OGC and USGIF Illustrate Interoperability at Inaugural European DGI Event
Sam Bacharach Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc tel: +1-703-352-3938 sbacharach [at] opengeospatial [dot] org
Feb 25, 2005, Wayland, Mass - The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) hosted a compelling demonstration of the power of geospatial interoperability for attendees at the inaugural European Defense Geospatial Intelligence Conference (DGI) held in late January in London. They presented a hypothetical threat scenario designed to highlight how open standards can enable discovery, access, and fusion of multiple, diverse spatial data and services into an integrated framework for enhanced decision support. Conference organizers Worldwide Business Research (WBR) note that "it is not always the case that you will understand how partner nations are working." Research from WBR based on input from 84 key geospatial experts across Europe and the U.S. indicates that interoperability is the number one challenge facing geospatial imagery, analysis and data management professionals. OGC members take that challenge very seriously and continue to develop, implement and test standards that enable such interoperability. Events like DGI provide the chance to show the results "in action." The scenario outlined a suspected terror threat at an airport in the South Pacific. Analysts were able to tap into existing map services, task aerial sensors and communicate about their findings via a single portal. Data and services were provided by more than two dozen participants linked together by OGC and other geospatial standards. While many of the products are available "off the shelf" others were updated to support the standards specifically for this event. "While this demonstration showed a mock scenario, the tools and data underlying it are real," explained Stephen James, Head of Defense at WBR. "It will not be long before systems such as these help intelligence professionals track potential and real threats throughout the world. Combining both the power of the people and the various technologies together will provide the best systems, which in turn will enhance decision making." The OGC is an international voluntary consensus standards organization of more than 270 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing interface specifications. OGC's Specifications support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT.