Since 1999, the Open Geospatial Consortium's (OGC) interoperability program has been an established process for vetting and establishing specifications for OGC Web Services (OWS). It started with the Web Mapping Service (WMS). Some specifications and concepts have advanced to become mature operational standards, according to George Percival, OGC's chief architect, speaking today at the OWS-10 Meeting in Arlington, Virginia. The success of the OWS process supported collaboration and engagement of OGC members through the development of prototypes, testbeds, pilots and interoperability experiments. The methodology that fostered the development of specifications yielded coherent design that can be appreciated today.
Currently, OWS Phase 10 (OWS-10) is underway and is organized around three initiatives, according to the OGC:
- Cross-Community Interoperability (CCI): Increase Geospatial community interoperability by building on CCI OWS-9 work in semantic mediation, volunteer geographic information (VGI), provenance and data quality, and Global Gazetteer. Explore the potential of interoperability in the hydrology domain and utilizing ontologies to more easily share and visualize geospatial data.encodings.
- Open Mobility: Explore the geospatial standards requirements needed to support the growing emerging mobile environment where client applications are mobile, information services are mobile, and increasingly distributed across cloud infrastructures. The Open Mobility thread will address these requirements while leveraging on the work achieved in the OWS-9 Testbed in the areas of Geopackages and Geopackaging services and new OWS Context encodings.
- Aviation: Develop and demonstrate the use of the Aeronautical Information Exchange Model (AIXM) and the Flight Information Exchange Model (FIXM), building on the work accomplished in prior testbeds to advance the applications of OGC Web Services standards in next generation air traffic management systems to support European and US aviation modernization programs.
Lew Leinenweber, initiative director for the OGC commented at OWS-10 meeting that "[OWS-10] interoperability program is all about collaboration. Innovation and shared costs." There are 11 sponsors including:
- AGC (Army Geospatial Center, US Army Corps of Engineers)
- ESA (European Space Agency)
- FAA (US Federal Aviation Administration)
- GeoConnections - Natural Resources Canada
- Harris Corporation
- Lockheed Martin Corporation
- NGA (US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency)
- NOAA National Weather Service
- USGS (US Geological Survey)
- UK DSTL (UK Defence Science and Technology Lab)
There are also 29 participants with 19 reports generated so far including engineering reports, change requests, etc. with a total estimated value of $2.8 Million (Funded: $1.2M; In-kind: $1.6M). Johannes Echterhoff, the lead for the OWS-10 Aviation component said that their initiative constitutes building blocks for global interoperable aviation information management.
The OWS-10 is only one of the testbeds that have yielded specifications supporting the work of programs that have enormous global impact since its inception.
A demonstration of the OWS-10 was presented during the review meeting in Arlington, Virginia. A video of the project can be viewed below or on YouTube.