OGC Approves Important Spatial Catalog Specification

Mark Reichardt Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption Open GIS Consortium, Inc tel: +1-301-840-1361 mreichardt [at] opengeospatial.org
Friday, 17 January 2003 UTC
Wayland, MA, January 22, 2003 - The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) announced industry approval of an expanded version of the OpenGIS® Catalog Service Implementation Specification. The OpenGIS Catalog Service Specification version 1.1.1 documents industry consensus regarding an open, standard interface to online catalogs for geographic information and web-accessible geoprocessing services. Industry agreement on a common interface for publishing metadata and supporting discovery of geospatial data and services is an important step toward giving Web users and applications access to all types of "where" information. The specification is available at www.opengeospatial.org/techno/implementation.htm . Doug Nebert of the US Federal Geographic Data Committee, who chairs the OGC Technical Committee Catalog Working Group, said, "In government, business and academia, technical and semantic non-interoperability have long frustrated discovery and sharing of digital geographic information. This specification is the world's industry-approved design for a key part of all future internet-based solutions to these problems." Catalog services support the ability to publish and search collections of descriptive information (metadata) for data, services, and related information objects. Metadata in catalogs represent properties of spatial data, such as geographic area of interest, that can be queried and presented for evaluation and further processing by both humans and software. Catalog services are required to support the discovery of registered information resources within and between collaborating communities that seek to share information efficiently. "Communities" in the OGC context typically refer to communities who use similar naming schemas for geospatial features and phenomena such as roads, wetlands, land use zones, population density, etc. Version 1.1.1 is more comprehensive than earlier OpenGIS® Catalog Service Specification versions and proposals. It addresses the controlled enterprise environment where a-priori knowledge exists about the client and server, and it also addresses the global Internet case where no a-priori knowledge exists between client and server. It is consistent with existing and pending geomatics and metadata standards under the ISO Technical Committee 211, and it is consistent with XML data discovery and processing and with the emerging Web Services infrastructure. The following organizations submitted the original document or revisions to OGC in response to the OGC Request 6, Core Task Force, Catalog Working Group, "A Request for Proposals: OpenGIS® Catalog Interface" (OpenGIS® Project Document Number 98-001r2): BAE SYSTEMS Mission Solutions (formerly Marconi Integrated Systems, Inc.) (US); Blue Angel Technologies, Inc. (US); Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) (US); Geomatics Canada (Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS); Intergraph Corporation (US); MITRE (US); Oracle Corporation (US); U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC); and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The submitting entities are grateful for the contributions from the following companies and agencies in the development and revision of this specification: Compusult, Limited (Canada); GEODAN IT bv. (Netherlands); Hammon, Jensen, Wallen & Associates, Inc (HJW) (US), JRC (Joint Research Centre), European Commission; and SICAD GEOMATICS (Germany). OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 250 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGIS 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 --