OGC Newsletter - June 2008
Business Development Director's Message: AECOO Testbed Off to a Good Start
CTO'S Report on March 2008 TC and PC Meetings
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.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE: AECOO TESTBED OFF TO A GOOD START
Effective and efficient design, construction, ownership, management and use of buildings and other capital facilities increasingly requires information exchange among all disciplines and professions that have a stake in those facilities. Like other industries, the AECOO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner and Operator) industry has embarked on "business transformation" enabled by the latest information and communication technologies.
Last year, the OGC and buildingSMART International signed an MOU to work together in addressing issues of geospatial and AEC information convergence. OGC also completed a similar agreement with the National Institute of Building Sciences. On May 2, 2008 a Request for Quotation (RFQ) and Call for Participation (CFP) for the AECOO-Phase 1 Testbed were issued by the buildingSMART alliance (http://www.buildingsmartalliance.org), the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) and the Testbed's sponsors. The testbed is designed to support business transformation as defined in the US National Building Information Modeling Standard (NBIMS) by applying technology for interoperability involving intelligent building models with 3D geometric capabilities. Eleven responses from 24 companies were received by the May 30 deadline from organizations and individuals with expertise in the building information management field. A number of those who responded will be selected by the sponsors for cost sharing in the testbed, and all relevant-in-scope responses will be able to participate.
The AECOO Testbed directly addresses several key interoperability issues defined as important to the industry. Business and communications, quantity take-off for cost estimating, and energy analysis in planning and design for a capital facility are the topics selected by the sponsors. Additionally, OGC members will benefit from testbed use cases that address detailed modeling, analysis and visualization related to safety, security, urban planning, logistics and transport, etc.
Like other OGC Interoperability Initiatives, the AECOO Testbed is a global, hands-on and collaborative rapid prototyping project designed to develop and deliver proven candidate standards. In this case, those candidate standards go into not only the OGC's specification program, but also NBIMS' and buildingSMART International's specification programs. In addition to producing candidate standards, Phase 1 of the AECOO Testbed has a critical non-technical goal: It will help the AECOO community understand how to plan and conduct successful standards development using market-driven approaches. It is vital in AECOO standards work to cooperate across different standards-bodies' mission boundaries. The optimum outcomes cannot be achieved by any single organization or market sector working in isolation. The OGC, with its many standards-body alliances, is experienced in this kind of collaboration.
OGC brings to this effort an agreed-upon consensus process; experience in gathering user requirements to define, test, document, and approve standards and compliance testing; a comprehensive communications infrastructure to support awareness and adoption; staff knowledge, expertise and support to work with the members to understand the technologies and facilitate the consensus process; and a consensus-based forum for conflict resolution.
The OGC's open standards help bring geospatial technologies into the larger information technology world, and as this proceeds, there are more reasons to work with other standards organizations. Taken together, the markets represented in AECOO dwarf the geospatial technology market. And yet we have important things to offer: our aggregation of organizations and individuals who understand how geospatial technologies can benefit the various kinds of businesses in AECOO; and our understanding of the consensus standards development process. It has been a pleasure to get to know our new collaborators, and it is already clear that this new exposure to a much larger world will benefit OGC members who come from the geospatial world. We look forward to a great testbed and likely follow-on activities!
-- Louis Hecht, Business Development Director
CTO'S REPORT ON MARCH 2008 TC AND PC MEETINGS
The 64th OGC Technical Committee meetings were held the week of March 24th in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Northrop Grumman Information Technology - TASC was Platinum Sponsor of the meeting. Over 150 individuals attended and participated in the various Working Group sessions.
During the meetings, the following document actions were approved [NOTE: Posting and availability of documents follows editing and a final review.]:
As an OGC Best Practice:
- OGC URN Document 07-107r3 as approved by the IETF/IESG and referenced in the IANA URN registry. The URN Discussion Paper OGC 06-166 will be deprecated.
- OGC 06-035r1 Web Coverage Processing Service (WCPS) document replacing current version.
As an OpenGIS Discussion Paper:
- "Loosely Coupled Synchronization of Geographic Databases in the CGDI"
- "CGDI GML Best Practices Engineering Report"
- Abstract Specification (AS) - General Reference System
- Data View Architecture Engineering Report
- OGC Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure Summary Report
The members also approved release of the following corrigenda:
- Web Map Context (WMC) Corrigendum as documented in OGC 08-050. This corrigendum fixes schema naming, schema location path, and LayerType in schema.
