OGC Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Web Coverage Service Specification

Mark Reichardt Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption Open GIS Consortium, Inc tel: +1-301-840-1361 mreichardt@opengeospatial.org
Wednesday, 18 December 2002 UTC
Thousand Oaks, CA, December 18, 2002 - At last week's Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) Technical and Planning Committee meetings, the Coverage Working Group, the OGC Technical Committee, and the OGC Planning Committee voted to release the proposed Web Coverage Service (WCS) Implementation Specification, for public comment, as a Request for Comment (RFC). The RFC details draft interfaces that allow gridded and certain non-gridded geospatial data on a server to be accessed and used by client software as input into spatial model, local rendering and other uses. The documentation is available at http://www.opengeospatial.org/info/techno/request.htm and comments are invited from any interested parties for 30 days, until Jan 17, 2003. The Web Coverage Service (WCS) provides access to intact, raw data while WMS provides a static "picture" of a map. WCS' three key operations, GetCapabilities, GetCoverage, and DescribeCoverageType are designed to work with coverages (imagery, TINS and other types of gridded and non-gridded intelligent data). The GetCapabilities operation returns an XML document from the server that describes the service and the data collections available. The GetCoverage operation of a Web Coverage Service returns values or properties of geographic locations, bundled in a well-known coverage format. Jeff Labonte, Director of the Canada's GeoConnections Program, stated that the Web Coverage Service is an important element that will further development of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure by promoting interoperability of important sources of information such as earth observation satellites and imagery. Myra Bambacus, Program Manager, NASA Geospatial Interoperability Office highlights NASA use of WCS to date. "NASA is advancing WCS implementation through efforts in its Earth Observing System - Data and Information System and through the Committee on Earth Observing Satellites. These implementations have begun a revolution in the ready accessibility of coverage data for geospatial applications." NASA is the lead submitter on WCS. The submission team also includes BAE Systems, PCI Geomatics, IONIC Software s.a, George Mason University, Polexis, Inc., Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions, Cubewerx, Inc., Natural Resources Canada, and German Aerospace Center DLR. Request for Comment is a key method to integrate public input into OGC's consensus process in the creation of its OpenGIS(R) Specifications. After the Request for Comment period ends, and comments are assembled and addressed, the WCS RFC may be brought to a vote to become an Adopted OpenGIS Specification. 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 . -- end --