OGC Newsletter - April 2003
Report From the Orleans Meeting
OGC Bylaws Update
Emerging Technology Summit II: Spatial Web Services
IP Update, Resources, New Members, Member Corner, OGC In The News, Events, Contact, Subscribe/Unsubscribe
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OGC Members Forge Ahead in Building the GOS Portal
The Geospatial One-Stop (GOS) Portal, similar to geospatial portals that are beginning to appear around the world, will be a key feature of e-Government in the US. Should OGC be doing projects like the GOS Portal Initiative? Yes. The participants and sponsors of the OGC GOS Portal initiative are developing an open architecture using OpenGIS® Specifications and other standards and it will yield a prototype that demonstrates that architecture. There's no faster way to lay a solid foundation of interoperability for a vendor-and-integrator-built system that must connect to multiple distributed heterogenous systems.
Prototyping is essential to what we do: Most of the specifications requested by our technology-user members are developed cooperatively by multi-vendor teams in rapid-prototyping testbeds. Products that implement the specifications are tested for interoperability in multi-vendor pilot projects that essentially prototype distributed heterogeneous systems for project sponsors in an operational setting. The Geospatial One-Stop Portal must connect Web-resident geospatial resources hosted by systems from many different vendors. What better way to begin than to involve a representative group of those vendors in fitting the parts together?
The value of the integrated whole is greater than the value of the parts. Historically, technical innovation usually precedes standardization, and until standards are in place, the innovations have limited applicability. Once standards are in place, they provide a platform for widespread use and new levels of innovation. OGC accelerates this process by putting user requirements for interoperability first: User requirements lead to specifications for open interfaces, encodings, etc. Buyers demand that products use those open interfaces, encodings, etc., so products purchased will work together. As an added benefit, everything with open interfaces becomes a resource supporting further innovation by product developers. OGC thus formalizes a natural progression. The process elegantly, democratically and efficiently meets the needs of users while simultaneously expanding market opportunities for commercial providers. And, at the same time, it directly supports the spirit and the letter of current laws and pending legislation designed to reform the IT procurement process.
Our GOS-IP team is working hard and is on track in their development of the GOS Portal architecture and prototype. The architecture will help communities implement their portal implementations using a standards based approach that assures interoperability across jurisdictions and levels of government. We can all look forward to the demonstration this summer, the immediate adoption of the architecture and prototype in the deployed portal, and the subsequent proliferation of portals modeled on it.
David Schell, President, OGC
REPORT FROM THE ORLEANS MEETING
The 45th OGC Technical Committee and Planning Committee (TC and PC) meetings were held the week of April 7th in Orleans, France. BRGM, the French Bureau of Mining and Geological Research, sponsored the meetings. BRGM also hosted and sponsored the first OGC Interoperability Symposium on Geographic Data Interoperability.
The Symposium represented a significant opportunity for France and Europe's private and public sectors to learn about OGC's progress and the important benefits interoperability can provide their organizations and businesses in matters of planning and organization, major infrastructure development, natural risk prevention and mitigation, crisis management, etc. There were presentations on Ordnance Survey's "WS-PathFinder" Project and on the European Commission's 5th Framework Program projects: NATURE-GIS and the Norwegian ACE-GIS, as well as the ongoing EC-funded GETIS and GINIE projects. Guenther Pichler of OGC-Europe announced the creation of the European Virtual Resource Pool (EVPool). EVPool participants will undertake critical work to increase understanding of the benefits of OpenGIS specifications in European business and government pre-procurement settings. BRGM's InfoTerre portal for publishing geological data was featured. Yves Caristan, Director General of BRGM, provided opening and closing remarks. More than 180 people attended.
The following were the key votes and actions at the OGC meetings, which followed the Symposium:
1. The TC and PC voted that OGC EuropeSIG will coordinate responses from industry and submit an OGC response to the INSPIRE Call for Internet Consultation. At the Europe SIG, Paul Smits of JRC gave an update on INSPIRE.
2. The TC and PC voted that the OpenGIS Location Services (OpenLS) Specification RFC Proposal, contained in OGC Project Documents 03-006R1 and 03-007R1, as edited in the LS Working Group on the afternoon of 4/9/2003 and 4/10/2003, be released as an Request for Comment for a 30 day public comment period. The primary objective of OpenLS is to define access to the Core Services and Abstract Data Types that comprise an open location services platform. This proposed OpenGIS Implementation Specification defines the interfaces for the Navigation Service (formerly the Full Profile of the Route Determination Service), which is part of the platform. It also outlines the scope and relationship of OpenLS with respect to other specifications and standardization activities.
