OGC Newsletter - March 2008
President's Message - Ocean Scientists Embrace OGC Standards
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.
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - OCEAN SCIENTISTS EMBRACE OGC STANDARDS
The Earth's largest ecosystem, the ocean, is studied by specialists from a range of scientific disciplines. Despite the ocean's apparent vastness, human activities have had a profound effect on ocean systems, and in turn changes in the ocean system have comparably profound effects on the weather and climate. The ocean system indirectly determines human impacts from a growing list of societal activities - land development, agriculture, coastal development, sewage outflow, energy production and fishing, to name a few. Additionally, natural Earth processes such as earthquakes use the ocean to unleash tremendous energy, threatening populations, wildlife and property in coastal areas worldwide. These are just a few of the ocean and coastal zone management issues that require coordinated solutions through cooperation and sharing among researchers, government agencies, NGOs, businesses and citizens. Of course, none of this is new news, but our cumulative impact on the oceans and other earth ecosystems is an extremely sobering reality and problem set for this generation and our children who will inherit that legacy.
The ocean science community is advancing a significant body of work to understand and address ocean-related issues. Their findings are important in efforts to strike a balance between protection of ocean systems and human exploitation of ocean resources.
Given the magnitude and complexity of the issues, ocean research programs have much to gain by improving their ability to share ocean data, which almost always has spatial context. Not surprisingly, the oceans research community is aggressively implementing and using OGC standards to improve organizational, regional and global capabilities to access, process, integrate and apply ocean information, including real time sensor data.
Below is a partial list (in alphabetical order) of ocean science programs and projects using OGC standards. Almost all of these efforts involve multiple government agencies, universities and research centers, and many of these programs and projects are working together
• Australian Oceans Portal project (http://www.aodc.gov.au/index.php?id=34)
• EUCC (EU Coastal Union) (http://www.eucc.nl/)
• GALEON (Geo-interface to Atmosphere, Land, Earth, Ocean, NetCDF) Interoperability Experiment, an effort by OGC members to streamline the sharing of atmospheric and oceans data (http://www.ogcnetwork.net/node/95)
• GMES (the EU Global Monitoring for Environment and Security program) (http://www.gmes.info)
• Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System (GoMOOS) (http://www.gomoos.org/)
• Integrated Ocean Observing System (OpenIOOS) project (http://www.openioos.org/)
• InterRisk, an EU program for Interoperable GMES Services for Environmental Risk Management in Marine and Coastal Areas of Europe (http://interrisk.nersc.no)
• Marine Metadata Interoperability (MMI) project (http://marinemetadata.org/)
• MOTIIVE (the EU Marine Overlays on Topography for Annex II Valuation and Exploitation) (http://www.motiive.net).
• Ocean.US, The US National Office for Integrated and Sustained Ocean Observations (http://www.ocean.us)
• OOSTethys (http://www.oostethys.org/)
• SeaDataNet, a Pan-European project to provide Infrastructure for Ocean & Marine Data Management (http://www.seadatanet.org/)
• Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) Coastal Ocean Observing and Prediction (SCOOP) program (http://scoop.sura.org/)
• UK Met (Meteorology) Office's DEWS (Delivering Environmental Web Services) project (http://www.dews.org.uk)
A number of the organizations and programs listed above are participants in the Ocean Science OGC Interoperability Experiment (http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/initiatives/oceansie), an effort to study implementations of OGC Web Service (OWS) standards being used by the ocean-observing community. The experiment will yield a set of Best Practices along with potential change request proposals for enhancements to certain OGC standards.
A major international program, known as the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS), is being advanced by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Ocean observing and prediction is a major component of GEOSS. The OGC has contributed to GEOSS objectives through its involvement as a participating organization in GEO, through a series of GEOSS demonstrations conducted in partnership with IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing and ISPRS, and through the recent GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot, which has brought together technical contributions from over 120 organizations. The "GEOSS Report on Progress 2007" noted that the development of interoperability in the GEOSS was ahead of schedule.
The work of OGC alliance partners is also important in addressing the interoperability needs of the ocean science community. The OASIS Common Alert Protocol (CAP) standard, for example, has elements that are harmonized with OGC standards, and CAP is growing in importance for issuing warning messages in emergency situations. It is being applied in some of the ocean science activities listed above.
The uptake of OGC standards in the oceans community is happening through coordination of best practices at the peer level and through governmental policy initiatives. Like the growth of the Web itself, it is driven by the opportunities inherent in a growing network. Researchers, scientists, and policy makers are happy to be contributing to a Web-accessible, shared information environment that enables them to better address the critical ecological and political issues facing the ocean's stakeholders -- virtually all the creatures on Earth.
