OGC Issues Critical Infrastructure "Call for Communities"

Mark Reichardt Executive Director, Marketing and Public Sector Programs Open GIS Consortium, Inc tel: +1-301-840-1361 mreichardt@opengeospatial.org
Wednesday, 22 May 2002 UTC
Wayland, MA, USA. On May 22, 2002, the Open GIS Consortium (OGC) issued a Call for Communities (CFC) to express interest in participating in future OGC interoperability initiatives. The Call also invites communities to respond to a policy initiative survey. Both activities are designed to improve sharing of geographic information in support of Critical Infrastructure Protection and National Spatial Data Infrastructure. The CFC invites local to national government agencies (in Canada, the US and other countries); non-governmental organizations; academic groups; and private sector companies who use, own, operate, develop, study or equip infrastructure systems to register their interest in participating in interoperability initiatives designed to test the effectiveness of Web-based software products implementing interoperability interfaces that make it easier to find, share and use geographic information. Participating organizations have the potential to gain, in many cases at little or no cost, technical help and training, technology "leave-behinds", and a valuable network of relationships with data sharing partners and commercial technology providers. Coordinating Organizations' suggestions will influence further standards development in OGC. The Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative (CIPI), to commence in the near future, offers a potential venue for community engagement in the OGC process. The CFC also invites communities to work with the Spatial Technologies Industry Association (STIA) to promote public policy to make geospatial capabilities a higher priority in Homeland Security programs. Infrastructure, including telecommunications, transportation, energy, banking and finance, water supply, emergency services, health services, and government services, is termed "critical infrastructure" if failure or destruction of some infrastructure element can cause major economic and social harm. Because infrastructure systems are made up of geographically located physical assets and people, organizations that cooperate to protect critical infrastructure must be able to share information that captures the "where" and "when" of infrastructure elements. Organizations interested in becoming involved in CIPI-1 can find more information at http://ip.opengeospatial.org/cfc and can respond to the CFC by completing forms located there. Initial responses are requested by June 21, 2002. OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 230 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGISĀ® Specifications support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. The specifications 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 . The Spatial Technologies Industry Association (STIA) is dedicated to expanding the industry's presence in the public sector to address public policy issues, legislation, and regulatory actions that limit individual company's public sector, private sector, and global market potential. Founded in 1996, STIA is a private industry trade association with more than 50 member companies. STIA is dedicated to increasing the participation of the geospatial industry in public policy decision-making, the legislative process, and regulatory actions that directly affect the vitality and success of commercial geospatial technology companies in the United States. STIA supports sound public policy that advances geo-information government and commerce -- the use of commercial geospatial technologies to enable more informed decision-making, greater efficiency, increased accountability, and better management. For more information, visit STIA's web site at http://www.spatialtech.org . -- end --