OGC Press Releases

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31 August 2015. On October 14th, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) will demonstrate the results of the eleventh OGC Interoperability Testbed. The demonstration is being organized by the OGC North American Forum.  The US Geological Survey (USGS) is hosting the event, which will take place from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon at the USGS  Auditorium in Reston, Virginia.

The OGC North American Forum (NAF), a group of 53 OGC members in North America, addresses OGC standards requirements, OGC program coordination, outreach and education needs of government, academic, research and industry organizations in Canada, US and Mexico. The NAF provides a coordination mechanism to prioritize North American geospatial and location specific interoperability requirements and work towards incorporating these requirements into the OGC standards process.

In December 2014 the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) released a Policy Fact Sheet titled "Harnessing Climate Data to Boost Ecosystem & Water Resilience." The Fact Sheet notes OGC’s commitment to increase open access to climate change information using open standards. Testbed 11, sponsored by an international group of government agencies, is mentioned in the OSTP document.

Testbed 11 supports national climate-change preparedness by focusing on ways in which open standards support cross-community interoperability, urban-climate resilience (preparation for impacts of climate change), and secure exchange of spatial information in the context of the US National Information Exchange Model NIEM.

Nine Testbed 11 sponsors documented interoperability requirements and objectives for this activity. Thirty organizations selected to participate in Testbed 11 then developed solutions based on the sponsors’ use cases, requirements and scenarios described in a Call for Proposals. Participants’ solutions implement existing OGC standards as well as prototypes of possible interface and encoding candidate standards. Some of the prototypes may ultimately become OGC standards, revisions to existing OGC standards, or best practices for using OGC standards.

Testbed 11 Sponsors include:

  • European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL)
  • Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
  • UAE Ministry of Interior Abu Dhabi Police GIS Center for Security (UAE ADP-GIS SC)
  • UK Defense Science and Technology Lab (UK-DSTL)
  • US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • US Geological Survey (USGS)

Testbed participants tied numerous sponsor requirements together within the Flood / Climate Change scenarios to demonstrate interoperable solutions to meet these goals:

  • Advance OGC Architecture with respect to REST and SOAP design patterns for synchronization of geodata across data stores, as well as storage and synchronization of geodata in GeoPackages;
  • Evaluate approaches to JSON and GeoJSON encodings as well as vector data and image streaming in the OGC standards framework;
  • Integrate high-resolution simulation models into geospatial infrastructures using the OGC Web Processing Service;
  • Advance use of Linked Data and semantic enabling of OGC Web Services, with a special focus on Hydrographic Data;
  • Advance use of OGC Catalog Services;
  • Advance use of spatially-enabled Social Media data;
  • Advance use of a common symbology that can be used to share common operational pictures in an international environment;
  • Advance compliance tests for the OGC Web Feature Service and Catalog 3.0 Service interface standards;
  • In Aviation, advance a Digital Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) validation service and enrichment service and advance use of Aviation Feature Schema (AFX). Also develop guidance on using geometrical constraints in the Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Rules (SBVR) (an Object Management Group standard).

Those testbed goals sort into these technology threads:

  • Urban-Climate Resilience (UCR) Thread
  • Cross-Community Interoperability (CCI) Thread
  • Aviation Thread
  • Geospatial Enhancements for NIEM (Geo4NIEM) Thread

The demo results have enormous potential for the testbed stakeholders – both technology users and the technology providers – and for the world at large. The return on the shared investment in spatial standards far exceeds the costs, not unlike the return on the original shared investments in http and html.

Some of the Testbed 11 sponsors have already begun assembling interoperability requirements for Testbed 12, which will begin in the fall. The sponsors and the OGC invite other organizations to bring their requirements into the discussion.

If you want to learn more about the upcoming Testbed 11 demo and/or the upcoming Testbed 12 opportunity, please contact Lew Leinenweber, Director Interoperability Programs (lleinenweber [at] opengeospatial.org). Learn more about the 15 year old OGC Interoperability Program in which OGC testbeds, pilot projects and interoperability experiments are organized, planned and managed.

Join the OGC North American Forum!  The networking, coordination and public exposure provided by the Forum help members maximize the value of their OGC membership.  Contact the OGC at info [at] opengeospatial [dot] org.

The OGC® is an international geospatial standards consortium of more than 510 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/.

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24 August 2015. Members of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) request comments on the draft charter for an OGC Open Web Services (OWS) Common Security Standards Working Group (SWG).

The OGC OWS Common Security SWG is being established to define a common way to make available to a client a description of the security framework(s) that control access to Web services that implement OGC standards. OGC Web Service standards are widely implemented in service interfaces to provide interoperable access to spatial data and spatial processing services. The SWG will not provide solutions to implement the frameworks, but will provide an implementation standard and a separate best practice or user guide for deployment options.

For users of spatial data, the risks of data loss and theft continue to grow as mobile tools, cloud computing and social media go mainstream. As OGC-based services move to these platforms, a Common Security extension for OGC services based on mainstream IT becomes critical.

The draft charter is available for review at portal.opengeospatial.org/files/64477. Comments should be sent via email to charter-requests [at] opengeospatial [dot] org and are due by 23 September 2015. The OGC and the SWG welcome all interested parties.

The OGC is an international geospatial standards consortium of more than 510 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. Visit the OGC website at www.opengeospatial.org/contact.

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20 August 2015. Members of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) request comments on a proposed OGC Discussion Paper "A MetOcean Metadata Profile for WCS 2.0" and the supporting Discussion Paper "OGC Web Coverage Service Interface Standard - Coverage Collection Extension".

These proposed Discussion Papers specify data and service model extensions to the OGC Web Coverage Service (WCS) Interface Standard that optimize use of that standard for 4-D x/y/z/t spatio-temporal climatology, meteorology, and ocean (“MetOcean”) coverages. 4-D x/y/z/t coverages can be arranged in sets. New request types are added over WCS Core and Extensions for spatio-temporal search and the encoding of MetOcean specific metadata. .

Details can be found in the candidate OGC discussion papers titled A MetOcean Metadata Profile for WCS 2.0 and OGC(R) Web Coverage Service Interface Standard – Coverage Collection Extension. Please email your comments to Peter Trevelyan (peter.trevelyan [at] metoffice.gov.uk).

The OGC is a not for profit international geospatial standards consortium of more than 510 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available standards. OGC’s open standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/contact.

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18 August 2015. Members of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) request comments on proposed OGC standards for the representation of observations as timeseries, that is, a sequence of data values which are ordered in time.

The OGC Timeseries Profile of Observations and Measurements candidate standard is a conceptual model for the representation of observations data as timeseries, with the intent of enabling the exchange of such data sets across information systems. This standard does not define an encoding for the conceptual model, however there is an accompanying OGC candidate standard which defines an XML encoding (OGC TimeseriesML 1.0 - XML Encoding of the Timeseries Profile of Observations and Measurements). Other encodings may be developed in future.

These candidate OGC standards are available for review at www.opengeospatial.org/standards/requests/137. Comments are due by 2015-09-17.

The OGC is a not for profit international geospatial standards consortium of more than 510 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available standards. OGC’s open standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. Visit the OGC website at www.opengeospatial.org/contact.

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13 August 2015. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) is pleased to announce that Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has raised its membership level from Technical level to Principal level. Led through the GeoConnections Program at the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (CCMEO), Natural Resources Canada has been an active member in the OGC since1998.

As a Principal Member, NRCan will participate in OGC's Planning Committee to explore market and technology trends relevant to OGC's mission to assure that OGC's policies and procedures remain effective and agile in a changing technological environment. Principal Members also participate in final approval decisions for all OGC standards and for nominations to the Board of Directors.

"NRCan has been a very strong partner in fulfilling the OGC's mission of advancing an international open geospatial standards platform," said Mark Reichardt, President and CEO of the OGC. "NRCan was a sponsor of the OGC's first major testbed in 2000 and a sponsor or participant in almost all of the OGC Web Services testbed activities since then. Through NRCan's work, Canada has advanced an impressive National Spatial Data Infrastructure.  We deeply appreciate the significant support NRCan has provided to our process, as well as their work to demonstrate to the world the value of OGC standards. We are very pleased to have them upgrading again to Principal Membership."

OGC standards are an essential part of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI). NRCan’s commitment to OGC standards has contributed to the success of the CGDI as a generator of innovation, societal benefits and economic value. NRCan, along with private and academic sectors, through their support and commitment as providers of data, software and services in Canada are recognized as early implementers of OGC’s international standards.

About Natural Resources Canada

From satellite to desktop, Natural Resources Canada provides leadership in the field of Geomatics and open-source information enabling public geoscientific and geospatial expertise, knowledge and technology to support environmental, social and economic objectives of the Canadian government.  This knowledge is used to strengthen Canada’s understanding, stewardship and sovereignty of its landmass and natural resources and helps to build a competitive advantage for its related economic sectors. Not only does it rely on its in-depth science and technology expertise, Earth Sciences programs and services in NRCan also leverage federal / provincial / territorial and academic partnerships to effectively support its mandate and legislated responsibilities.

About the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 510 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location based services and mainstream IT. OGC standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/contact.

