OGC Newsletter - February 2005
News From the New York Meeting
Website of the Month
IP Update, New Members, OGC In The News, Events, Contact, Subscribe/Unsubscribe
Back issues of OGC News are available.
Collaboratively Weaving the Fabric of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards
OGC has been extraordinarily successful in building an interoperability framework for geospatial processing and content. More than a decade of concerted effort by OGC members has resulted in a coherent and robust set of specifications that are enabling broad system and enterprise interoperability for a range of geoprocessing services now available in the market.
But technology doesn't stand still and we can't claim to have addressed all the interoperability problems in the geospatial domain. In fact, we are finding that some of our new interoperability challenges exist at the edges of our domain. To make it easy to integrate geospatial information and related technologies into any application or computing environment, we need to focus on forming key partnerships that will bind our piece of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) standards infrastructure with other pieces of the ICT standards infrastructure. We also reach out to avoid duplication of effort and to accelerate OGC objectives by leveraging the work of other standards organizations.
Below is an overview of our key working relationships with other standards development organizations (SDOs).
1. ISO Technical Committee 211 - Our oldest relationship is with ISO. OGC has a Class A liaison agreement with ISO TC 211. A Joint Advisory Group (JAG) facilitates and manages the relationship. Our agreement with TC 211 allows OGC to advance ISO standards consistent with OGC documents. There are a number of OGC Abstract Specification Topic Volumes that are actually ISO documents, such as Metadata, Services, Spatial Referencing and Feature Geometry. This important arrangement also allows OGC to submit new Work Item Proposals (NWIPs) to ISO. NWIPS tend to be either: 1) suggested changes to an existing ISO TC 211 document or 2) OGC adopted implementation specifications submitted for consideration as ISO standards. The work on Coordinate Reference Systems (CRS) is an example of the former case and the work on Simple Features, Web Map Service, and Geography Markup Language are examples of the latter. An NWIP for Web Feature Service and Catalog will be submitted to ISO in the next couple of months.
2. Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. OGC work intersects OASIS work at several levels. OGC (the organization) is a voting member of OASIS. OASIS is organized into many Technical Committees, and several OGC members and staff are actively involved in OASIS groups covering topics such as the electronic business resource information model (ebRIM), E-Government, and Emergency Services. The OASIS Common Alert Protocol (CAP) standard has elements that are being harmonized with OGC work. Future change proposals to CAP will hopefully integrate components of existing OGC specifications as normative. The OGC spec work is now utilizing a number of OASIS standards, including UDDI, BPEL, ebRIM, and ebXML. We have also provided "lessons learned" documents back to various OASIS Technical Committees.
3. World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) - We interact with the W3C as necessary to discuss items of mutual interest. On behalf of OGC membership, we follow W3C closely and look forward to pursuing a more formal relationship between our organizations in the future. It should be noted that OGC programs leverage work products of the W3C including SVG, XML, XSLT, SOAP, WSDL, and soon more on RDF (Resource Description Framework) and OWL (Web Ontology Language).
4. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is a large, open, international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet. It is open to any interested individual. It is not membership based; all participants are volunteers. OGC staff represent OGC interests in the GeoPRIV Working Group, whose primary task is to assess the authorization, integrity and privacy requirements that must be met in order to transfer such information, or authorize the release or representation of such information through an agent. Also, the draft Internet standard Request for Comment (RFC) titled "A Presence-based GEOPRIV Location Object Format" uses GML 3.1 and references other OGC work. Finally, we have recently submitted our own (OGC) RFC for consideration as an Internet standard. This is the OGC Universal Resource Name (URN) document titled, "A URN namespace for the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)."
Two very important new relationships are being formalized with IEEE 1451 for collaborative advancement of the Sensor Web, and with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) North American Chapter of the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI-NA) Council, to address interoperability between the architecture/engineering/construction (AEC) and geospatial environments. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by OGC and NIBS on January 28, 2005 and a similar agreement is being put in place with IEEE 1451.
There are other relationships, too. OGC participates in the Object Management Group (OMG) and in a number of standards coordination meetings that have been organized by groups such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and The Open Group. A number of OGC members are working with staff to more closely coordinate with ISO TC 204 (navigation, intelligent transport, etc) and with Intelligent Vehicle Systems (IVS). There is a newly revitalized relationship with the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). OGC and its members also follow the work of WS-I, EAI, and a number of other consortia that live in the Web Services and Enterprise Integration standards world. In 2003, OMG, OGC, Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization (SISO), and Web3D Consortium agreed to collaborate on open standards for Modeling and Simulation (M&S) and related technologies, forming the Web Simulation Partnership.
