OGC Newsletter - August 2002
GeoSpatial Information for Sustainable Development: How to Build a Framework for Africa and Beyond
OGC to Feature Open Location Services at Upcoming Events
What`s New on the OGC Website
OGC Interoperability Inititatives
OGC In The News
Back issues of OGC News are available.
Like the Internet itself, the Spatial Web should be conceived and cultivated as a community resource. It should not be controlled or excessively characterized by any single institution, commercial interest group, or national or regional government. The spatial web must be thought of as one of humanity's critical infrastructure and cultural resources. It should be the mutual intent of its builders and users, the geospatial community, to protect this nascent, unfolding infrastructure. The Spatial Web is extraordinarily important, though few people think about it now. It must become and remain an international public resource that people can use for activities of all kinds: personal, commercial, cultural, social and political.
Like the Web it is part of, the Spatial Web is self- organizing. It grows through the diverse commercial and non-commercial activities of countless people who use the Web to publish, find, and process information about places, objects, people, phenomena and events in "Earth space." But self-organizing does not mean chaotic or out of control. The self-organization of this technology- mediated social phenomenon is based on precedents, inherent principles, and human intentions. Early geoprocessing systems established the indisputable value of geoprocessing in a wide range of human endeavors. Web-based geoprocessing, as conceptualized in OGC's Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative and other initiatives, extends this value. Working together in a global consensus process, we can ensure that standards advancements will support and guide a constructive unfolding.
It is important to understand that the Spatial Web is more than spatial content and spatial applications on the Web, integrated through spatial enhancements to the Web's standards infrastructure. Thanks to the metadata expertise of producers and users of spatial data, spatial content fits in nicely as the Web comes to depend increasingly on text structured in well-known schemas. And spatial processing applications will be increasingly delivered as software that operates in a Web Services environment. Some spatial content and applications will be for sale, others will be free. Some will be delivered via centrally managed systems, proprietary client-server application architectures, and distributed services, others via decentralized peer-to- peer architectures. This range of possibilities is in the spirit of the Web. An expanding standards infrastructure makes it possible.
Yes, the Spatial Web will deliver content and applications, but spatial content and applications are inherently different from -- and more than -- video, sound, text, and image content and applications. Spatial information, fully integrated into our digital information environment, adds a missing conceptual dimension in the formulation of problems and questions. It becomes an essential element of workflow. It will touch most Web-mediated human activities. It is impossible at this early point in the "spatial enabling" of our digital information environment to fully appreciate the degree to which the Spatial Web is a necessary and vital part of that environment.
David Schell, President, OGC
GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: HOW TO BUILD A FRAMEWORK FOR AFRICA AND BEYOND
The Geospatial Information for Sustainable Development Initial Capability Pilot (GISDICP), from a practical point of view, sounds easy: set up a few servers, a catalog to search for data, and make software clients available to potential users of the data in Africa. With the project demonstration just underway, it's clear that this pilot opened up quite a few doors for those looking to find and use data about Africa.
The good news about putting together a framework for data sharing in Africa aimed at sustainable development is that there is a surprising amount of data. Much of it is generated and managed by practitioners in Africa. There is also a great deal of information created and maintained by the international community valuable for exploring sustainable development issues. The big challenge, however, still remained: there was no easy way to find and use these resources.
To find the data, OGC is using the catalog interface and portal developed for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and now extended to the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure. Currently hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey for the demonstration, the portal will be transitioned to an African site this fall. The catalog interface provides access to some 50 data sources, and has a special feature. The search form has a button that searches only "Data With Interactive Web Mapping Services (OGC)." That assures data seekers that the data they find will be viewable using OGC compliant clients. The catalog means that users can drill through spatial data from all over the world, in all formats, to track down the information needed about a specific area. The portal is available at: http://edcw2ks15.cr.usgs.gov/servlet/UNEPServlet?srp=2.
The goal of the GISD pilot was to develop the necessary standards-based infrastructure, illustrate how it could be used, and then leave it behind for regular use. But the real benefits from the GISD framework are illustrated in the tools to save money and time. First, the framework will cut down on the time and effort needed to discover and access basic map data. Second, the framework will enable research that was very difficult in the past. One of the example scenarios posed this question: What if the Tanzania Coastal Management Partnership was looking for data relating to the country's coast? Researchers might first explore local data and draw from a network of other partners working on similar issues in that area of geography. The new framework helps to foster collaboration with other resources. Using the clearinghouse, they might find that the U.S. Forest Service had been studying deforestation in the mountains above, which could lead to increased silt on the coast. Third, the framework provides an unmatched resource for decision makers. Challenges like planning responses to flooding in Mozambique or thinking through food delivery locations should famine hit Zimbabwe may be some of the first uses of the system.
OGC members providing software and services to the GISD-ICP include Advanced Technology Solutions, Inc., of Lancaster, PA; CubeWerx, Inc., of Hull, Canada; Environmental Systems Research institute, Inc., of Redlands, CA; the U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee of Reston, VA; Intergraph Corporation of Huntsville, AL; Ionic Software of Liege, Belgium, and Laser Scan, Inc., of Sterling, VA.