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28 July 2015. Members of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) request comments on the draft charter for a proposed OGC Standards Working Group (SWG). The OGC Temporal Well Known Text (WKT) for Calendars Standards Working Group is being formed to adapt existing standards to provide the capability to represent and encode temporal metadata within data sets and protocols that use customised calendars.

OGC Members proposing the OGC Temporal WKT for Calendars Standards Working Group have identified a number of communities who use time representations based on calendars which are not the Gregorian calendar. In order to provide interoperable representations of this metadata, extensions to the current metadata standardisation provision in ISO 19162 (Well Known Text), and potentially in other associated standards, are required. This work will involve adaptations and extensions to existing OGC standards and to ISO standards developed in conjunction with the OGC.

A uniform standard for representing temporal metadata within data sets and protocols has particular business value for the Climate Science community, who make extensive use of such temporal representations. This standards work will also benefit the wide range of communities who are looking to make use of climate data to interact with their own data sets to facilitate further applications. The planned standardization effort will also support uniform communication about time in a very wide range of applications unrelated to climate.

The draft charter is available for review at portal.opengeospatial.org/files/64317. Comments should be sent via email to charter-requests [at] opengeospatial [dot] org and are due by 27 August, 2015.

The OGC is an international geospatial standards consortium of more than 510 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. Visit the OGC website at www.opengeospatial.org/contact

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27 July 2015. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) membership announces OGC’s approval of the OGC Common DataBase specification as an OGC Best Practice.

This OGC Best Practice specifies an open format and encoding for the storage, access and modification of a representation of the natural and built environment for simulation applications. CDB defines the data representation, organization and storage structure of a worldwide synthetic representation of the earth as well as the conventions necessary to support all of the subsystems of a full-mission simulator. The Best Practice makes use of several commercial and simulation data formats endorsed by leaders of the simulation database tools industry. The organization of the synthetic environmental data in a CDB is specifically tailored for real-time applications. It supports applications in which inter-connected simulators share a common view of the simulated environment.

A database that conforms to this Best Practice can be readily used by existing simulation client-devices (legacy Image Generators, Radar simulator, Computer Generated Forces, etc.) through a data publishing process that is performed on-demand in real-time.

The application of CDB to future simulator architectures will significantly reduce runtime-source level and algorithmic correlation errors, while reducing development, update and configuration management timelines.

The OGC Common Database Volume 1 (Main Body) and Volume 2 (Appendices) are available at www.opengeospatial.org/standards/bp.

The OGC® is an international geospatial standards consortium of more than 510 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. Visit the OGC website at www.opengeospatial.org.

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info [at] opengeospatial [dot] org

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23 July 2015 - The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) GeoPackage Standards Working Group (SWG) seeks public input to guide their development and prioritization of new extensions to the OGC GeoPackage (GPKG) Encoding Standard. GeoPackage is an open, standards-based, platform-independent, portable, self-describing, compact format for transferring geospatial information. Adopted by the OGC membership last year, GeoPackage has rapidly become implemented in a broad range of products and applications.

The GeoPackage SWG has posted a survey at http://tinyurl.com/phvjygk. Interested developers and users can offer suggestions. The survey is intended to help members of the SWG understand the requirements from different communities and domains. Stakeholders are encouraged to respond to the survey and to become involved in development and testing to ensure that this international standard meets their needs.

The GeoPackage standard describes a set of conventions for storing various kinds of geospatial data within a SQLite database. GeoPackages are interoperable across all enterprise and personal computing environments, and are particularly useful on mobile devices like cell phones and tablets in communications environments with limited connectivity and bandwidth. All OGC standards are free and publicly available.

The OGC® is an international geospatial standards consortium of more than 510 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/.

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info [at] opengeospatial [dot] org

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22 July, 2015. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) in collaboration with buildingSMART International (bSI) invites sponsorship in a pilot project to help cities around the world benefit from modern standards for geospatial technologies. The Pilot, based in Europe, will demonstrate and enhance the ability of cities to use diverse, interoperating spatial technologies to deliver improved quality of life, civic initiatives and resilience.

Human, natural, and physical systems interact in space and time, and the digital systems in cities will become increasingly diverse and numerous, with many owners. Cities thus need an open, vendor-neutral standards platform for communicating spatial and temporal data. Many of the longstanding technical boundaries separating indoor, outdoor, underground and atmospheric information have been overcome. The FutureCities Pilot will show how cities can begin to reap the benefits.

 Future Cities

OGC and other standards organizations have made recent progress in fields such as city modelling, indoor navigation, citizen science and the Internet of Things. bSI is extending its BIM Standards to encompass infrastructure and other elements of the built environment. bSI and OGC collaborate in areas such as urban and infrastructure modelling and indoor/outdoor navigation.