OGC is supporting Ocean Innovation 2008 - "World Summit - Ocean Observing Systems," October 19-22, 2008, St. Johns, Canada. This conference will bring together a global community of interest in ocean observing systems to discuss and debate international, regional and national ocean observing activities, plans and frameworks in the context of a future integrated, interoperable global system of ocean observing systems.
What can OGC and other standards organizations do to further assist the oceans community in building out a worldwide interoperable infrastructure for ocean programs? I'd like to hear your ideas.
- Mark Reichardt, President and CEO
NEWS AND OPINION FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE
Below are some of the discussions of OGC and geospatial standards in the blogosphere since the last edition of this newsletter:
14 March: the folks at the "Accuracy & Aesthetics" blog drew attention to the following paragraph from "A Request for Technology In Support of an AECOO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner and Operator) Testbed":
"We envision an idea around BIM as not simply a collection of files, or objects, but rather a collection of evolving business components and building systems, which grow and change at different rates according to project phase and building requirements. Based on our work we would like your thoughts about BIM instances and how they might be employed interoperably over the timelines for design, construction and operation."
Their essay, Grow and Change at Different Rates, cites several cases of different rates of change and recounts some of the history of building construction. They note that "Even though network interoperability is a new problem, tracking project phases and building requirements is an old problem."
2 March: Vijay had this to say about the GSDI 10 conference in Trinidad: " 'Open' - as in the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), open access to data and Open Source GIS - seemed to arise as technological, administrative and social aspects of building a spatial data infrastructure were elaborated on and discussed by presenters in technical and plenary sessions."
Also 2 March: Ed Parsons, one of the speakers at the GSDI 10 conference mentioned in the previous paragraph, commented on the conference in "GSDI 10 - Despite best intentions, slow progress but a new outlook ?" He pointed out that people generally agree that organizational issues restrict the sharing of geo-data and thus limit progress. He went on to suggest, "Perhaps part of the issue is that SDI's often appear to be "Grand Designs", the results of many years planning to produce truly comprehensive infrastructures ready to support any potential national or international need, perhaps a better model would be to take a more evolutionary approach developing systems built around the existing open standards (the OGC's role [is] very important here) to solve particular domain or thematic problems, which could be consolidated to form an SDI at a later date. For example you could imagine an international system designed to monitor sea level change as a result of Global Warming."
24 February: Geoff Zeiss blogged about the Consortech conference in Quebec, highlighting points he thought of particular interest from four speakers (he did not comment on his own presentation). He identified OGC's Sam Bacharach as "one of the few people who can make a presentation on standards interesting." Geoff discussed two key slides from Sam's presentation. One slide listed organizations with which OGC has alliance partnerships, including IAI, the International Alliance for Interoperability, about which Geoff noted, "One of the interesting outcomes of the alliance between the IAI and the OGC is the upcoming IFC2x3g standard which allows building coordinate systems to be georeferenced to a known geographical coordinate system. This is a major turning point because it implies that architects and engineers now need to be concerned about where on the globe the building they are designing is situated." Geoff's second key point from Sam's presentation: the list of currently supported OGC standards is impressive "...because a high proportion of these standards ... have become the standard for geospatial data exchange for governments worldwide."
5 February: Claudia Engel provided several useful links in her "Listings of Open Geospatial Consortium Web Map Servers."
WEBSITE OF THE MONTH
Half-meter orthoimagery of the entire state of Oregon was acquired in 2005; the dataset is about 4.1 terabytes. A project was undertaken to develop a Web-based Internet portal application to provide access to and distribution of this public domain data. The Oregon Department of Administrative Services' Geospatial Enterprise Office (GEO) and Oregon State University (OSU) collaborated to develop Oregon Imagery Explorer.
Project planning for Oregon Imagery Explorer began in May 2006. Several system performance goals were identified in the planning process:
- The system should scale effectively to handle hundreds of users simultaneously accessing multiple image files in multiple protocols.
- The Image Web Server should support up to 100 concurrent images per second and up to 10 concurrent JPEG image requests per second.
- The server should be capable of generating a JPEG image in under 1 second from receipt of order.
The selected vendor to help GEO and OSU meet these goals was ER Mapper (now part of Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging). The system was installed and tested in May 2007, and was made public in October 2007. The project is housed at the State of Oregon State Data Center, and the State of Oregon GEO is the lead organization.
The site is quite user-friendly, beginning with the option to choose one of three text sizes. From the home page, links are provided to ten categories of information:
- Available Imagery
- Access the Imagery
- Ways to use the Imagery
- About this Project
- Data Collections
- Reports and Publications
- Expertise and Contacts
- Additional Resources
- Making Maps
The original Oregon 2005 half-meter orthoimagery is in Digital Orthophoto Quadrangle (DOQ) format. To serve this very large dataset online, a statewide mosaic of the original DOQs was reprojected into geographic coordinates (WGS84) and was processed using ER Mapper Compressed Wavelet (ECW) compression at a 9:1 ratio.
