OGC Demonstrates Major Advances in Interoperable Geoprocessing for Military

Mark Reichardt Executive Director, Marketing and Public Sector Programs Open GIS Consortium, Inc tel: +1-301-840-1361 mreichardt [at] opengeospatial.org
Thursday, 7 March 2002 UTC
Reston, VA, USA, March 7, 2002. As part of the Open GIS Consortium (OGC) Military Pilot Project Phase 1.1 (MPP-1.1), OGC members recently demonstrated important new developments in interoperable solutions for the communication, portrayal, and analysis of geographic information to more than sixty invited federal agency and defense contractor IT managers. MPP-1.1 Sponsors -- the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC), the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), In-Q-Tel, and IMC Corporation (Japan) -- set requirements and provided support for the initiative and the demonstration. MPP-1.1 Participants -- Compusult (Canada), CubeWerx (Canada), IGS3, Intergraph, iONIC (Belgium), Laser-Scan (UK), Lockheed Martin Corporation, PCI Geomatics (Canada), Polexis, Skyline, Syncline, University of Alabama at Huntsville, and 3i (Canada) -- enhanced existing software products with interoperability interfaces based on OGC's OpenGISĀ® Specifications. Many of the vendors were on hand to demonstrate how their products work together using these interfaces, which were developed in OGC's rapid-prototyping testbeds. The MPP-1.1 scenario focused on the operations of a fictional multi-nation coalition working to bring stability to a war-torn nation. A joint "GeoCell" was established to provide integrated geospatial information in support of coalition operations, using different vendors' Web map servers located in the US, Canada, and Europe. Twelve adopted and candidate OpenGIS Interface Specifications were implemented in participant's products, which were shown to work together in a distributed network of servers and wirelessly connected laptop computers and PDAs. Kevin Backe, Associate Technical Director, U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Center, said, "The Military Pilot Project demonstration was an important milestone for the U.S. military and the commercial geospatial community. It demonstrated the potential for a robust imagery and geospatial architecture composed of many heterogeneous yet interoperable and secure (using PKI encryption) commercial servers and services that are needed by our military. Products with interfaces based on the draft or approved technology specifications enable our users to access and merge together various sources of imagery and geospatial information; symbolize it using military symbology; create, store and share annotation including military symbology; add/edit features; and generate 3D terrain displays." In response to questions about how soon these capabilities will appear in the market, David Schell, president of OGC, said, "This demonstration has shown solutions to an extraordinary number of longstanding interoperability problems. Industry has already begun to implement many of these interfaces in commercial products. Therefore, now is the time for technology procurements to require vendors to adhere to OpenGIS Specifications. This will further encourage industry to build out the supply chain of interoperable products, increasing user choice and market competition." OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 230 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing specifications. OpenGISĀ® Specifications support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web and mainstream IT and empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications. Visit the OGC website at www.opengeospatial.org . -- end --