Attendees at September’s meeting of the Open Geospatial Consortium Technical Committee Meeting tackled geospatial standards issues related to all kinds of everyday concerns including air travel, health data, oil spill response, space and time searches and more. Carl Reed, OGC’s chief technology officer, reports.
The 86th Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Technical Committee (TC) Meeting, hosted by the European Space Agency, was held in Frascati, Italy on 23-27 September 2013. The meeting was very well attended – 180 attendees – and the agenda reflected the growing scope of the OGC's activities.
Updates on OGC Interoperability Initiatives
- The AAtS Standards Harmonization Objective: The OGC recently issued a Request for Information to engage the aviation community in identifying standards efforts relevant to the provision of Aircraft Access to the Federal Aviation Administration’s System Wide Information Management (SWIM) infrastructure (AAtS).
- Oil Spill Response Common Operating Picture : The OGC along with the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) through the Geomatics Committee, IPIECA (the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues) and Resource Data, Inc. recently issued a Request for Information to solicit input on an Oil Spill Response (OSR) Common Operating Picture (COP) recommended practice.
- The TC approved release of “Summary and Recommendations of the Geospatial Enhancement for the (US) National Information Exchange Model (Geo4NIEM) Interoperability Program Pilot” OGC Engineering Report, and also the “OGC Military Operations Geospatial Interoperability Experiment (MOGIE)” Engineering Report. (Both will be posted soon on the OGC's Public Engineering Report page.) The MOGIE initiative tested whether the US National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) v2.1 and v3.0 technical concepts work in combination with OGC standards and do not introduce any changes in data accuracy and precision. The OGC's major annual testbed initiative, OGC Testbed 10, was briefed. OGC Testbed 10 builds on the outcomes of prior OGC initiatives (http://www.opengeospatial.org/resource/demos).
Working Group Updates
- Many OGC Working Groups met. Below are some of the recommendations proposed by the working groups and approved by the members. Note that many of the OGC Public Engineering Reports mentioned require final editing after discussions at the TC meeting, and thus the reports may not appear immediately on the OGC Public Engineering Reports page.
- The TC approved release of a revised Aviation Domain Working Group Charter.
- A Big Data DWG was proposed by Peter Baumann. “Big data” is hot topic in science and markets, and there is an abundance of big data in the spatial realm. A main issue is analytics. The kickoff meeting was well attended. A draft charter for the new DWG will soon be published for review by members and the public.
- The Business Intelligence & Decision Support DWG recommended that the TC approve the "OGC RESTful Encoding of Ordering Services Framework For Earth Observation Products" as an OGC Best Practice Document. The document describes standard interfaces for issuing orders for Earth observation products. This DWG also recommended approval of the "OGC Download Service for Earth Observation Products" as an OGC Best Practice Document.
- The OGC Business Value TC Subcommittee convened to review several proposals. One was for this subcommittee to act as an independent review committee for business value statements that are developed during SWG and DWG formation. These statements are critically important in rallying participation. During the meeting, members discussed increasing support for development of global standards policy through the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) expert committee.
- The TC approved the Catalogue 3.0 SWG's recommendation that the “OpenSearch GeoSpatial and Temporal Extensions” be opened for public discussion and a vote. OpenSearch (which is not an OGC standard) is a collection of simple formats for the sharing and syndication of Internet search results. The extensions would provide a common way to use OpenSearch for geospatial and temporal searches.
- The scope of the OGC Hydrology DWG, which is co-chaired by a representative from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)’s Commission for Hydrology (CHy), continues to expand. A number of representatives from the impressive list of participants in the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) AIP-6 Water SBA (Societal Benefit Area) team reviewed their organizations' recent work to promote and facilitate the sharing of water data within and between countries. The Climate-Hydrologic Information Sharing Pilot, Phase 1(CHISP-1) Summary Engineering Report was approved as an OGC Public Engineering Report. There were reports about: using the OGC WaterML 2.0 Encoding Standard with the OGC CityGML Encoding Standard to represent physical and semantic environments for flow simulation; the ongoing Ratings, gaugings and cross sections (WaterML2.0 part 2) Interoperability Experiment; WaterML-WQ, a WaterML 2.0 profile for water quality; and progress on the WMO Global Runoff Data Center's Hydrologic Metadata.