OGC Standards are being used to insure the widest possible usability and interoperability. Geospatial data use is now a part of routine operations for Oregon government agencies. As a result, organizations throughout the state request geospatial data. User needs typically go beyond simple viewing to include, for example, clipping data for an area of interest, and seamlessly integrating the data with other geospatial internet applications. Oregon Imagery Explorer was designed to meet the majority of users' needs. The system implements OGC's Web Map Service (WMS) 1.1.1.
The Image Web Server includes the following capabilities relating to OGC WMS 1.1.1:
OGC® WMS 1.1.1 XML based requests.
On-the-fly image reprojection in any projection / datum.
Configure multiple-WMS services on the same Image Web Server.
Name and group WMS layers.
Custom tags for WMS services.
Complete control over services with per service XML configuration files.
Combine multiple layer requests for image services in a single request.
Supports multiple SRS for each layer using reprojection on the fly.
Supports a default WMS service that is configurable from the management console.
The URL for the WMS capabilities is http://wms.oregonexplorer.info/ecwp/ecw_wms.dll?service=wms&version=1.1.....
To stream the imagery, the URL to specify to an application that supports WMS (for example, ArcGIS 9.x) is http://wms.oregonexplorer.info/ImageX/ecw_wms.dll?
A sample WMS request showing Crater Lake is this: http://wms.oregonexplorer.info/ecwp/ecw_wms.dll?REQUEST=GetMap&SERVICE=W...
Figure 2. The image that should appear in your web browser as a result of the request above.
The operating system is a Windows 2003 server. The data are stored in a Storage Area Network (SAN) environment. The client hardware includes a Multiprocessor: 8 x 1.86 GHz CPUs. The project links ER Mapper Image Web Server, Image Extraction Engine, and ESRI ArcIMS.
Currently the servers are active. A failover server is also running as a back-up.
Users benefit from the WMS functionality because they have direct access to the data, rather than having to wait for someone to create and ship CDs to them, and they no longer carry the burden of storing or maintaining the data.
The next steps in the project will include changing the base image format and projection, changing from ECW to JPEG2000 so extract and download is from a lossless file format, making improvements to the Imagery Explorer interface, searches, integration of datasets and general usability, and switching from ArcIMS to ArcGIS Server for vector file integration.
First WFS 1.1.0-Compliant ProductOGC's Team Engine WFS 1.1.0 Compliance Tests, involving over 200 individual tests, were executed 28 February 2008 on Snowflake Software's product GO Publisher WFS, which became the first product to be compliant and eligible to use the OGC Compliance Mark for this standard in its packaging and promotion of GO Publisher WFS.
OGC Supports "Ocean Innovation 2008"OGC is supporting Ocean Innovation 2008, to be held October 19-22, 2008, St. Johns, Canada. A global community of interest in ocean observing systems will convene to share international, regional and national ocean observing activities. Understanding of these activities, plans and frameworks will enable participants to formulate their own plans for participating in the integrated, interoperable global system of ocean observing systems. OGC President Mark Reichardt will speak at the event's Gala Dinner.
6th Vespucci Summer Institute on Geographic Information Science9-20 June 2008 ( just after the TC meeting in Germany !! ) in the Tuscan hills overlooking Florence, Italy
Week 1: "Geo-sensor web," leaders include Mike Botts, Antonio Camara
Week 2: "GI Science supporting Virtual Globes", leaders include Gilberto Camara, Mike Goodchild, Ed Parsons
Vespucci sessions are intense, highly-interactive events bringing together senior+junior minds, in a relaxing, productive atmosphere.
More information on registration and/or sponsorship: http://www.vespucci.org
OGC welcomes new members who joined us recently.
Porath, Holger (Individual) (Germany)
Intecs informatica e tecnologia del software (Technical) (Italy)
City University London (University) (United Kingdom)
Mechdyne Corporation (Associate) (United States)
University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Technical Sciences (University) (Serbia)
Simonis, Ingo (Individual) (Germany)
Dreesmann, Michael (Individual) (Germany)
FAA System Operations Airspace and AIM Office (Technical) (United States)
Thales Communications France (Associate) (France)
University of New South Wales (University) (Australia)
OGC IN THE NEWS
On 1 March, GeoPlace.com published "OGC Interweaves Standards Threads," by OGC Chief Technology Officer Carl Reed, in which he points out that at least four and perhaps five of the seven layers of the Open Systems Interconnection model of communications processes involve location. Each layer has been the focus of different standards organizations. OGC is involved in coordinating the location aspect of all of these standards so that interoperability is possible.