For more information about OGC's work with other standards organizations, contact creed [at] opengeospatial [dot] org (Carl Reed), sbacharach [at] opengeospatial [dot] org (Sam Bacharach) or gpercivall [at] opengeospatial [dot] org (George Percivall).
It's hard to imagine that there has ever been another time when so many standards organizations have worked together so closely on such a multifaceted task. As we in the profession know, the critically important standards development performed by our community goes largely unnoticed by most people. But we gain comfort in knowing that in the future, people worldwide will be working with and benefiting greatly from what we are collaboratively creating.
Mark Reichardt, President
Carl Reed, CTO
Open Geospatial Consortium
NEWS FROM THE NEW YORK MEETING
The 52nd OGC Technical Committee and Planning Committee Meetings were held during the week of January 17, 2005 in New York City. The United Nations hosted the Technical Committee meeting and Parsons Brinckerhoff hosted the Planning Committee meeting. More than 150 OGC members collaborated in an extremely productive week of agreements on a range of standards for enabling interoperability.
A record number of votes were taken at both the Technical Committee (TC) and Planning Committee (PC) meetings, representing an extraordinary amount of work. Even if you are not a computer programmer, the following paragraphs provide a sense of the work of the OGC: removing barriers for geospatial data sharing, improving interoperability of geoprocessing services, and enabling the geospatial web. Almost all of these documents are about "Web Services."
Three documents were approved for public release as official OGC position statements. These include papers on XML (eXtensible Markup Language) Encoding of Common Coordinate Reference System Definitions, XML Encoding of Image Coordinate Reference System Definitions, and a document defining best practices for all OGC Web Services related interface specifications.
Nine documents were approved for public release as informative documents. These include discussions on an interface for a Web-accessible Coordinate Transformation Service, using the OASIS Business Process Execution Language for service chaining of Image Handling functions for Decision Support, a draft interface specification for a Web accessible 3D portrayal service, a draft interface specification for a Web accessible Image Classification Service Implementation, and a draft definition for Imagery Metadata.
Seven OGC Implementation Specifications were approved for electronic vote by the membership and will soon be available to the public. These include: "OGC Web Services Common Specification," "ISO19115/19119 Application Profile for CS 2.0," "Web Map Context Documents Implementation Specification," "GML 3.1.1 Implementation Specification," "OLS (Open Location Services) 1.1 Implementation Specifications," "WFS (Web Feature Server) 1.1 and FES (Filter Encoding Specification) 1.1 Implementation Specifications," and "GO (Geospatial Objects) 1.0 Implementation Specifications." Regarding the GO specification, the PC unanimously agreed that work on APIs or interfaces for tightly coupled architectures (as opposed to loosely coupled architectures like the web) is germane and valuable in terms of the work of the consortium and the PC fully endorses and supports such work.
Standards Organization Cooperation
The TC recommended that New Work Item Proposals (NWIP) for the Catalog 2.0 Implementation Specification and an NWIP for Web Feature Server and Filter Encoding be submitted to ISO TC 211 for discussion and hopefully approval as ISO standards.
The TC also recommended that OGC pursue a Memorandum of Understanding with IEEE 1451, the IEEE working group that deals with sensor networks.
Since the meetings, OGC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NIBS IAI-NA Council. David A. Harris, President of NIBS explained, "As digital technologies become increasingly important in design and construction, city planning, infrastructure maintenance, disaster response, security, transportation and environmental management, so does the need for interoperability among systems used in these activities. Design technologies and geospatial technologies have outgrown their original CADD and GIS envelopes and they've outgrown the technical barriers that have kept them apart. Through this agreement, we look forward to advancing the standards framework necessary to bring these disciplines closer together."
The work with IAI will involve coordination with other groups, such as the LandXML organization. OGC's outreach to these other standards organizations reflects, as David Harris suggests, both the needs of users and the opportunities that arise as Web-based distributed computing advances. It is now well understood that this progress is the result of consensus-derived open standards. OGC is committed to ensuring that geospatial capabilities become fully integrated into the new, Web-based computing environment that enterprises are embracing. OGC's growth in membership -- there are now more than 270 members -- reflects the growing awareness in the larger information technology industry that OGC is a great place to both learn what's happening and to influence what's happening in the expanding world of geospatial technology.
Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption
Open Geospatial Consortium
WEBSITE OF THE MONTH
Know of a website that uses OpenGIS® specifications to solve a real world problem or demonstrates an interesting use? Drop the adena [at] opengis [dot] org (editor) an e-mail with the details including the URL, organization behind the website, specifications used, technology used and the goal of the website.
