Brazil exports airplanes to France. Colombia exports coffee and cotton. Other countries in South America lead in other industries and markets, but not yet in Geospatial Standards. Standards, which are formal agreements published by a standard organization, are the prime material of Spatial Data Infrastructures. Currently these come mostly from brainpower and requirements from Europe and the US. OGC has about 30 domain groups and 40 standard working groups. People from 450 organizations form these working groups. But, how many organizations in South America are OGC members? Only one.
The work of the OGC has relevance across a number of domains or communities of interest, but in no domain has there has been more work done to harness the power of open geospatial standards than in the domain of Spatial Data Infrastructures. Earlier this month I had the pleasure of joining Mark Reichardt, Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Association Board member and President and CEO of the OGC, at the Global Geospatial Conference in Quebec. The GSDI Association was one of the primary
Though more and more geodata from administrative bodies such as National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies becomes open, these government bodies usually hesitate to provide fully unrestricted access to their datasets, especially in Europe. Nevertheless, access to these data sets is often important for the research community. Additionally, particular license models are still lacking. These issues were raised by the recent OGC Web Services (OWS) Shibboleth Interoperability Experiment, the OGC Authentication Interoperability Experiment, and the EU-funded project ESDIN as well.