3. The TC and the PC voted that the proposed Web Map Context Interface Specification (OGC Document 03-036) be adopted as an OpenGIS Specification, and that a revision working group be formed for this specification. This specification applies to the creation and use of documents which unambiguously describe the state, or "context," of a WMS Client application in a manner that is independent of a particular client and that might be utilized by different clients to recreate the application state. This specification defines an encoding for the context using eXtensible Markup Language (XML 1.0).
4. The TC and the PC voted to allow OGC technical documents to be submitted in Docbook format (as an alternative to the currently acceptable .rtf and Microsoft Word .doc) formats.
5. The TC and the PC will vote to release OGC Document 03-010r6, Recommended XML Encoding of Coordinate Reference System Definitions, as a public OGC Recommendation Paper beginning April 30, 2003. This OpenGIS Recommendation Paper specifies basic XML encoding of data defining coordinate reference systems and coordinate operations. The PC recommends that the GML Revision Working Group incorporate 03-010r6 into the next revision of GML 3.x.
6. The TC voted to create a new Working Group for discussing
and approaching a spatially and temporally enabled query
7. The TC and PC voted to release the Web Notification Service (WNS) Interoperability Program Report (OGC Document 03-008r2) as a Public Discussion Paper. OGC's Sensor Web Enablement activity is establishing the interfaces and protocols that will enable a "Sensor Web" through which applications and services will be able to access sensors of all types over the Web. The WNS is a service by which a client may conduct asynchronous dialogues (message interchanges) with one or more other services. This service is useful when many collaborating services are required to satisfy a client request, and/or when significant delays are involved is satisfying the request. This service was defined under OWS 1.2 in support of SPS operations. WNS has broad applicability in many
8. The TC and PC voted to adopt OGC Document 03-045 as the new, updated, charter of the Natural Resources and Environment Working Group.
9. The TC and PC voted to adopt the Technical Baseline and Plan Recommendations (OGC Document CTO-2003-1). This document presents a framework for understanding OGC's ongoing work and specification suite.
The next Technical Committee meeting will be held in the Herndon, VA, June 9-11, 2003 and the Planning Committee meeting will be held June 12.
Carl Reed, Executive Director, Specification Program
OGC BYLAWS UPDATE
The OGC Board of Directors has approved a number of changes to the Bylaws of the Open GIS Consortium, Inc. The revised document is titled "Bylaws of Open GIS Consortium, Inc. - Revised 6 March 2003."
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT II: SPATIAL WEB SERVICES
OGC and GITA are teaming up for the second Emerging Technology Summit. This year the focus is on Spatial Web Services. The interactive 1.5-day summit illustrates how leading-edge organizations in government and industry are breaking down barriers to data sharing and application in today's geoprocessing systems through the use of interoperable Web services. Tim Berners-Lee will provide the keynote address. A graduate of Oxford University, Berners-Lee is credited with the invention of the World Wide Web. Jim Geringer, former Governor of Wyoming and Past Chair of the Western Governors' Association and the Education Commission of the States will provide a second keynote. The Summit runs June 5-6, 2003 at the Sheraton Premiere at Tyson's Corner, Vienna, Virginia.
Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative (CIPI)
Communities from all levels of government, on both sides of the U.S./Canadian border, came together to explore spatial data and services sharing in the wrap-up of CIPI-1.1, held in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The scenario featured a chemical leak that triggered responses from all levels of government. Different initiative participants played different including a mapping specialist at an emergency response center with access to powerful computers, to a police officer at the scene of the leak with a PDA, to a journalist trying to get emergency information to local residents. CIPI-1 met two of its key goals. First, it brought together a variety of governments to explore the implications of data sharing for emergency response, and provided a framework to make interoperability possible. Second, the participants tweaked and testing draft interface specifications for notification that may one day become standards for how software interacts.
The Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative Pilot One, Build 2 (CIPI-1.2) had a successful kickoff April 3rd. Several companies are participating in the second phase of CIPI-1: CubeWerx, ESRI, Galdos, Harvard Design and Mapping, Intergraph, IONIC, PCI, SAIC and Snowflake Software. The initiative will concentrate on testing the outcome of schema analysis from Geospatial One-Stop - Transportation Pilot (GOS-TP), look at possible Web Feature Service Extensions, examine geospatial security issues relating to homeland defense and build a Department of Defense node that can be used in the Critical Infrastructure Collaborative Environment (CICE).
