News from OGC’s September Meetings

By Sam Bacharach

OCG_September_2004_Meeting_Review

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) (formerly the OpenGIS Consortium) held its 51st Technical Committee and Planning Committee meetings in Chicago during the week of September 15.The meeting was sponsored by NAVTEQ.Highlights from the meeting are summarized below.

While much of the work of the OGC is quite technical, many of the people involved in OGC are not programmers, but managers of programs and users of technology.These managers understand the value of standards and of interoperability.They know that by providing requirements for geospatial content interoperability and software interoperability that their programs and organizations will be able to benefit from the work of the OGC.In the work of the OGC, you do not need to understand all the bits and bytes to be able to help shape the outcome.Managers work with other managers and users to provide the requirements that guide the technology developers.

The meeting began with a special all-day event, "OGC Industry Day - Geospatial Requirements for Telematics," on Monday, 13 September, at the Holiday Inn Chicago - Mart Plaza in downtown Chicago. Representatives from government, industry and academia presented, learned about, discussed and demonstrated the role that Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) can play in government, business, and consumer services.

Geo Digital Rights Management (GeoDRM) Initiative and Survey Announced
At the Opening Plenary, Graham Vowles of the UK Ordnance Survey described OGC's GeoDRM (digital rights management) initiative.FGDC, the GeoData Alliance and the Open Data Consortium Project are partners with OGC in this effort.A GeoDRM survey was drafted and circulated to gather information for GeoDRM use cases to help frame the business problem and the direction of the GeoDRM WG.

Three "Interoperability Experiments" advanced toward formal proposals and acceptance.Interoperability Experiments are low-cost, short term efforts to test and help advance particular interoperability standards that may or may not have been already approved by vote of the OGC membership.Organizations interested in any of the following still have time to join the OGC and become part of these efforts: Sensor Alert Services for notifying a user when a sensor has detected an event; Geoprocessing Services that provide access to calculations or models which operate on spatially referenced data; and "GML-in-JPEG2000".Contact George Percivall for details.

New Public Discussion Papers will be posted on OGC's public web site as soon as final edits are incorporated.Discussion papers present technology issues being considered in the Working Groups of the Open Geospatial Consortium Technical Committee.Their purpose is to create discussion in the geospatial information industry on specific topics.For example:

  • The "OWS1.2 Image Handling Design" and "OWS1.2 Image Handling Requirements" Discussion Papers detail the standards for image handling services that were advanced in OGC Web Services 1.2 interoperability initiatives.
  • The "Geoprocessing Service" Discussion Paper describes a proposed standard for services that provide access to calculations or models which operate on spatially referenced data.The service identifies spatially-referenced data required by the calculation, initiates the calculation, and manages the output for access by the client.
  • The "Geospatial Portal Reference Architecture" Discussion Paper is based on the standards-based portal architecture that OGC members developed for Geospatial One-Stop.Carl Reed will share this document with OASIS.

  • The "URN Namespace for OGC" Discussion Paper will be submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as a draft Request for Comment for Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) consideration for a reserved OGC namespace.
  • The "Application Profile for Catalog Services for the Web (CSW) 2.0" Discussion Paper describes a standard way to name profiles.
  • "ebRIM Profile of Catalog Services (CS) for the HTTP Protocol Binding (Catalogue Services for the Web - CSW (04-017r)" was released as a Discussion Paper.ebRIM (e-Business XML Registry Information Model) is an OASIS standard.The Discussion Paper will include a "roadmap" outlining immediate plan.
OGC Cooperation with Other Standards Organizations
Some of the discussion papers described above attest to the fact that OGC member representatives who also participate in ISO TC/211 and other standards groups have been working diligently to create a single, coherent standards platform for the industry.Some highlights:

The OGC Web Map Service Specification (WMS) 1.3 is proceeding towards International Standard (IS) status and is now eligible for adoption without a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) ballot.TC 211 is expected to make that decision in its meeting in Italy this month.A mid-2005 release is expected.

GML 3.1 is an ISO Committee Draft (CD)19136.The document will then be submitted to both ISO/TC 211 and OGC for vote.If both groups accept the revision, the document could progress to DIS 19136 in ISO in early 2005.

The "ebRIM Profile of Catalog Services (CS) for the HTTP Protocol Binding (Catalogue Services for the Web - CSW (04-017r)" Discussion Paper described above provides a link to an important OASIS standard.

ISO has been made aware of the specification development activity in OGC that involves the use of GML in JPEG2000 for geospatial imagery.

Other Meeting Actions and Announcements

In the Web Map Service Working Group it was announced that NASA's Earth Science Gateway, a portal for natural phenomena on the planet, was open for beta-test and that NASA has also announced a new Cooperative Agreement focused on integration of NASA Earth and Space science results into decision-support tools.This is an extension of work that was done to support OGC's GOS-PI initiative.NASA has also announced a new Cooperative Agreement focused on integration of NASA Earth and Space science results into decision-support tools.The announcement was released 2004-09-17.Pre/Final responses are due 2004-10-22 & 2004-12-17.

The OGC Planning Committee's Enterprise Architecture Special Interest Group (SIG) focused on ensuring that OGC's specifications track broader industry trends in service-based enterprise architecture.At the TC Plenary, the US Defense Information Systems Agency's Net-Centric Enterprise Services (NCES) White Paper and related topics were reviewed by Chuck Heazel, including support for the US NSDI Enterprise Architecture and support for ORCHESTRA, an EU effort to provide services for Multi-Risk management.

The next OGC Technical Committee and Planning Committee meeting will be held Jan 17-21, 2005 at the United Nations in New York City. The April meeting will held near Rome, Italy.The June meetings will be held in Denver or Huntsville and the September or October meetings will be held in Bonn or Dusseldorf, Germany, around the time of the Intergeo conference.If your organization is interested in hosting a future meeting, please contact Greg Buehler.


Published Wednesday, October 13th, 2004

Written by Sam Bacharach



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