OGC Newsletter - February/March 2007
News and Opinion From The Blogosphere
Website of the Month
New Members, OGC In The News, Events, Contact, Subscribe/Unsubscribe
Back issues of OGC News are available.
Emerging Technology Summit IV - Exploring the Future: Geospatial Web Services for Infrastructure and Buildings, will be held 21-23 March 2007 at the Melrose Hotel, 2430 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC
For information, and to register, see http://www.gita.org/events/ETS/ogc_ets.asp.
The Urban Enterprise
By Mark Reichardt, President
Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.
Though most people who create Architecture/Engineering/Construction (AEC) or geospatial data create it for a particular purpose, it has become increasingly obvious to people in both domains that the data's value extends well beyond its original purpose. For almost any building or geospatial data, there are many likely or possible future uses as well as possible immediate secondary uses.
The AEC industry has been making great strides in transitioning from the 2-dimensional paper world to virtual world of Building Information Models (BIMs), which in addition to supporting 3D and 4D visualization and analysis, enable easier exchange of detailed building information among multiple stakeholders throughout the life cycle of a building. The AEC industry is essentially building their own kind of spatial data infrastructure in parallel with the one the geospatial community began advancing in the 1990’s to enable sharing of geospatial data.
The Web amplifies and converges these efforts. In both domains, standards and the Web's infinite malleability are dissolving the barriers that have prevented data from becoming the useful resource it needs to be. And standards and the Web are also dissolving the barriers between AEC centered and geospatial data infrastructures.
Many of the OGC's OGC Web Services (OWS) standards are already in use in applications worldwide, and BIM standards are progressing rapidly toward broader adoption. As they advance, OGC members, along with the International Alliance for Interoperability, the National Institute of Building Sciences and other Alliance partners are working together to assure that these data and standards frameworks to work together. This was demonstrated recently in the OGC Web Services Phase 4 (OWS-4) testbed demonstration. Additional AEC / Geospatial convergence work is anticipated in OGC's next testbed.
The results of this cooperative activity will provide owner/operators, city agencies, businesses and citizens with new capabilities. Repair and maintenance of old buildings and related infrastructure will be done more efficiently, and so will the retrofitting and repurposing of such infrastructure. Public safety activities will be guided by much better information. The same will be true for public and private logistics and transportation. The standards provide ample "hooks" for applications to make use of information about what's on each floor in multi-story buildings, supporting vertical way-finding that will positively impact retail and many kinds of professional activities.
An enterprise is an entire organization, including all of its subsidiaries. It implies a large corporation or government agency, but it may also refer to a company of any size with many systems and users to manage. And it can apply more generally to a city or region, with all its diverse public and private stakeholders benefiting from their connected information systems.
OWS-4 provided a glimpse of how, in an emergency management context, we can add to the sensor web dimension to this convergence of technologies. AEC and geospatial data can now be augmented with data about -- and data coming from – sensors embedded in and around, buildings, terminals, roads, antennas, pipes, vehicles and other urban features to further enrich the quality of our decisions about buildings, facilities and urban infrastructure.
I ask that you keep in mind two upcoming opportunities related to this topic. OGC, along with other Alliance Partners, will be hosting an Emerging Technology Summit (ETS IV) on information system interoperability standards related to the AEC / Geospatial convergence. The event is scheduled for for March 21-23, 2007, in Washington, D.C. Please also keep in mind that the OGC Web Services Phase 5 (OWS-5) testbed, now in planning, is positioned to continue standards development, testing, validation and demonstration in this important area. Organizations interested in influencing this process should review the OWS-5 Call for Sponsors announcement.
NEWS AND OPINION FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE
Below are some of January's discussions of OGC specifications in the blogosphere:
Andrew Turner at High Earth Orbit, in a blog entry titled "Spatial programming with Ruby on Rails" points out that "MySQL Spatial Extensions began to emerge in MySQL 4.1" (See GIS and Spatial Extensions with MySQL by MySQL Developer Zone's Anders Karlsson) and he suggests some work-arounds for remaining deficiencies. But he suggests, "A better solution would be to develop a model that provides a GIS interface to a PostGIS or other OGC-style database." Comments on this post show others making progress.
Related to that, Paul Ramsey notes in his blog that he will be chairing the FOSS4G 2007 conference, which will be in Victoria from September 24-27. Among the "exciting developments" he notes that have taken place since the last North American open source geospatial get together (Minnesota in June 2005) was that PostGIS passed it's OGC compliance test.
In Directions' All Points blog, in a January 25, 2007 post, Adena Schutzberg comments on a Federal Computer Week article on DoD use of Google Earth Enterprise. She points readers to the recent notice, "NGA Announces Requirement for OGC and Complementary Standards," and asks, "Is DoD pushing Google to implement such standards?"
In a January 25, 2007 post, the Pochi Superstar Mega Show blog comments positively on OWS-4 and notes, "Interesting for the Ruby and GIS enthusiasts was the participation of GeoBliki, which has some details of its role during the demonstration on its blog". Referring to Patrice Cappelaere's GeoBliki blog entry, "EO-1 Satellite is tasked as part of OGC OWS-4 Demo".
