Indian OGC Interoperability Plugfest open to participants

By Lance McKee

The Indian NSDI of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, in association with the OGC India Foundation invites technology providers to participate in an OGC Interoperability Plugfest to support implementation of the NSDI and its application in initiatives like Smart Cities, Digital India, and others. See the Indian OGC Interoperability Plugfest Call for Participation.

This Plugfest gives vendors doing business in India an opportunity to work with Indian government agencies to actively test the interoperability of the vendors' OGC Web Services. OGC Web Services are services that implement OGC's consensus-derived open encoding and interface standards. These standards make possible direct access, sharing, processing and integration of spatial data hosted in diverse information systems, such as those from various data providers and partners of the Indian NSDI.

The Indian OGC Interoperability Plugfest focuses on an initial set of OGC standards deemed by NSDI under DST to be of critical importance to the Indian public and private sectors.

Both OGC members and non-members can participate. Companies can participate remotely, so travel to India is not a requirement.

What exactly is a Plugfest?

An OGC Plugfest, like other OGC Interoperability Initiatives, is organized by the OGC to benefit major organizations seeking to solve spatial data integration problems that no single vendor or integrator could solve for them.

OGC photo from the 2015 OGC MetOcean DWG Plugfest held at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecastsas part of the Visualisation in Meteorology Week, Sept 28 to Oct 2, 2015.

"Submit Building Status" use case in the 2012 Christchurch Plugfest organized to check and improve interoperability of Geographical Information Systems used by the main partners in the earthquake recovery process for Canterbury, New Zealand. 

The goals of OGC Plugfests are to 1) ensure that different products interoperate together as intended, and 2) to attain an ‘installed base maturity’ in the market by providing vendors with a reliable and low-risk process for them to ensure that their OGC standards-based solutions work together. OGC Plugfests do not measure interoperability, but help vendors provide it, improving their confidence in the standards and thus their confidence in their own market claims. Risk is minimized because companies sign non-disclosure agreements that prohibit disclosure of other companies' intellectual property or other companies' Plugfest results.

The results of the Indian Plugfest are expected to help DST, a Principal Member in the OGC, provide best practice guidance to those who want to implement or access geospatial web services or products in the NSDI or in the context of Smart Cities or Digital India Initiatives.

Vendors are expected to provide their experts' time as in-kind contributions to the development of interoperability solutions during or after the Plugfest event. OGC staff resources and funding from the OGC India Foundation are being provided to support this Plugfest initiative.

The OGC will conduct a series of teleconferences and meetings with participants to:

  • Support collaborative pre-planning for the Plugfest
  • Articulate the standards based architecture being deployed at NSDI
  • Answer any technical and logistical questions about the Plugfest process
  • Provide overall guidance and facilitation of the Plugfest

The results of the Indian Plugfest initiative will be documented in an OGC Interoperability Program Engineering Report that will be submitted to the appropriate Working Group(s) within the OGC Standards Program for member review and also delivered to DST for review.

Interoperability: Key to Smart City Success

In India as in other nations, managing urbanization – and managing spatial data – are linked critical issues. Management depends on information derived through the integration of data, and most city data has spatial and temporal components. Interoperability among diverse spatial technologies and spatial data is thus seen as a critical requirement for Smart Cities. See this RA Research Alert and NIST's International Technical Working Group on IoT-Enabled Smart City Framework. See also OGC’s Smart Cities Spatial Information Framework white paper.

Despite a long and ongoing national debate in India about the security concerns that accompany free flow of spatial information, India remains committed to making current and accurate spatial data readily available to all levels of government for decision making, economic growth, disaster management, environmental quality and social progress.

The Indian Plugfest will focus on use cases in urban or rural scenarios that involve:

  • Water supply / waste water management
  • Watershed Management
  • Air Quality
  • Health – Monitoring of communicable diseases

The Indian NSDI already provides operational OGC web services on data in multiple servers in which data is encoded using OGC standards. Plugfest content will include GML-encoded feature data, services that serve web maps and web map tiles, and perhaps alsoLOD1 (first level of detail) city model data

Levels of Detail in CityGML city models. In Smart Cities, spatial data at both the geo-level and the building level is important.

Because bandwidth is often limited in India, the Plugfest services will be accessed over a low bandwidth line.

The Plugfest will conform to Government of India policies with regard to distribution and access of geospatial data. Urban cadastral data of Boudh Town in Odisha, provided by the Odisha Space Applications Centre (ORSAC), will be hosted on an NSDI server, along with street map data provided by MapMyIndia. ORSAC will also provide terrain and watershed data. In addition, India’s National Remote Sensing Center is hosting Cartosat-2 data of the town of Bhuvan. WorldView 3 satellite data of the town is being provided by Digital Globe, after due screening by NRSC, as per India's Remote Sensing Data Policy. 3D LOD1 building-level city model data of Delhi may also be made available.

This will be the first OGC Plugfest in India. Successful conclusion of the event will pave the way for other Plugfests, interoperability experiments and testbeds by various Indian organizations. This first Plugfest is a good way for vendors to make contacts and become familiar with the technical interoperability measures that will play an important part in future procurements at all levels of government in India.


Published Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Written by Lance McKee

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