The FutureCities Pilot will bring together visionary sponsors to help define activities that meet cities' spatial information requirements. All requirements, lessons learned and results will be shared among participants and made available to the public and cities everywhere. Hosting cities will benefit from OGC/bSI-led workshops for scoping and requirements-collecting, introductions to vendors and developers with commitment to open systems, public demonstration and leave-behind solutions. Sponsoring organisations will benefit from the opportunity to directly work with municipal personnel and understand their cities' requirements first hand. Solutions to current urban challenges may act as forerunners for solutions in rural environments. In addition, results will guide future standards development.

Ordnance Survey, a Strategic Member of the OGC, has long used open standards and contributed to their development. As one of the sponsors of this pilot, Ordnance Survey will bring valuable experience and expertise.

The OGC and bSI are reaching out to city departments, companies, professional organizations, foundations and research groups to work with the Ordnance Survey as co-sponsors in this shared-cost, results-oriented collaborative effort. The OGC Interoperability Program has conducted more than 85 collaborative testbeds, pilot projects, interoperability experiments and plugfests.

Organizations interested in sponsoring or hosting the pilot are invited to contact OGC before September 15 to provide input in the planning phase.  Contact Bart de Lathouwer, the OGC Initiative Director for the pilot by emailing bdelathouwer [at] opengeospatial.org.

OGC® is a geospatial standards consortium of more than 510 companies, government agencies, research organisations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop open standards that support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. See http://www.opengeospatial.org/.

bSI is the worldwide authority driving transformation of the built asset economy through creation and adoption of open, international standards. bSI has 17 national Chapters across the globe representing all sectors of the construction industry. See http://www.buildingsmart.org/.

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13 July 2015. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) invites organizations with specific spatial data integration requirements to explore a low cost, highly effective, high return on investment testbed approach to meeting those requirements. OGC testbeds are rapid prototyping activities that solve spatial interoperability issues. 


Since 1999, 11 major testbeds (and many pilot projects, interoperability experiments, plugfests etc.) have been organized by the OGC to benefit major organizations seeking to solve spatial data integration problems that no single vendor or integrator could solve for them.

In the planning phase of each testbed, sponsor teams consisting of from 2 to 12 organizations pool requirements, document requirements in use cases, and weave the use cases together in a realistic “grand challenge” scenario. In the implementation phase, multi-vendor teams of expert system architects and developers “rapid prototype” and then document data encodings, service interfaces and best practices that meet the specified interoperability requirements. In a testbed’s final demo event, the participants show what they have accomplished.

The encodings and interfaces often become candidate OGC standards that are vetted, voted on and then adopted by the OGC membership as open international standards. The work frequently involves coordination with other standards organizations.

In addition to tapping the best and brightest world leading domain and geospatial technology experts and sharing the costs of integration, sponsors contribute to international standards that help them protect and build the value of their (geospatial?) technology investments. Testbed 12 sponsors will help shape standards that expand the geospatial technology market, improve choice, and ensure market availability of interoperable system components and solutions over time. Sponsors’ investments are further leveraged by technology providers who do some of their testbed work as an in-kind contribution. In exchange, providers gain expertise, ideas, contacts, visibility and early marketplace insight and advantage.

Organizations frequently join OGC in response to innovations in areas such as integrated indoor/outdoor location services, small cell and near-field communications, web service based building information models (BIM), augmented reality, new database technologies for large-scale data, Internet of Things, smart grid, LiDAR and drones. These technologies and trends provide new capabilities, but they also create new requirements for converging technologies and for sharing, communicating and integrating spatial data. Ongoing OGC standards work, which takes place largely in OGC testbeds, provides the world’s technology users with their principal means of integrating these technologies and avoiding lock-in to proprietary vendor ecosystems. The OGC’s Testbed 11 web page provides information about the process and results of the recently concluded OGC Testbed 11.

From start to finish, OGC Testbeds take from 9 to 12 months to complete.

The OGC invites organizations to become co-sponsors of the upcoming OGC Testbed 12. Organizations that join early maximize OGC staff’s ability to match those organizations’ requirements with other organizations’ requirements, thus reducing each sponsor’s share of the cost. Participants – IT providers, universities, and research organizations – will provide a mix of compensated and in-kind resources to prototype and demonstrate candidate standards, best practices, compliance tests, reference implementations, and proposed enhancements or revisions to existing standards and practices. Testbed 12 kickoff will be in September. Now is the time to get involved in the planning. To learn more, contact Terry Idol, Executive Director, OGC Interoperability Program – tidol [at] opengeospatial.org.

To learn about the recently completed OGC Testbed 11, see http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/initiatives/testbed11. To learn about other previous OGC interoperability initiatives, see http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/initiatives.

The OGC® is an international geospatial standards consortium of more than 500 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services and mainstream IT. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/.

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