Vendors Bring Expertise to Standards-based Watershed Portal

Sam Bacharach
Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption
Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc
tel: +1-703-352-3938
Thursday, 31 August 2006 UTC
Wayland, MA, August 31, 2006 - The Commonwealth of Kentucky, with facilitation by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.® (OGC), has selected three vendors to build the technology framework for the Kentucky Watershed Modeling Information Portal (KWMIP) Pilot Project ( Each vendor will contribute key technology for the interoperable OGC standards-based solution aimed at streamlining data collection and other steps needed for watershed modeling. KWMIP will provide online access to various state and federal databases, including Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory information and United States Geological Survey (USGS) water quality, precipitation, and rainfall records.

Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) of Redlands, California, will use its GIS Portal Toolkit and ArcIMS software to build the interoperable Web portal. It will allow users to find and use services and data from all across the Commonwealth linked together by OGC and other Web standards.

The Sanborn Map Company (Sanborn), based in Colorado Springs, Colorado will add a Web interface to the EPA's GeoBook, an imagery warehouse developed as part of the Kentucky Landscape Snapshot project. The dataset will provide a visual backdrop for modeling.

FMSM Engineers, of Louisville, KY, will provide expertise on watershed modeling and will help develop Web services to access local data sources. Integrating data from many local agencies and public and private organizations is key to project success.

The portal's ease of use and interoperability depend on many open standards.
  • The OpenGIS® Catalog Services Implementation Specification will underlie the creation of a metadata catalog for models. From a user perspective, that means that once a watershed model is selected, the necessary data sets are automatically chosen.
  • The OpenGIS® Web Feature Service Implementation Specification will enable environmental data sets to be accessed and used as needed from their original location. There'll be no need to host copies at the portal.
  • Web standards will aid the creation of a one-stop digital, geospatial data portal accessible via the Web to anyone performing watershed modeling in Kentucky using datasets from the Commonwealth and beyond, in their native formats.
The Kentucky Watershed Modeling Information Portal (KWMIP) project is a collaborative program of the Kentucky Department of Geographic Information, the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc., the EPA, the Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, and the USGS. In February of this year, the OGC published a Request for Proposals on behalf of the Commonwealth for a pilot project to both develop the portal and further OGC standards efforts. Begun in 2005 with funding from a $750,000 Cooperative Agreement with EPA, the project is expected to be completed in summer 2007.

The OGC® is an international industry consortium of more than 320 companies, government agencies, research organizations, 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 services, and mainstream IT. They empower developers to make complex spatial information and services useful with all kinds of applications. See

ESRI has been dedicated to the building and use of geographic information systems (GIS) for more than 30 years. As the world leader in GIS software industry with over 1.5 million users in more than 200 countries and $610 million dollars in annual sales, ESRI's ArcGIS platform create, visualize, analyze, and present information in the support of better decision making. ESRI's open, standards-based, and interoperable GIS provides the foundation for delivering the geographic advantage to organizations around the world. ESRI is a Principal Member of the Open Geospatial Consortium.

Sanborn Map Company is a full service company that offers comprehensive remote sensing, photogrammetric mapping and GIS services to city, county, state, and federal governments, private companies, and international clients. We provide a suite of geospatial technology solutions that are focused on spanning all requirements of a project's lifecycle; ranging from the design and implementation of a GIS systems infrastructure, to acquisition and compilation of GIS and remote sensing data, image classification and mapping, to the development and implementation of GIS applications and enterprise GIS systems. Our service offerings focus on developing geospatial technology solutions that seamlessly integrate into the operational context of an organization to satisfy strategic and tactical business requirements.

Sanborn provides a suite of products, services and solutions focused towards meeting the demanding requirements of land management in today's socio-economic climate. The combination of imagery, image processing techniques, GIS technology applications, conventional information engineering methodologies and proven methods of geographic analysis provides Sanborn with a strong complement of skills to address the most complex natural resource, environmental, planning or spatial analysis problem. Our suite of geospatial information services focused on:
  • Imagery Data Acquisition (Satellite, Aerial and Field Survey)
  • Image Classification and Mapping
  • GIS Systems Implementation
  • GIS Applications and Database Development
  • Technology Transfer and Training

FMSM was founded in 1966 as a civil engineering and design firm with emphasis in geotechnical engineering and related earth sciences. Although much of our early work was traditional engineering projects, as time went by we tackled increasingly diverse and complex projects, steadily adding staff and equipment. Because of our intense focus on our clients and their need for solutions to complicated problems, our service offerings have grown to include environmental, water resources and seismic engineering, geographic information systems, and information systems. Today, FMSM's capabilities are recognized nationwide with over 230 engineers, geologists, scientists, cartographers, technicians and support personnel who serve clients from offices in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri; Jeffersonville, Indiana and Atlanta, Georgia. More information is available at