OGC Newsletter - September 2003
New Issue of OGC User Available
WFS Cookbook Under Development
OGC Members Support U.S. During Hurricane
Upcoming Interoperability Events
IP Update, Member Corner, New Members, OGC In The News, Events, Contact, Subscribe/Unsubscribe
Back issues of OGC News are available.
Setting the Record Straight on the Geospatial One-Stop Portal
I have decided to use this month's President's message to respond to the \"Publisher's Perspective\" column in the August/September issue of Earth Observation Magazine (EOM). Not everyone will have read this piece, but those who have will recall that it was critical of OGC's role in the US government's Geospatial One-Stop project.
The EOM column is unfortunately very confused and perhaps a disservice to its readers. In my view, the author's disclaimer -- \"I must profess my bias and my ignorance\" -- does not serve our community well in promoting a dialog on important capabilities like interoperability. I would like to deal with the significant misrepresentation of facts as reported.
The editorial stated incorrectly that the Geospatial One-Stop (GOS) Board of Directors selected ESRI over the OGC to host the GOS \"Geodata.gov\" web portal. In addition, the author expresses his opinion that OGC should not be competing against ESRI for a commercial project. In fact, there was no competition, as each organization was asked to provide something quite different. OGC was quite appropriately asked to provide a prototype of an open portal reference implementation to demonstrate a multi-client, vendor neutral interoperable architecture, while ESRI (an OGC member) was asked to provide an operational portal. Both projects resulted in demonstrations at the request of the GOS Board, and both were deemed to have successfully met their objectives. In addition to providing an important architectural deliverable in support of GOS, OGC's effort was designed specifically as a proof of concept, to exercise a range of OpenGIS(R) Specifications for the purpose of benefiting the whole industry, including the One- Stop project.
In no way, at this time or any other, was OGC positioned to compete with its members that implement operational systems, many of whom were actively involved in the collaborative development work that produced OGC's portal prototype.
For the benefit of OGC members and EOM readers, OGC has asked EOM to publish a retraction of the erroneous assertion that there was a competition between OGC and ESRI. In addition, the EOM editorial board should reconsider the statement, \"...I've never seen the benefit of an organization pursuing interoperability in the geospatial arena....\" Look around, it is generally accepted that the path forward in GIS includes the demonstrated advantages of going open to achieve interoperability.
David Schell, President, OGC
NEW ISSUE OF OGC USER AVAILABLE
Looking for real world examples of how OpenGIS Specifications are being used to solve interoperability problems? Turn to OGC User, which this month examines Web Map Service use at the Canadian Forest Service and in the city of Copenhagen. One interesting commonality: both solutions involve open source software alongside commercial products.
The new issue is available:
Subscription (free) information is available:
Have an OpenGIS story that needs to be told? Drop an e-mail to the adena [at] opengeospatial.org (editor).
Q: The latest version of my desktop GIS software supports the OpenGIS Web Map Service (WMS) Specification. What does that mean to me?
A: Client support for WMS, in simple terms, means with just a URL of a map server that also supports WMS, your desktop application can use layers of map data from servers all over the world, no matter what geospatial software that server is running. Technically, the WMS specification determines how the client (in this case your desktop software) and the server (any number of commercial and open source products are currently available) communicate with each other about what map data is available on the server, how it should be delivered as a picture to the client and how information about map features (attribute information) is delivered to the client. In short, to use WMS and the data being served, you just need a URL.
Where do you find URLs of Web Map Servers? Your software provider may include some suggested starting points in the software or documentation. Alternatively, here are some places to look.
GeoConnections (Canada) Discovery Portal includes 57 services, mainly focusing on Canada.
IONIC's Ask the Spider has a long list of WMS and other services.
Intergraph has a WMS server listing on its Open Geospatial Network. (free registration required)
ESRI's Geography Network allows visitors to register WMS services.
Consider, too, that your software vendor is looking out for you. By including support for this specification, the company or open source community is opening doors to live datasets from all over the world.
Have a look at the OGC "Implementing Products" page to see who else has implemented the WMS specification.
WFS COOKBOOK UNDER DEVELOPMENT
With the success of the Web Map Service (WMS) Cookbook, work on the Web Feature Service (WFS) Cookbook is now underway. The proposed WFS Cookbook will include static content and dynamic content hosted on the OGC Website. There'll also be an automated content submission process so the book can be updated frequently. To date the following organizations/communities have agreed to contribute to the cookbook:
|* lat/lon (Degree)||* Harvard University|
|* UMN MapServer||* ESRI|
|* Galdos Systems||* GeoServer|
|* IONIC||* GeoConnections Canada|
|* CubeWerx||* MapBuilder|
|* Compusult||* CSIRO|
If you'd like to contribute or have questions, please contact Kris Kolodziej, KKolodziej [at] opengeospatial.org.