Kirk Kuykendall, in his blog, The Memory Leak, wishes for more geospatial domain specific languages (DSLs) that enable scripting using chaining of commands. He notes a SEEGRID II Conference wiki entry that says, "GML provides a pattern for defining domain-specific feature-types. .... Each domain-specific language based on GML is termed a GML Application Language, and defines components (in particular, Features) in their own namespace, which are derived from or incorporate components drawn from GML." But he says, "I can't really follow this to anything concrete." (We point Kirk Kuykendall and others to the February 15, 2007 Directions Magazine article, "From Legos to Varieties of GML Lite," by the OGC's Sam Bacharach and also to ISO 19109:2005 Geographic information -- Rules for application schema)
ForestPal on January 1, 2007 put out a note about the GRASS GIS, noting in an excerpt from the GRASS website that "GRASS is integrated with GDAL/OGR libraries to support an extensive range of raster and vector formats, including OGC-conformal Simple Features."
On the GeoMusings blog, Bill Dollins reports that "zigGIS is an open source PostGIS connector for ArcGIS. ...The hope is to eventually get zigGIS so that it will also edit PostGIS layers." In his "In for a Dime" post on January 10, 2007, Bill says, "For anyone who may be monitoring this discussion, we have discussed expanding data support to MySQL Spatial, Oracle Spatial and MS SQL Spatial. Basically anything that's OGC-compliant."
WEBSITE OF THE MONTH
AntSDI, The Antarctic Spatial Data Infrastructure website, is provided by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Antarctic. It includes Digital Database WMS, a service implementing the OpenGIS Web Map Service (WMS) specification, providing rendered map images of the Antarctic Digital Database. (You can register to use it.) The Antarctic Digital Database, in use now but still under active development, is the premier source for continent wide topography of Antarctica.
The new website provides access to the following services:
- Data download in a variety of formats, including GML, Generate, WKT, and GMT. Access to GIF, JPEG, PNG and SVG uses WMS capabilities.
- Download in Shapefiles will shortly be available.
- Access to an interactive map browser.
- Online licensing for commercial use (under development).
- Access to OGC Web Feature Service (WFS) and WMS services.
All users of the Antarctic Digital Database have been migrated to the new system.
SCAR is an inter-disciplinary committee of the International Council for Science (ICSU). SCAR is charged with the initiating, developing and coordinating high quality international scientific research in the Antarctic region, and on the role of the Antarctic region in the Earth system. The scientific business of SCAR is conducted by its Standing Scientific Groups which represent the scientific disciplines active in Antarctic research and report to SCAR.
At the end of 2006, Geospatial Solutions joined forces with TerraGo Technologies (an OGC member) to undertake a project to determine the demand for geospatial data in today's workplace. The cobranded survey polled GIS professionals around the world to obtain details about how they're collecting and sharing geospatial data at the enterprise level. More than 200 managers, analysts, and other Geospatial Solutions newsletter subscribers shared their perspectives with us. According to the responses, GIS budgets and the demand for GIS data are on the rise -- as are data-sharing headaches.
Category 4 of the 2007 NSDI CAP Program, "Geo-Enabling Federal Businesses Initiative" has an extended submission date for proposals of 12:00n EST, February 23, 2007. The purpose of this category is to effectively communicate to Federal business managers the value of incorporating geospatial approaches into business processes. Application information is available here.
OGC welcomes new members who joined us recently.
Design + Construction Strategies (US)
Infotech Enterprises Ltd., Hyderabad (India)
iMapData, Inc. (US)
Aston University (UK)
Brown University (US)
GoMOOS - Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System (US)
Associate (Research Institute)
Technical University of Denmark (DTU) (Denmark)
Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG) (Germany)
OGC IN THE NEWS
- OGC IN THE NEWS
Innovative Ways to Improve Digital Geospatial Data Infrastructure Sought
December 4, 2006
OGC Demonstrates Sensor Web Decision Support Services
Sam Bacharach, executive director, Outreach Program, OGC
January 25, 2007
The Map Supply
Thorben Hansen, head of department, Danish National Survey and CadastreGIM International
CTO'S MESSAGE -- OGC standards and the Geospatial Web
Carl Reed, CTO, OGC
Republished on the OASIS Cover Pages blog, Planetizen Radar, and Slashgeo.
The Online Archaeology - Archaeology and GIS website publishes a complete posting of OGC news releases.
- OGC Press Releases
NGA Standards Document Features OGC Specifications
February 20, 2007
OGC Seeking IP Team Members from Europe
February 20, 2007
OGC® Seeks Comment on Observations & Measurements Specification
February 6, 2007
The OGC(R) Seeks Participants for Ocean Science Interoperability Experiment
February 2, 2007
OGC(R) Announces Call for Sponsors for Fifth Spatial Open Web Services Initiative
January 30, 2007
OGC Joins W3C to Help Add Geospatial to the Web
January 17, 2007
Best practice makes perfect with Open Geospatial Standards
January 8, 2007
March 1-2, 2007
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, US
2007 North Carolina GIS Conference
March 21-23, 2007
Washington, DC, US.
Emerging Technology Summit IV - Exploring the Future: Geospatial Web Services for Infrastructure and Buildings
April 16-20, 206
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings
July 9-12, 2006
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings
September 24 - 27, 2007
2007 Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) Conference
For further info on events please contact gbuehler [at] opengeospatial.org (Greg Buehler).
Please send comments and suggestions to:
lmckee [at] opengeospatial.org (Lance McKee)
Acting Editor, OGC News
Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.
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Copyright 2007 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.