The Geography Division of the U.S. Census Bureau is sponsoring CIPI-2 aimed at developing an online system to update governmental unit boundary information for existing incorporated places (WebBAS), and a system based on OpenGIS Specifications for serving Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER®) data (WebTIGER). Participants Galdos and Syncline, have tailored a prototype system using OGC Web Services (WMS, WFS, WRS, and GML) as the foundation to provide interoperable access to update, maintain and distribute Census Bureau data. A second team (Galdos, Syncline, Northrop Grumman Information Technology, TASC) is furthering the OGC technical baseline by working towards a better understanding of several issues such as how to process complex topology and feature collections in WFS and WFS-T, how to optimize a client for accessing WFS with voluminous GML data, and how to efficiently model XML/GML to seamlessly drive an application workflow. A late May demonstration is planned to illistrate the progress made.
Conformance and Interoperability Test and Evaluation (CITE) Initiative (CITE)
The CITE Initiative is intended to provide the geospatial industry (consumers and vendors) a methodology and tools which will test conformance to OGC Web services specifications and to determine whether products that conform are interoperable with one another. CITE is an ongoing initiative which has four development areas: an OGC Conformance Test Program Study, a Conformance Engine and Scripts Team, a Reference Implementations Team, and a CITE Portal and Integration Team. The Conformance Engine and Scripts (CES) team has recently completed development of a beta version of the Web-based conformance-testing engine. The beta version of the engine is available for testing and bug reporting to all OGC Strategic and Principal Members. Please contact the initiative manager, jen [at] opengeospatial [dot] org (Jennifer Barmann) for more information.
Geospatial One Stop-Transportation Pilot (GOS-TP)
The Geospatial One-Stop - Transportation Pilot continues to make progress. This month the team stood up all of the Translational Web Feature Server (WFS-X) nodes (Jackson County, Siskiyou County, CalTrans, and Oregon DOT). These serve data according to the Road Transportation Data Content Standard being developed by the team. Testing on the WFS-X nodes is underway. US DOT is developing an interface to these servers. A registry and some WMS layers are expected to be online over the next several weeks.
The Consortium Standards Bulletin sponsored by Lucash, Gesmer & Updegrove LLP is a very useful resource on standards setting and consortia. The resources at the consortiuminfo.org website provide an excellent summary of activity in the consortia arena, help to raise the dialog on relevant issues, and offer tips on how organizations can best engage with and leverage consortia.
The Open GIS Consortium welcomes our members who've joined us since March 2003:
Dept. of Natural Resources & Mines (Queensland, Australia)
DIET Department, University of Pavia
IDEC (SDI of Catalonia)
Openwave Systems, Inc.
University of Illinois
BRGM is a French public institution with a mission to acquire, manage and diffuse geological data necessary for implementing public policies relating to the development and sustainable management of France's natural subsurface resources. In this context, BRGM created in 1998 InfoTerre, an Internet site providing access to geological maps and georeferenced data of France.
As a first result of its "Virtual Earth" strategic program, and in order to ensure the most effective sharing of its information and impart its data and knowledge to a broader spectrum of decision-makers and the general public, BRGM decided to adopt interoperability in its domains. This strategy resulted in BRGM, at the end of 2001, becoming the first supplier of French data to become a member of OGC. In March 2003, the new version of InfoTerre was released, implementing the OpenGIS Web Map Service and Web Feature Service Specifications. This enables us to provide our users with access to more data, not only from BRGM but also from other OGC compatible sources, and also access to new analytical, computational and data processing facilities.
The overall objective for BRGM is to develop a range of on line services based on its interoperable data and scientific software and on external components, relying on OGC standards.
Project Manager/Terre Virtuelle
Want to see your organization highlighted here? Contact the adena [at] opengeospatial [dot] org (editor).
OGC IN THE NEWS
OGC in the Press
The Sensor Web's Point of Beginning
Spinning The Open Web
Army Lab Honored for Positioning System
The Champaign Illinois paper discusses the Army Lab receiving the first OGC Vision award.
March 25, 2003
OGC Press Releases
OGC Releases OpenGIS Reference Model
Apr 02, 2003
June 5-6, 2003
Emerging Technology Summit II: Spatial Web Services
June 9-13, 2003
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
July 20-24, 2003
GML Dev Days 2003 Conference & Exhibition
For further info on events please contact gbuehler [at] opengeospatial [dot] org (Greg Buehler).
Please send comments and suggestions to:
adena [at] opengeospatial [dot] org (Adena Schutzberg)
Editor, OGC News
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Copyright 2003 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.