OGC MEMBERS SUPPORT U.S. DURING HURRICANE
As Hurricane Isabel hit the east coast of the United States two weeks ago, OGC Web Services from multiple member companies powered the U.S. government's Hazard Maps website. If you are keeping track, the website, a result of the Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative, supports 36 live map servers and 899 live map layers. In August, the website passed the one million visitor mark.
UPCOMING INTEROPERABILITY EVENTS
The Institute for Defense & Government Advancement will host the 2003 Interoperability conference, a forum for the exchange of ideas on ways to address interoperability in the US military. This conference will include high-level discussions from the Services, OSD, Joint Staff, Combatant Commands, Federal Agencies and Industry on ways to manage process and systems integration across the Department of Defense and related federal departments. Sessions will address ways that interoperability in the information age can create synergy in the Department of Defense enterprise and increased joint warfighting advantage in the operational theater.
OGC is supporting this event, scheduled for October 15 - 17, 2003 at the Doubletree Hotel Crystal City, Arlington, VA. For more information visit Institute for Defense & Government Advancement.
The 2003 Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG) 96th Annual Geomatics Conference and Exhibition on Geomatics for Industry - Micro to Macro will be held in Calgary, Canada October 16-18, 2003 at the Fairmont. The Open GIS Consortium is conducting a workshop \"How the Open GIS Consortium Fits into the Future\" presented by Sam Bacharach. He will inform the participants about the worldwide efforts to \"standardize\" the world of geographic information and the way it is published, discovered and accessed by users from the expected communities, cartography, decision support, and new communities such as mobile telephone-based location services.
The Spatial Technologies Industry Association (STIA) along with many sponsors will host GEO-INTEL 2003, an event for private sector executives, Department of Defense and intelligence community leaders, White House and federal government officials, Members of Congress and Congressional staff, state and local government officials, homeland security directors, and emergency management and public safety administrators. GEO-INTEL 2003 will highlight the role of geospatial technologies in securing our homeland from terrorist threats and defending our Nation from Weapons of Mass Destruction. OGC is participating and invites members and interested parties to attend as well. The event runs October 14-17 in New Orleans.
OGC members are invited to participate in the Southeast European Spatial Data Infrastructure Conference (SEE-SDI 2003), to be held October 23 and 24, 2003 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The aim of the conference is to present the status of spatial data infrastructures in South East Europe, to demonstrate their political, economic and social importance, and to review and discuss the funding and partnerships that are coming together. There will be high level political and business participation from countries of the region. Results of the European Commission funded GISEE project, \"GIS Technology and Market in South East Europe,\" will also be presented. There will be presentations on international partnerships and SDI financing sources, including Sixth Framework support for GMES, Galileo, INSPIRE and other programs. The conference will be preceded by tutorials on interoperability and on INSPIRE, the European Spatial Data Infrastructure initiative. OGC members are invited to participate as sponsors and exhibitors. Presentations are by invitation only.
The Object Management Group (OMG), Open GIS Consortium (OGC), Simulation
Interoperability Standards Organization (SISO) and Web3D Consortium are
hosting the first annual Workshop on Web
Enabled Modeling and Simulation (Web Simulation). The workshop is planned
for October 27 - 30, 2003 in Crystal City, VA, USA and will bring together
experts in the Web Services, Modeling and Simulation communities. The
4-day workshop will include one day of tutorials followed by three days
of interactive sessions and panels. Anyone with an interest in interoperability
standards for Web based modeling and simulation is welcome to attend.
Conformance & Interoperability Testing & Evaluation Initiative (CITE)
The CITE team has made great progress in past months, which will culminate in the general release (after OGC member approval) of two new conformance tests and a series of tools to encourage software developers to validate software products that implement OpenGIS Specifications. Pending remaining approvals of CITE Interoperability Program Reports at the upcoming OGC TC/PC meetings in October, CITE will deliver a new website focused on providing automated testing for Web Map Service 1.1.1 (WMS) and Web Feature Service 1.0 (WFS), a Geography Markup Language (GML) validation tool and links to reference implementations. Developers that successfully test for conformance with WMS and WFS specifications and want to claim or indicate conformance of their product in the marketplace must submit their results for validation, and pay a trademark licensing fee.