A Request for Quotations (RFQ) for OGC Web Services Phase 3 (OWS-3) is planned for release in early February. The RFQ will seek proposals for in-kind contributions and cost-share funding requests to advance the OGC Technical Baseline in several areas.
OWS-3 is a major OGC Interoperability Initiative to develop and enhance OGC Web Services (OWS) standards. The OWS-3 testbed will advance OGC Web Services, the set of OpenGIS Specifications for interfaces, schemas and encodings that comprise the interoperability framework for the emerging "Spatial Web." The work will address a rich set of requirements provided by OWS-3's public and private sector sponsors.
The RFQ will be structured into the following areas:
-- Common Architecture: Refining the OWS architecture for "publishing, finding and binding" geoprocessing services using the OGC Catalog Service for the Web (CS/W), profiles of CS/W and the Business Process Execution Language.
-- Sensor Web Enablement (SWE): Extending the SWE architecture through partnerships with TransducerML and IEEE 1451 for access to a wide variety of sensor types and for scalability to nationwide sensor deployment. SWE will include in-situ and remote sensors; on fixed and moving platforms; with some sensors requiring tasking. Work on SWE will result in mature specifications for SensorML, Sensor Observation Service, Sensor Planning Service and using CS/W to register sensors.
-- Geo-Decision Support Services (GeoDSS): Providing the distributed services necessary for an analyst to marshal the distributed services from the Spatial Web to support decision making. Information Interoperability provides tools and techniques for making GML data compliant with application schemas available through Web Feature Service for high performance applications. Key will be development of a GeoDSS client for integrated access to numerous OGC services, control of service chaining, and for portrayal of geospatial information.
-- Geo-Digital Rights Management: Augmenting the existing OWS access services with digital rights management will enable a broader distribution of geospatial data. While data providers are making more and more geospatial data accessible by OGC services a limiting factor to further growth has become the need to manage the rights on that information.
Maturing the technical baseline through work on compliance testing and work on advancing Open Location Services may be included in the RFQ, depending on sponsor funding.
For further information contact gpercivall [at] opengeospatial [dot] org (George Percivall), Executive Director, Interoperability Architecture.
OGC welcomes new members who joined us recently.
3e - Technologies International (3eTI)
British Geological Survey
CCLRC (Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils)
Générale d'Infographie (France)
Innovative Research, Ideas, & Services Corp. (IRIS)
OGC IN THE NEWS
- OGC in the Press
ESRI Enhances Support for OGC WMS
ESRI Selected for Next Generation GIS Portal
Carbon Project Release Free .NET Toolkit for Open Geospatial Development
The Dangers of Non-Interoperability
Earth Imaging Journal
JPEG 2000 and GML
Earth Imaging Journal
Market Map 2005
Multiple Authors including OGC staff and leaders at member organizations
ESRI a Major Participant at Standards in Action Meeting in the Netherlands
DM Solutions Group Announces Chameleon 2.0 Availability
Allan Doyle Appointed GSDI Business Director
IONIC Releases RedSpider LOBOS, the World's Only OGC-OLS (pdf)
Solution for Location Enabled Enterprises
geoLeaders Selected for NSDI Grant
ESRI's ArcGIS 9.0.1 Now Shipping
George Percivall, John Moeller
- OGC Press Releases
OGC and NIBS Announce Collaboration
OGC announces Web Processing Services Interoperability Experiment
Summit Set to Address "Advancing the Sensor Web"
February 13-16, 2005
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
GeoTec Event Providing Perspective, Gaining Insight
March 6-9, 2005
Denver, Colorado, USA
GITA's Annual Conference 28 - Crossing Boundries:
April 1, 2005
Italian Interoperability Day
April 4-7, 2005
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings
April 8, 2005
Earth Observation and Risk Management Workshop (European Space Agency)
April 14-15, 2005
Emerging Technology Summit III: Advancing the Sensor Web
April 16, 2005
8th International Conference for Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI-8)
May 26 28, 2005
AGILE 2005 Conference
May 30 June 2
2005 GISPLANET 2005
June 9-10, 2005
ISO/TC 211 20th Plenary
June 13 17, 2005
St John's, Newfoundland, Canada
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings:
June 22 24 2005
Chia Laguna, Sardegna, Italy
11th EC GI & GIS Workshop
July 4-15 2005
Fiesole (Florence) Italy
3rd annual Vespucci International Summer School on GI Science
July 6-8, 2005
July 18-22, 2005
Vancouver, British Columbia
GML And Geo-Spatial Web Services Conference 2005
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 2005 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.