OGC Newsletter - April 2004
News from the Ottawa Meeting
New Free Client Products
Website of the Month
New Members, OGC In The News, Events, Contact, Subscribe/Unsubscribe
Back issues of OGC News are available.
Last month, the President's Message addressed what it means for OGC to "go to the next level." I was heartened by the overwhelmingly positive response to that column. This month I want to focus on the role of users in "going to the next level".
The message is simple: Users need to insist on interoperability if they want OGC's accomplishments to benefit them. Geospatial content, product interoperability, and service architectures have been enabled by the OpenGIS(R) Specifications. Potential growth of the geospatial market has been enabled by organizations that have implemented OpenGIS specifications in products and solutions. Now users need to make sure these applications and products are deployed within their organizations to build networks of interoperating spatial resources. For users, there is much to gain and nothing to lose in boldly pursuing this course.
The benefits of implementing and using OpenGIS standards are becoming well documented and more broadly known. Each year, OGC and our members issue dozens of press releases and author dozens of articles and columns in an ever-expanding variety of hardcopy and online magazines. Each year, OGC staff and members participate in dozens of conferences, large and small, explaining what users can do now that they couldn't do before. OGC organizes demonstration events and publicizes the consortium's regular meetings. Our newsletters, the OGC News and the OGC User, together reach over five thousand people worldwide. Success stories, some of them publicized in the OGC User magazine, continue to accumulate. National and federal agencies are increasingly mandating open standards, and they are including OGC's standards in those mandates. Our constant message is that OpenGIS Specifications, by their openness, enable a nearly limitless network of geospatial resources. As the network grows, both providers and users of those resources partake in the increasing value.
It is important, from our point of view, that the various channel suppliers -- vendors, VARs, solutions providers, integrators, ASPs -- all help their customers understand the improved economics of "open" geospatial systems. We do know how difficult it often is for such organizations to be enthusiastic about adapting their business models to such a new reality, but the overall impact of failing to adapt is that the flow of innovative, cost-effective solutions to the user at the end of the value chain is impeded, and the opportunity for real market growth is retarded.
In this context, it is important for users to know that to get the best value for their investment, they need to understand the market for open systems just as their suppliers do, and develop their own vision for what they need and for when they should be able to get it. Their requests for proposals need to say, "Must comply with OpenGIS Specifications," and they need to outline the specific capabilities they expect. There are many progressive providers who are well equipped to offer proposals that will satisfy these requirements, and many of these providers are members of OGC.
The user organizations that supported OGC before the bulk of consortium specifications were implemented in products became members of the consortium because they wanted to control their own destinies with respect to geospatial technology. Their vision and faith have now been realized and many have begun to experience a real return on investment. User organizations that join OGC now are positioned to realize a return on investment much more quickly. New members, in fact, begin benefiting immediately by comparing notes with other users, contributing requirements, getting to know product and service suppliers and their offerings, and above all, discovering how the new capabilities enabled by the work of the consortium can help them do more for less money. Users often find that the new openness reveals many new ways to partner, further reducing costs, improving effectiveness, and producing the "network effect" that means finding the next level of involvement in a dynamic market.
NEWS FROM THE OTTAWA MEETING
The Ottawa meetings were extremely active and considerable work was accomplished. Thanks to PCI Geomatics and Geoconnections Canada for sponsoring and hosting the meetings. The key votes of broad interest from the meetings are:
- The Members approved issuing an electronic vote concerning the adoption of the Catalog Service 2.0 Implementation Specification as an Adopted Technology. Catalogs are critical to the successful deployment of Spatial Data Infrastructures, geospatial portals, and other applications that require content and service discovery. This vote will occur once some final edits are made to the document.
- The members approved release of the OGC Web Services (OWS) Common Implementation Specification as an OGC Recommendation Paper. This document specifies many of the aspects that are, or should be, common to all or multiple OGC Web Service (OWS) interface Implementation Specifications.
- The members voted that the GO-1 (Application Objects) RFC submission be released for a 30 day public comment period. This document defines a set of vendor-neutral, Object-Oriented geometric and geographic object abstractions. It provides both an abstract object specification (in UML) and a JAVA specific profile to that specification.
The 50th OGC Technical Committee meetings will be hosted by the UK Ordnance Survey, in Southampton, in June.
The Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium's September event is titled "Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere." The symposium is designed to facilitate how critical and unified information and knowledge is obtained to support monitoring for ecosystem sustainability and to assure a sound, defensible foundation for sustainable economic development. Its expected outcome is to identify for decision-makers and stakeholders, at all geographic scales, the nature of the most important messages that need to be communicated about the condition and trends of ecological, economic and social systems, and the significance of those messages to sustainable development. The conference runs September 20-24 in Denver, Colorado.
NEW FREE CLIENT PRODUCTS
Two free OGC based viewers were announced this month.
Freeware Gaia, from Nuke Goldstein, is a WMS/WFS/GML standalone client. Goldstein has a long history of involvement in OGC and is looking to continue that.
Cadcorp released its Cadcorp SIS Map Browser, a free OpenGIS data viewer for the Web. Map Browser will work only in conjunction with OpenGIS Web services and is client for OpenGIS Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS) specifications. It also supports Geography Markup Language (GML) 2.1.2 and Web Map Context XML data sources.
WEBSITE OF THE MONTH
The recently redesigned online Atlas of Canada is great because there are so many layers of information to explore. But the Atlas also has a secret, it offers a Web Map Servicefor developers. Developers can access the "most current and accuratebase data for rendering customized maps." The service is free andrequires no license agreement.
GeoConnections/Natural Resources Canada offers 25 individual baselayers, with both English and French labels. Layers include water,provincial boundaries, populated places, drainage and more.
Know of a website that uses OpenGIS specifications to solve a real world problem or demonstrates an interesting use? Drop the adena [at] opengeospatial.org (editor)an e-mail with the details including the URL, organization behind thewebsite, specifications used, technology used and the goal of thewebsite.
OGC welcomes new members who joined us recently.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Environmental Informatics Group
Swiftsure Spatial Systems, Inc.
OGC IN THE NEWS
OGC in the Press
Toward Global Interoperability
Roberta Balstad Miller
Carbon Project Appoints GeoLeaders as its United States Distributor
CubeWerx Appoints GeoLeaders as its United States Distributor
Geospatial Interoperability for the Organization
GIS, Location Technology and where they fit in the IT Value Chain
Laser-Scan successes in Local Government
Protecting Critical Infrastructure
Michael Terner, Richard Sutton, Brian Hebert, Capt. John Bailey, Heather Gilbert, Christian Jacqz
Everyone Benefits from GIS and Enterprise Integration
Can SOAP Deliver True Interoperable Geospatial Information?
Hitachi Software Supports Open Standards by Participating in the OpenGIS Live Demo
IONIC Leads the Way in Defining the WSDL/SOAP Bindings for the OpenGIS Specification Baseline
OGC Press Releases
May 17-19, 2004
May 24, 2004
Global EAI Summit 2004
May 26-27, 2004
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
IBC Mobile Location Services Conference 2004
June 14, 2004
UK Industry Day (invitation only)
June 15-18, 2004
50th OGC TC/PC Meetings
July 5-23, 2004
Near Florence Italy
Summer School on Geographic Information Science
July 25-29, 2004
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
GML Days 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
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Copyright 2004 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.