GeoSpatial One-Stop Transportation Pilot (GOS-TP)
GOS-TP results were briefed at the most recently Geospatial One-Stop Board of Directors meeting this month. The presentation was well received and the board is considering how to proceed. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics implementation, which includes connectivity with California and Oregon state Web Feature Services (WFS) as well as WFSs serving up county level data, demonstrates the ability map transportation geodata content from differing local data models to a host model (in this case, the Framework Standard for Transportation, developed cooperatively through a national Modeling Advisory Team process sanctioned by the FGDC). The pilot team has one final step to complete: moving servers developed at Polexis, which serve data from Siskiyou County (Oregon) and Jackson County (California), to those locations. The GOS-TP effort is positioned as a major first step in solving a major \"information interoperability\" dilemma -- cost effective and efficient integration and sharing of differently modeled data between cooperating jurisdictions and organizations.
Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative Pilot One, Build 2 (CIPI-1.2)
CIPI 1.2, which is moving toward completion, is the final phase of the CIPI 1 initiative, designed to test and validate an interoperable framework of standards based capabilities to support collaborating organizations and jurisdictions in their efforts to support CIP. A major goal of CIPI is to foster the growth of open standards and specifications and an associated collaborative, distributed network of critical infrastructure information sources and services. CIPI 1.2 addresses four main thrusts: establishment of a Department of Defense node based on developing OpenGIS specifications, a schema translation capability to address specific information interoperability issues, WFS extensions addressing the GML 3 level 0 schema, and a security / authentication component. A number of Interoperability Program Reports will be advanced as a result of this initiative. A demonstration for Department of Defense personnel is planned for September 30. This demonstration is based on a real world use case involving a major public event.
OGC Web Services (OWS-2)
The next phase of OGC Web Services will focus on maturing and expanding the current OGC Technical baseline as well as producing results that help to support geospatial transition into the larger information technology enterprise. Key to OWS 2 are the following areas of focus: Information Interoperability, Image Handling Services and Decision Support, Sensor Web Enablement, Open Location Services, Technical Baseline Maturation (develop and mature conformance and performance tests to accelerate movement of OpenGIS specifications into the marketplace), Common Architecture, and gCommerce.
A request for quotations is in development, and is expected in October 2003. A bidder's conference will be held shortly after the RFQ release to answer questions and aid interested participants in preparing for submission of proposals.
Emergency Mapping Symbology (EMSym)
The upcoming CIPI 3 initiative (now in planning) will feature EMSym requirements. EMSym will explore the build out of interoperable Style Management Services and try to solve some of the challenges involving first responders from different geographies using different mapping symbols. The work will include consideration of FGDC, Department of Homeland Security, OASIS and international work to date. An EMSym Call for Sponsors will be issued within the next week, inviting input on technology requirements and concepts to address interoperability needs for emergency mapping and homeland security. EMSym requirements will help to mature OGC's specification framework for interoperable geographic symbolization while simultaneously testing emerging standard map symbol sets for emergency response, critical infrastructure protection, and homeland security developed by cooperating organizations.
Safe Software Inc. specializes in Spatial ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) technologies. Safe Software provides both spatial data transformation solutions and professional services.
OpenGIS specifications help us to continue to promote interoperability and data sharing. Our support for Geography Markup Language (GML), Web Feature Service (OGC WFS), and Simple Features for COM (SFCOM) OLEDB demonstrates our commitment to improving users extract, transform, and load experiences.
Vice President, Product Development
OGC welcomes new members who joined us recently.
FHBB Basel University of Applied Sciences
OGC IN THE NEWS
OGC in the Press
Ionic Software: Compliant, not Complacent
September 11, 2003
Users Must Demand Open GIS Standards
The Smart Sensor Web: A Revolutionary Leap in Earth Observation
October 13-17, 2003
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings
October 14-17, 2003
New Orleans, LA
GEO INTEL 2003
October 15 - 17, 2003
IDGA Interoperability 2003
October 16-18, 2003
2003 Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG) 96th Annual Geomatics Conference
October 23 - 24, 2003
South East European Spatial Data Infrastructure Conference
December 1-2, 2003
Santa Barbara, CA
Critical Transportation Infrastructure (CTI)
January 12-16, 2004 (tentative)
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings
January 30- 7 February 2004
For further info on events please contact gbuehler [at] opengeospatial.org (Greg Buehler).
Please send comments and suggestions to:
adena [at] opengeospatial.org (Adena Schutzberg)
Editor, OGC News
Open GIS Consortium
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Copyright 2003 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.