The 19 February 2008 issue of the new French-language publication BALIZ-MEDIA.com -- Observation de l'Industrie du Géospatial -- carries "L'Open Geospatial Consortium, des normes portées par l'industrie," an article based on a presentation made by OGC's Executive Director of Outreach, Sam Bacharach. It recounts the history of OGC beginning with the adoption of GIS in the 1980s by public sector agencies in natural resources and defense, the 1992 creation of the Open GRASS Foundation, and the need for interoperability of systems and data. A special emphasis is given to the fact that the OGC standards are supported by geospatial industry leaders and are beneficial for the industry as well as for the users. Standards specifically mentioned include GML (Geography Markup Language), WFS (Web Feature Service), and WMS (Web Map Serivce); in addition, the status of KML is covered.
The 11 February issue of GeoInformatics includes "Part 5: Geographic Web Services -- Standards in Practice." This tutorial describes these OGC Standards: Web Map Service, Styled Layer Description, Web Feature Service and Web Coverage Service.
On 8 February, Directions Magazine published a column by OGC board member Chris Tucker, "The Strategic Power of OGC Standards." The article argues that OGC standards "... remove the barriers to information flow ..." One situation showing the value of OGC standards is that of legacy systems; rather than the magnitude of software development required a decade ago, today a new standards-based interface can be created in less time, enabling legacy systems to provide web services. The article was provocative enough to generate five comments.
The February 2008 issue of GIM International carries "A New Age (II)," the second part of a two-part interview of OGC Chairman David Schell. The Editor was prompted to request the interview by news of Microsoft's membership; the second installment includes benefits for National Mapping Agencies of adopting standards, public/private partnerships, and trends.
The same February issue of GIM International included "Distributed Watershed Portals," an article about accomplishments in Kentucky that enable users to retrieve water-quality data and spatial data layers from different servers. Specifically, "OGC standards have been crucial in knitting together access to the various federal and state databases essential to watershed modellers. Much of the mapping on the portal is done using the OGC WMS interface, while data is retrieved using a simplified version of the WFS interface. Users may see only a web-based interface to the databases, but behind the scenes such user requests are translated into OGC Web Feature Service calls and then translated once more into the native request language of the federal or state database being accessed."
24 January, Directions Magazine published "Technology Convergence, Market Horizontalization and, Voila: Information Fusion," by Sam Bacharach, OGC Executive Director of Outreach. Three trends are discussed: such varied geospatial technologies as remote sensing, photogrammetry, GIS, CAD, AM/FM and navigation are converging; markets are becoming more horizontal, and information fusion -- from data sharing to analytic integration -- is increasing. OGC and other "consensus standards organizations provide a key vantage point for observing these trends, and a fulcrum for shaping them. "
18 January, Vector1Media published "What's the difference between maps and geospatial intelligence?" Maps, especially paper maps, are repositories of knowledge. In contrast, "Rather than simply a repository of knowledge, geospatial intelligence adds interaction, experimentation, scenario building and heightened awareness of a location that allows us to effectively and efficiently deal with problems." Data interoperability is identified as key to the process, and OWS-4 is cited for incorporating sensors, workflows, decision support and CAD/GIS/BIM integration. Readers are encouraged to view the OWS-4 demonstration video.
OGC(R) Announces OGC Interoperability Day, March 28 in St. Louis
February 28, 2008
Astrium Takes Principal Membership in the OGC(R)
February 25, 2008
OGC(R) Approves Web Processing Service Standard
February 22, 2008
OGC(R) Requests Comments on CityGML Encoding Standard
February 19, 2008
OGC(R) Approves Observations & Measurements Encoding Standard
January 30, 2008
April 28-30, 2008
Location Intelligence Conference
Santa Clara, California
May 26-28, 2008
ISO/TC211 26th Plenary
June 2-6, 2008
June '08 OGC Technical Committee Meeting
June 6-7, 2008
June '08 OGC Planning Committee Meeting
June 9-20, 2008
6th VESPUCCI SUMMER INSTITUTE ON GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SCIENCE
July 21-25, 2008
Vancouver, BC, Canada
For further info on events please contact gbuehler [at] opengeospatial.org (Greg Buehler).
Please send comments and suggestions to:
Editor, OGC News
Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.
35 Main Street Suite 5
Wayland MA 01778-5037
USA Phone: +1 508 655 5858
Fax: +1 508 655 2237
To subscribe send mail to: newsletter-request [at] lists.opengeospatial.org
with "subscribe" (no quotes) in the subject.
To unsubscribe send mail to: newsletter-request [at] lists.opengeospatial.org
with "unsubscribe" (no quotes) in the subject.
Visit our subscription page
NOTICE: OGC's Mail Servers have changed. Please update your address books, spam whitelists and/or mail filters for any OGC lists.
Copyright 2008 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.