- WCS 1.1 Corrigendum 2, consisting of pending documents OGC 07-067r5 and 07-066r5.
Members approved revision to the Technical Committee (TC) Policies and Procedures (P&P) per pending document OGC 05-020r11. This is now the official TC P&P.
The members approved Electronic Votes for adoption of OGC 08-015 Topic 2 Spatial Referencing by Coordinates as revision to the existing OGC Abstract Specification and adoption of the OGC Open Location Services (OLS) Version 1.3 [OGC 08-028r1] as an official OGC standard.
The next Technical Committee meetings in Potsdam, Germany, are being held as this edition is being published.
-- Carl Reed
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:
24 May: Marco Dinacci posted "Time for a change," in which he looked back at two-and-a-half years in a position he is leaving. One of the memories: "... the impressive amount of knowledge of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) people."
28 April: At "Networking for Networkers," Wired-Monkeybites posted "Google's Keyhole Mapping Language is Now an Open Standard," noting "The Google blog touts KML as ‘the HTML of geographic content,' and while that may be a bit hyperbolic at the moment, the blessing of the OpenGIS standards body could well make that claim a reality."
29 March: Ed Parsons posted "Where's the cheese - OGC moving forward," his views and observations on the OGC Technical Committee Meeting in St. Louis. His opening paragraph includes "... the OGC as a community I'm pleased to say, is increasingly taking interest in geospatial technologies developed outside of its traditional membership." And his closing paragraph is quite upbeat: "I have been to perhaps half a dozen Technical Committee meetings over the last few years, and I leave St. Louis feeling more optimistic than even before that the OGC can remain the positive influence on the industry it has been up to now, change is needed but that's recognised."
27 March: Jason Follas posted the second in a (currently seven-part) series on SQL Server 2008 "SQL Server 2008: Spatial Data, Part 2." In his opening paragraph on standards, Jason introduced OGC by saying "...these folks are the real experts in the field who understand both the problems and the solutions of working with spatially-aware systems. By defining standards, they help to ensure that geospatial data can be shared between different vendors and platforms." He goes on to point out that "SQL Server 2008's Spatial data types are based on the OGC's "Simple Feature Access" standards..."
WEBSITE OF THE MONTH
Mapbender, a project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation, includes a portal and a software suite (client). The portal provides registered users access to an operating version of the Mapbender software and the hosting server. Alternatively, one can download a 2.7 meg Zip file of the software suite and install it locally. The latest version is Mapbender 2.5, just released in May 2008.
The Mapbender framework can be used to manage spatial data from data sources anywhere in the world that are compliant with OGC Web Map Service (WMS) or OGC Web Feature Service (WFS). It also enables web-based digitizing and editing of features (OGC WFS - Transaction). Currently Mapbender supports OGC WMS standards 1.0.0, 1.1.0 and 1.1.1 and OGC WFS 1.0.0, OGC Web Map Context 1.0 , GML 2.0 and 3.0, Catalog Services Web 1.0, 2.0 client interfaces, with newer versions implemented on demand. Besides these established standards the Mapbender software took part in OWS-5 and implemented several modules around the new KML format and the emerging OWS Context standard.
The Mapbender wiki provides extensive documentation, including installation instructions and tutorials in English and German.
The Mapbender Gallery features screenshots and links to more than two dozen sites that use Mapbender software. Sites for numerous cities in Germany comprise the largest category of examples. In addition, the gallery includes portal sites at state and federal level for environmental data and EU applications plus sites featuring such topics as disaster relief in Indonesia, hiking and mountain-biking trails, a global hunger index, archaeological sites in Mexico, and barrier-free (handicap-accessible) toilets.
The spatial portal site GeoPortal.rlp (http://www.geoportal.rlp.de/) is designed to act as a broker between users and providers of spatial information and geo-related services. With more than 2000 layers from 70 OGC WMS services it is a perfect example of an interoperable service architecture and a living example of the emerging INSPIRE directive.
GeoPortal offers the opportunity for federal state agencies, municipal authorities and private companies to present their data and services. Online-access to the distributed data sources of each geospatial product- and service-provider ensures that information made available by these institutions on a joint platform is as up-to-date as possible. Instead of users having to copy the data, links to the original sources enable them to have direct access. This metadata is managed by the providers themselves using the multi-client-capable administrative framework implemented by Mapbender.