Sam Bacharach, GISD-ICP Program Manager
More information on GISD can be found at
OGC TO FEATURE OPEN LOCATION SERVICES AT UPCOMING EVENTS
OGC will be participating in two LBS events in the months of October and November 2002:
- As part of an Emerging Technology Summit Series, GITA and OGC are sponsoring a Location-Based Services event to feature the results of OGC's OpenLS Initiative. The event will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Reston, VA on October 24 and 25. Visit www.openls.org for details.
- OGC will also be participating in IIR's GIS in Telecoms
conference "Leveraging Geographic Information Systems
(GIS)." The conference will be held November 18-22 2002,
in Nice Acropolis, France. The conference will focus on ways
to enhance the telecommunications business's effectiveness
and efficiency - focusing on ocation Based Services (LBS)
and network planning & maintenance for fixed and mobile networks.
Visit http://www.iir-conferences.com/gis for more details.
WHAT`S NEW ON THE OGC WEBSITE
The following products were added to the list of implementing products
GeoMedia Web Map 5.0 Server
Specification: WMS 1.1.0
Cadcorp SIS 6.0 Encoding (GML/XML)
Specifications: GML 2.0, GML 2.1
WebWraptor 1.0 Client (Applet)
Specification: WMS 1.1.1
OGC INTEROPERABILITY INITITATIVES
-- Open Location Services Phase 1 (OLS-1)
OLS-1 continues on track toward October and November demonstrations. The latest version of schemas has been finalized and Draft Interoperability Program Reports (DIPRs) should be ready within the next week or two for: Presentation, Location Utility, Route Determination, Gateway, and Directory. These will be briefed at the September OGC Technical Committee meeting. Work on finalizing the demonstration scenarios and the Technology Integration Experiments is underway.
- The Call for Participation/Request for Quotation for OGC Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative Phase 1 (CIPI-1) is available at http://ip.opengeospatial.org/cipi/documents.htm. Responses to the CFP/RFQ are due no later than 5 pm EDT (2100 UTC) September 20, 2002. The initiative is expected to kick off in mid-October with demonstration planned for March 2003. Inquiries related to CIPI should be addressed to Mr. Terry Idol, Chair, CIPI Advisory Committee, tidol [at] opengeospatial [dot] org.
- The OGC Interoperability Program released a Request for Quotation for the Conformance and Interoperability Test and Evaluation (CITE) Initiative on August 27, 2002. The CITE Initiative has three focus areas: Planning and Feasibility Study, Conformance Engine, Scripts and Guidelines Development, and CITE Portal and Reference Implementations Development. The CITE Initiative Planning and Feasibility Study will research alternative models for conformance and interoperability testing within the OGC. The Conformance Engine, Scripts and Guidelines workgroup will develop a web-based conformance-testing engine, test guidelines, and test scripts for testing and validation of products with interfaces implementing OpenGIS Web Map Service and Web Feature Service Specifications, the Geography Markup Language (GML), and, potentially, other OpenGIS Implementation Specifications. The conformance testing engine will be available through the OGC-Network at the completion of the CITE Initiative. The Portal and Reference Implementation workgroup will design and implement a portal for access to CITE resources (test guidelines, scripts, documentation, related links) and reference implementations. RFQ responses will be due October 4, 2002.
For more information on OGC's Interoperability Program, please contact Jeff Harrison at jharrison [at] opengeospatial [dot] org.
The Open GIS Consortium welcomes our members who've joined us since July 2002:
Laser Scan Incorporated
University College Dublin
OGC IN THE NEWS
- OGC in the Press
CITE Creates an Interoperability "Seal of Approval"
Jeff Harrison, GEOWorld, Aug 2002
Intergraph Collaborates on Recent OGC Program
August 21, 2002
Multi-purpose Publishing of GeoData in the Web
XML and GML pave the way to putting geospatial data on the Web and beyond.
Lassi Lehto, Jaakko Kähkönen, Tiina Sarjakoski and Tapani Sarjakoski, GeoInformatics, July/August 2002
How to Build an INSPIRE Node
Exploring GETIS' practical guidelines for interoperability in Europe.
Louis Hecht, Jr., GeoInformatics, July/August 2002
GML Dev Days 2002 Displays the Future of GML and GIS Technology
- OGC Press Releases
August 26, 2002
OGC Seeks Participants to Tackle Specification Testing Issues
August 19, 2002
OGC Seeks Quotations/Participation in Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative
August 09, 2002
Twenty-one Participants Join Sponsors to Kick off OGC Web Services 1.2 Initiative
September 9-13, 2002 Noordwijk, (Holland) The Netherlands
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings hosted by Shell International Exploration and Production, Inc.
October 14-15, 2002, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
International Cartographic Association's (ICA) Working Group (WG) on "Incremental Updating and Versioning"
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 [dot] org.
Please send comments and suggestions to:
Editor, OGC News
adena [at] opengeospatial [dot] org
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Copyright 2002 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.