Lance McKee Vice President, Corporate Communications The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) 35 Main Street, Suite 5 Wayland, MA 01778-5037 voice: (508) 655-5858 fax: (508) 655 2237 email: lmckee@opengeospatial.org
Friday, 31 March 2000 UTC
Wayland, Massachusetts, USA March 31, 1998 - The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) announced today that Ordnance Survey, the National Mapping Agency of Great Britain, has joined OGC as a Technical Committee member. Ordnance Survey is the first major non-US government agency to join OGC. Though a public-sector organization, Ordnance Survey is an £80 million-a-year business which recovers more than 90% of its costs by selling products and services or licensing others to use its copyrighted material. Ordnance Survey's strategic planning process includes ongoing analysis of the ways in which technology is remolding the business environment, opening up opportunities to offer new products and services. Bryan Nanson, Director of Information Management, said that, "Faced with the requirement to re-engineer what is already probably the most sophisicated geospatial data capture and customer supply system in the world, Ordnance Survey anticipates that Membership in OGC will help us to influence and anticipate software interface and component product design. This will help minimise the risk that geoprocessing software vendors' new products will fail to meet our requirements. It will also ensure that we take full advantage of geospatially related developments which are based on the most effective mainstream and emerging Information Technology." Lance McKee, OGC's Vice President, Corporate Communications, said, "National mapping agencies face significant challenges because the technologies underlying their operations and the operations of their government and private sector customers are evolving very rapidly. OGC provides a forum for both understanding and influencing the technology that is moving geoprocessing into mainstream information systems." About Ordnance Survey Ordnance Survey employs around 1850 people in their headquarters in Southampton and in 81 offices across Britain. Ordnance Survey uses more than 1000 desktop computers in its work and 40 gigabytes of information flow between them every day, traveling a long 20 kilometres of fibre-optic cable and 300 kilometres of wiring in its headquarters building alone. Ordnance Survey has created and maintains by far the most detailed mapping of Britain. The National Topographic Database (NTD) is now the "master map of Britain", recording on computer more than 200 million individual features of the British landscape. It features items as small as telephone boxes and private garages surveyed at scales of up to 1:1250 (80 cm to 1 kilometre or about 50 inches to 1 mile), a scale which shows the detailed shapes of individual buildings. The NTD is effectively a seamless electronic map of the whole country which has replaced the need to maintain around 230,000 individual large-scale paper maps. New information is added to the NTD daily and detailed information from it can be accessed instantly through a growing network of agents around Britain as hard-copy print-outs or as data on floppy disk. The NTD is also the prime source of information used to create a wide range of Ordnance Survey products at many scales, from paper maps to digital datasets. Computer technology is also underpinning the development of a National Geospatial Data Framework (NGDF), in which Ordnance Survey is one of the key players. The aim is to create a framework which will allow the integration and combined use of much mor e information collected by a wide range of bodies. In addition to developing its databases, pursuing a wide-ranging research program and launching new products, Ordnance Survey is increasingly offering services to tailor its products to the requirements of individual customers - a trend initiated by th e 'print-on-demand' Superplan mapping. Offering solutions to specific problems goes well beyond Ordnance Survey's traditional offerings, for the digital revolution has transformed what is possible, what customers want, and the very nature of a national mapping agency. About OGC OGC is a not-for-profit industry organization dedicated to organising cooperative technology development that enables interoperability between diverse geoprocessing systems and improved access to geographic information and geoprocessing services for users. In addition to developing the OpenGIS Specification in the OGC Technical Committee, OGC works to inform the geoprocessing community about open geoprocessing and promotes a vision of full integration of geospatial data and geoprocessing resources into mainstream computing and the widespread use of interoperable, commercial geoprocessing software throughout the global information infrastructure. OGC currently has 120 members, about one-half from countries other than the US. Members include geoprocessing software vendors, such as Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Cadcorp, Intergraph, Laser-Scan, MapInfo, Smallworldwide, and Sedona Geoservices, and IT industry leaders including GTE Internetworking, Intergraph, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, Oracle, Sun and Siemens Nixdorf. UK's Ordnance Survey joins a group of US federal agencies in OGC, including the US Geological Survey National Mapping Division, Department of Defense National Imagery and Mapping Agency, NASA National Space Science Data Center, and the Department of Agriculture National Resources Conservation Service. -- end --