GeoPortal.rlp is designed to provide information about geospatial data and the data owners, as well as offering integrated functionality for use in standard GIS viewers and in specific applications.
A map of users of Mapbender (available to registered users who login)shows that users who have taken the time to input their information are primarily affiliated with companies; university users comprise 10-25% of users by region. This Mapbender interface shows the Demis World Map WMS as background data. The user data is stored in a PostgreSQL database with PostGIS spatial extension; maps are rendered by a MapServer WMS. The GeoServer WFS-T provides for the GML which Mapbender uses for the interactive tool tips and digitizing modules.
IANA Approves OGC URN Namespace
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) formally approved the OGC URN namespace proposal. Per the Official IANA Registry of Formal URN Namespaces, the registered formal namespace is ogc and the value is 37.
OGC Supports Map World Forum 2009
Map World Forum, scheduled for February 10 – 13, 2009 in Hyderabad, India, has Department of Science and Technology, Government of India as the Principal Government Partner and Rolta India as its Principal Industry Partner. OGC (along with FIG, ISPRS and GITA) is an Affiliate Partner. World-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE, will address the conference.
Verizon Receives Award for Application Using OGC Standards
GITA selected Verizon to receive its 2008 Innovator Award for the Verizon Enterprise Geospatial Application (VEGA). VEGA is a web-based tool that integrates landbase, parcel, addresses, wire center boundaries, video boundaries, etc. so that planning can design, price, schedule, and prepare network designs for delivery to engineering in a seamless, open, OGC-standards-based framework.
OGC welcomes new members who joined us recently.
52° North Initiative for Geospatial Open Source Software GmbH (Small Company) (Germany)
Alameh, Nadine (Individual) (United States)
Bychowski, Tom (Individual) (United States)
CNES (Technical) (France)
Conseil National de L'Information Geographique (Research Institute / Not For Profit Institute) (France)
CS Systemes d'Information (Associate) (France)
DSM Soft (P) Ltd. (Associate) (India)
EADS Defence & Communications Systems (Technical) (Germany)
Elsag Datamat spa (Associate) (Italy)
Frequentis AG (Associate) (Austria)
Geonovum (Technical) (Netherlands)
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Spatial Applications Division (University) (Belgium)
Lenczowski, Jerome (Individual) (United States)
Lenczowski, Roberta (Individual) (United States)
National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) (University) (United States)
Observera, Inc. (Associate) (United States)
SANY (Sensors Anywhere Project Consortium) (Associate) (Austria)
SuperGeo Technologies Inc. (Small Company) (Tiawan, Province of China)
Towson University, Geospatial Research & Education Laboratory (University) (United States)
University of Colorado - National Snow & Ice Data Center (University) (United States)
University of North Carolina at Charlotte (University) (United States)
Welle, Benjamin (Individual) (United States)
Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC) (Research Institute / Not For Profit Institute) (United States)
OGC IN THE NEWS
On 5 May, Government Computer News published "Where GIS gets lost." The subtitle spells out more about the problem: "Agencies' use of powerful geospatial apps often hits a dead end when it comes to working together." After identifying several specific projects, the article quotes OGC's Sam Bacharach: "...progress in setting standards for geospatial application developers has diminished the risks of creating new geospatial applications." And he noted that "...the standards are now stable. The standards are now robust enough. The hardware is fast enough."
The May issue of GIS Development includes "SDI is not a business model, nor will it ever be," a discussion of market trends and industry drivers in the geospatial realm. OGC is credited with having "... put harmonization on the agenda for geospatial professionals and that has worked to build capacity."
The 9 April issue of Military Geospatial Technology has an article "Intelligence Family" about the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS). The OGC-related item is in the last paragraph: OGC's Web Feature Service and Web Map Service support key requirements of the DCGS program.
The 8th of April, Vector1Media featured "Interview: The Relationships of Spatial Processes to Data Quality" in which OGC's worldwide survey on data quality is mentioned, along with the fact that nearly 800 people responded to the survey.
In Vector1Media's "Interview: Behind the New ERDAS," posted 3 April, is this quotable statement: "As you publish that data through OGC services ..., its value increases."
