OGC Web Mapping Testbed Phase 2 RFQ Released

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 [at] opengeospatial.org
Friday, 28 April 2000 UTC
On April 28, 2000 the Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) issued a Request For Quotation (RFQ) and Call for Participation in the Web Mapping Testbed Phase 2, an OGC Interoperability Program Initiative. (See http://www.opengeospatial.org/wmt-2.) Proposals are due May 24, 2000. The goal of WMT-2 is to rapidly develop open interface specifications leading to interoperable Standards-based Commercial-Of-The-Shelf (SCOTS) software products that support use and exploitation of geospatial data and earth images over the World Wide Web. The purpose of the RFQ is to solicit proposals from commercial organizations in response to a set of requirements established by the WMT-2 sponsors. WMT-2 sponsors currently include the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), GeoConnections (Canada), the U.S. National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. National Imaging and Mapping Agency (NIMA), the U.S. Army Engineering Research Development Center (ERDC), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Like the highly successful first phase of the Web Mapping Testbed, the WMT-2 testbed project will -- Employ spiral engineering methodologies with extensive participation of the commercial sector. A key principle of OGC's testbed projects is to foster a bi-directional transfer of technical ideas between users and vendors. -- Make use of existing and emerging OpenGIS(TM) specifications. WMT-2 will refine existing OpenGIS specifications as well as create new ones. -- Ensure applicability of resulting interface specifications by performing integration of different vendor implementations of the interface specifications in integration experiments. -- Ensure that resulting interface specification profiles are harmonized with existing and emerging distributed computing environments. -- Ensure that cross-platform interoperability mechanisms and bridges are built. OGC, through the WMT-2 sponsors, will provide cost-sharing funds to partially offset WMT-2 participants' expenses. OGC seeks to involve as many participants in the initiative as possible. The first phase of the Web Mapping Testbed, which ran from April to September in 1999, yielded the OpenGIS Web Map Server Interface Specification (http://www.opengeospatial.org/techno/specs.htm) for interfaces which enable automatic overlay, in ordinary web browsers, of map images obtained from multiple dissimilar map servers, regardless of map scale, projection, earth coordinate system or digital format. The first phase also yielded a recommendation paper for Geography Markup Language (GML), a proposed standard XML encoding scheme for spatial data. (This paper is being voted on. The paper will be posted at http://www.opengeospatial.org/info/techno/specs.htm after a favorable vote.) WMT-2 will build on the content of those documents and other OpenGIS Specifications. Following the conclusion of WMT-1, testbed sponsors and participants provided requirements and requests for items to be considered during WMT-2. The on-going OGC Web Mapping Testbed Upper-Susquehanna Lackawanna (WMT USL) Pilot Project ( http://www.opengeospatial.org/uslpilot/ ) is also a source of requirements, requests, and new technical components for WMT-2. The USL Pilot was designed as a proving ground for interfaces and technologies developed in WMT-1, but it also has yielded research forays into areas such as symbolization, spatio-temporal representation, and services metadata. These may be transitioned into the WMT-2 effort. RFQ respondents will be encouraged to consider the role their technologies can play in any of the specific technology areas outlined in the RFQ. OGC is an international, not-for-profit organization founded in 1994. OGC's 215 industry, government, and academic member organizations participate in a consensus process to integrate geoprocessing into the world's information infrastructures. -- end --