- The TC approved the formation of an OGC Health DWG to identify requirements, gaps in standards and opportunities for demonstration of open geospatial standards in the Health Domain.
- The TC approved the IndoorGML SWG's proposal to release a draft IndoorGML standard for public comments.
- Current joint activities with ISO were reported by ISO-OGC Joint Advisory Group.
- The TC approved the OGC Compliance Program Subcommittee's Compliance Testing Program Policies & Procedures.
- The TC approved the Land Development DWG's changing of its name to the Land and Infrastructure DWG (LandInfraDWG). “Infrastructure” covers much of the scope of LandXML, an industry standard that has been brought into the OGC for harmonization. The "infrastructure" term aligns this DWG's work with buildingSMART International, an organization that is working more closely recently with the OGC. The DWG is reviewing a revised UML model and documentation for LandXML, and a next step is to start work on an "InfraGML" Proposal. This proposed standard's functionality would be a use-case-based subset of what is currently in LandXML.
- The TC approved release of the “OGC Best Practice for Using Web Map Services (WMS) with Time-Dependent or Elevation-Dependent Data” document as an official OGC Best Practice. The Temporal DWG is now working on Met Ocean Extensions to the OGC Web Coverage Service Interface Standard, and they have requested comments on a second revision of the Aviation/Weather model. Global registries, repositories and processes for schema validation are being established on behalf of the WMO and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
- OGC Architecture Board reported on a wide variety of recent ideas and recommendations and approved the issuance of requests for comments on the WaterML 2.0 Ratings and Gaugings Interoperability Experiment (IE) Activity Plan and an "OGC Cataloguing of ISO Metadata (CIM) using ebRIM" Extension Package.
- The Open Points of Interest (Open POI) Standards Working Group is a new SWG, following on from earlier W3C POI work. They agreed to set up an open GitHub POI group and public email list.
- The TC approved the Security DWG's recommendation to approve an electronic vote to release the OGC “User Management Interfaces for Earth Observation Services” document as an OGC Best Practice. This document describes how user and identity management information may be included in the protocol specifications for OGC Services. The proposed approach is applicable to the orchestration of EO services, to system of systems and federation scenarios. It is meant to be independent from any specific OGC service.
- The OGC SWE-IoT SWG, which is developing an Internet of Things RESTful API, agreed to publish the Draft API to GitHub and to set up a public email list for public discussions.
- The University DWG took steps to create an Education Subcommittee. They will analyze the range and provision of existing educational materials available for teaching OGC standards, and their planned work will be documented in a charter. Interested parties can contact Denise McKenzie, Executive Director, Outreach and Communications, OGC. Winners of the University DWG's "Student Map App Challenge" will soon be announced. The Technical Committee approved a motion to repeat the Map App Challenge in 2014.
The evening-long OGC TC reception dinner was held at Frascati's acclaimed Ristorante Cacciani. Chef Paul Scarponcini assisted in preparing and presenting the meal. Scarponcini is a U.S. spatial expert and a major contributor in the ISO / IEC JTC1 SC32 WG4 SQL/MM Spatial standards committee, member of the OGC Architecture Board (OAB) and chair of OGC Land and Infrastructure Standards Working Group.
A high point of the TC week was the presentation at the reception dinner of the Gardels award to Jeff de La Beaujardière, Ph.D., U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Data Management Architect and chair of NOAA's Environmental Data Management Committee (http://www.opengeospatial.org/ogc/awards). The Gardels Award is awarded each year to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to advance OGC's vision of geospatial information fully integrated into the world's information systems.
The next meeting of the OGC Technical Committee will be hosted by the Geospatial Information Sciences and Engineering Lab (GISE) in the Department of Computer Science at IIT Bombay in Mumbai, India. In Mumbai, the OGC TC Meeting will be preceded by NSDI 2013 – the annual meeting of the Indian state SDI groups, organized by the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) on November 29th and 30th. On December 1 there will be one day of multi-track tutorials on OGC Standards and their use in building interoperable applications. The public is invited to both of these events. As part of the OGC TC meeting, the OGC Asia Forum will meet and the Association of Geospatial Industry (AGI) India will hold a session on the opening morning before the plenary. If you are interested in attending, please check: http://www.ogc-dec2013.in/index.php/visa.