Center. The submitting organizations are ESRI, G/I/S, and SICAD. The results of ODMS-1, OGC Web Services will be able to deal more effectively with geospatial information maintained by members of specialized sectors, such as utilities. OGC expects that additional ODMS initiatives will help to address interoperability issues now being experienced by communities as they attempt to share geospatial data.
Military Pilot Project (MPP-1)
The Military Pilot Project Phase 1 (MPP-1) Demonstration was conducted on February 15, 2002 at Intergraph in Reston, Virginia, USA. During this event, OGC members showed over sixty government and defense contractor IT managers important new developments in cross-platform, cross-vendor communication and analysis of geographic information. The event was very successful and constituted an impressive display of the power of interoperability.
The MPP-I scenario focused on the operations of a fictional multi-nation coalition helping to bring stability to a war-torn nation. A joint "GeoCell" was established to provide integrated geospatial intelligence in support of coalition operations, using different vendors' Map, Feature and Coverage servers (WMS, WFS, WCS) located in the US, Canada, and Europe. It demonstrated the potential for a robust imagery and geospatial architecture composed of many heterogeneous yet interoperable and secure (using PKI encryption) commercial servers and services needed by MPP-1 Sponsors. Products with interfaces based on draft or approved OGC Specifications enabled users to access and merge together various sources of imagery and geospatial information; symbolize it using military symbology; create, store and share annotation including military symbology; add/edit features; generate 3D terrain displays; and search registries.
MPP-1 Sponsors -- the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC), the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), In-Q-Tel, and IMC Corporation (Japan) -- set requirements and provided support. MPP-1 Participants -- Compusult (Canada), Cubewerx (Canada), iGS3, Laser-Scan (UK), PCI Geomatics (Canada), Polexis, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Syncline, Skyline, Intergraph, and University of Alabama at Huntsville -- fitted software products with interoperability interfaces based on draft or approved OGC Specifications.
Multi-hazard Mapping Initiative (MMI-I)
OGC's Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative (MMI) is well underway. Phase I will establish an operational framework of interoperable services to illustrate the advantages of using standards-based commercial-off-the-shelf (SCOTS) products to support the US Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) multi-hazard mitigation, response and recovery missions. OGC members CubeWerx, Compusult, Harvard Design and Mapping, SAIC, ESRI, and MapInfo are participating in MMI-I. Additionally, FEMA is engaging the participation of several state and local governments.
MMI-1 will use OGC interfaces to enable discovery, access, fusion, and visualization of hazard, demographic, and geographic data in support of the multi-hazard mapping mission. Through this initiative FEMA will be able to demonstrate the value of a "common thread of interoperability" across federal, state, and local agencies. During the demonstration spatial information from multiple agencies and sources will be accessed, integrated and visually fused across the Internet using software products from multiple vendors. MMI-I will cumulate in a demonstration of geographically dispersed multi-hazard data access and analysis for sponsors scheduled for March 29, 2002.
OGC Web Services (OWS)
The OWS-1 Initiative is progressing on schedule, with a March 7, 2002 demonstration for Sponsors. Next month, OGC News will include a more detailed discussion of outcome of OWS-1. Planning for the next phase of OWS is now underway. A Call for Sponsors was issued on February 2, 2002 and is available at http://www.opengeospatial.org/press/pressrelease/20020204_OWS_SponsorNYC_PR.htm. A Call for Participation / Request for Quotations will be available for public review by mid March. Please visit the OGC Web Site after March 12 to download the CFP/RFQ.
Organizations interested in sponsoring or participating in OGC Interoperability Program initiatives should contact Jeff Harrison at (703) 491-9543.
Director, OGC Interoperability Program
There are a number of new and ongoing strategic initiatives GITA is focused on, including the newly formed partnership with the Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC). Together we are creating a program of jointly supported educational and market development activities designed to benefit the members of both organizations and the geospatial community as a whole. Some of the recent and upcoming activities include an interoperability Webcast held in December 2001, contributions to industry magazines and international conference programming on interoperability, OGC's upcoming demonstrations of interoperability and related panel discussions at our Annual Conference in Tampa, FL, a jointly sponsored Emerging Technology Summit scheduled for Fall of 2002, joint interoperability research initiatives to identify technology and business trends and requirements involving OGC's "test beds" and coordination with other organizations and associations, such as the Spatial Technology Industry Association and the Federal Geographic Data Committee in furthering interoperability across the industry and user community.
This partnership is allowing for both organizations to enhance their ability to meet the expanding needs of a growing community of geospatial information users.
The Open GIS Consortium welcomes our members who've joined us since January 2002.
Aachen University of Technology
European Union Satellite Centre
Washington University in St. Louis
OGC IN THE NEWS
-OGC in the Press
Get Your Free Interoperability Roadmap - what is and how to use the OGC Roadmap
Louis Hecht Jr. GeoWorld, Feb 2002
- OGC Press Releases
Feb 25, 2002
OGC Members Go Online And Interoperable at GITA Conference
Feb 19, 2002
Mobile Industry Groups Join Forces to Accelerate Time to Market of Location-Based Services
Feb 04, 2002
OGC Seeks Sponsors for Second Thread of Web Services Initiative
Feb 01, 2002
Natural Resources Canada Becomes OGC Principal Member
March 17-20, 2002
Tampa, Florida, United States, GITA Annual Conference
April 8-12, 2002
Reston, VA, United States, OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings, hosted by BAE Systems
April 8 - 11
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, GIS 2002
Washington, DC, FIG (International Federation of Surveyors Congress 2002)
Techical sessions related to ISO TC211 standards have been organized jointly by ISO/TC211 and FIG Task Force on Standards.
June 10-14, 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.
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Editor, OGC News
adena [at] opengeospatial.org
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Copyright 2002 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.