On 3 April, Directions Magazine published "Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging Rebrands as ERDAS and Takes Aim at the Enterprise Geospatial Market." Of interest to OGC-watchers, the Roadmap includes this in Phase II: "Supporting additional sensor models and working with OGC specifications are also key ingredients."
The April 2008 issue of GIS Development, includes "CAD, Geospatial, 3D and BIM Standards Converge" by OGC President and CEO Mark Reichardt. Interoperability in passing data from each stage to the next through the life cycle of infrastructure projects offers cost savings, facilitates speed, and creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to serve the globalizing construction industry.
The 1 April issue of GIM International includes "UK Workflow Research," a short article about the status of research "to investigate integration of Grid computing and web services based on OGC standards."
On 1 April 2008, GeoConnexions reprinted -- with permission -- "President's Message: Ocean Scientists Embrace OGC Standards" by OGC President and CEO Mark Reichardt from the March 2008 OGC Newsletter.
The spring issue of Imaging Notes includes "LB(x) - Next-Gen Location Applications for Businesses and Consumers," which points out that the LBS market requires integration of many components, and quotes OGC's Chief Technology Officer Carl Reed that OpenLS "...is one of the most widely implemented yet least known of the OGC specifications." The article also quotes Sam Bacharach, OGC's Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption, about the fact that the need for integration will increase as content and the sources of content increase.
On 1 March 2008, geoplace.com posted exclusively online "Geospatial Integration: ‘Almost Not a Problem' Now," by OGC Executive Director of Outreach Sam Bacharach. Geospatial technology integration types are identified along with their benefits. Progress in geospatial integration is described in spatial data infrastructures, in research, and in AECOO (architecture, engineering, construction, ownership and operation). The closing section highlights a couple of points not often made about consensus standards organizations like OGC: they "... enable an unprecedented degree of community control over the outcomes," and they "...reflect the evolution of ‘social technologies' that are bound to, and just as important as, physical technologies."
In "The ESA-FAO GEOportal - Operational Gateway to GEOSS," posted by Vector1Media on 31 March, the subject portal is described as "following the Geospatial Portal Reference Architecture of the OGC." Among the services provided by the portal is "allowing the display and handling of maps and context information from various sources ... through WMS services."
The March 2008 issue (volume 4, issue 3) of Coordinates includes "Science of Interoperability" by David Schell, Chairman of OGC and of its sister organization, the OGC Interoperability Institute, Inc. (OGCii), and Dr D R F Taylor, member of the OGCii Board. In it, they make the case that Earth phenomena are interconnected, and that "... we still have difficulty using all the various kinds of data and online processing services available to support an integrated scientific methodology." Their recommendation is that interoperability become a field of study, a discipline that provides a framework of scientific rigor.
GIM International, on 1 March, carried "It Just Makes Sense," a brief article about how much sense GML makes, and how adoption of GML really only took off after GML became an ISO standard (ISO 19136).
On 27 February, Geospatial Solutions published "Effective SDI Leadership: The Antithesis of Good Management Practice?" about the important management implications of OGC-enabled interoperability. Co-author David Arctur is President of OGC's sister organization, the OGC Interoperability Institute (OGCii). OGCii works with the Pennsylvania Map (PAMAP) program on organizational issues, and helped to develop the PAMAP reference architecture. "SDIs emerge when potentially dissimilar local and regional geospatial data networks learn how to communicate and share information. Thus, success in the development of an SDI requires leaders and organizations more concerned with providing a technical capability than with following conventional management practices. SDIs are led, not managed."
OGC Press Releases
OOGC® Approves KML as Open Standard
14 April 2008
OGC Adopts ebRIM Application Profile for Catalogues
9 April 2008
June 9-20, 2008
June 16, 2008
Geospatial Web Services Workshop 2008
July 2, 2008
GEOSS Workshop XXI - Air Quality and Health
July 6, 2008
GEOSS Workshop XXII - Air Quality and Coastal Ecosystems
Boston, MA, USA
July 21-25, 2008
Vancouver, BC, Canada
September 15-18, 2008
September '08 OGC Technical Committee Meeting
September 18-19, 2008
September '08 OGC Planning Committee Meeting
September 29 - October 4, 2008
Cape Town, South Africa
For further info on events please contact gbuehler [at] opengeospatial.org (Greg Buehler).
Please send comments and suggestions to:
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