Wayland, MA, September 22, 2004 - The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) announces that the OpenGIS® Catalog Services Specification 2.0 has been adopted by the OGC membership. This specification documents industry consensus on an open, standard interface that enables diverse but conformant applications to perform discovery, browse and query operations against distributed and potentially heterogeneous catalog servers. It includes a number of improvements over the preceding version, version 1.1.1. 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 geographic information and services. The specification is available at http://portal.opengis.org/files/?artifact_id=5929.
Catalog services are required to support the discovery of registered network accessible resources within and between collaborating communities that seek to share information and processing resources efficiently. "Resources" includes not only data but also services, schemas, symbology libraries and other elements of Web based geoprocessing. "Communities" in the OGC context refer to communities who use similar formal vocabularies for geospatial features and phenomena such as roads, wetlands, land use zones, population density, etc.
Doug Nebert of the US Federal Geographic Data Committee Secretariat, 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 an industry-approved design for a key part of all future internet-based solutions to these problems."
Rob Atkinson, Director and Chief Technical Officer of Social Change Online (Australia) explains, "The OGC 2.0 Catalog specification provides not only a Web services model, but a way to develop consistent sets of simplified profiles that will make real world usage much easier, more useful and more stable. In Australia and internationally, sets of related catalog profiles are necessary to achieve semantic interoperability."
Uwe Voges of con terra GmbH (Germany) explains that, "The new version enables the development of standardized and interoperable Catalog Services throughout Europe. In particular, it supports application profiles that conform to ISO 19106 (Geographic information - Profiles). Hence, con terra, lat/lon and others are developing an application profile for ISO 19115/ISO 19119 metadata that allows the implementation of interoperable catalog services that handle metadata about geospatial data, services and applications. The intention is to implement a generally understood information model based on standard metadata with only a few relationships among the catalogue items."
The following organizations submitted the original document or its revisions to the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. in response to "A Request for Proposals: OpenGIS Catalogue Interface" (OpenGIS Project Document Number 98-001r2): BAE SYSTEMS Mission Solutions (US), Blue Angel Technologies, Inc. (US), Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) (US), Geomatics Canada (Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS)) (Canada), 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 organizations were grateful for contributions from the following companies in the development and revision of this specification: Compusult, Limited (Canada); con terra GmbH (Germany); Cubewerx (Canada); Galdos Systems, Inc. (Canada); GEODAN IT bv (Netherlands); Hammon, Jensen, Wallen & Associates, Inc (HJW) (US); Ionic Software, sa (Belgium); JRC (Joint Research Centre), European Commission; SICAD GEOMATICS (Germany); and Traverse Technologies (US).
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 http://www.opengeospatial.org.