OGC Directors ask for your ideas

Contributed by: 
Dr. Mike Jackson

OGC was formed by a few exceptional people – David Schell, Ken Gardels, Kurt Buehler, Carl Reed and a few others – who had a vision of how much more value to society geospatial data could have if only the sources of data and the software services used to manipulate it could be made to work together simply and straightforwardly without the complexity, time-wasting and cost of working with multiple bespoke formats and interfaces. They not only had the foresight to see this opportunity but the insight, skills and determination to make vision become fact. 

20 years on and the use of location-based or map data has become ubiquitous and an integral part of our love affair with the mobile smart phone and other modern technology and OGC standards are adopted across the world. OGC founders could be forgiven for thinking "job done" and theirs may largely be so. But whilst technology may have shrunk planet Earth and made us all more connected and spatially aware ever more exciting prospects of how we may share, experience and use geospatial knowledge emerge. Augmented reality, the Internet of Things, sensor webs, wearable computing, the citizen as a sensor are all hot topics now and carry the prospect of radically changing society and if this is the case what might the stream of technologies following on from these bring? And what might be the roles and challenges for OGC in aiding the smooth and beneficial emergence of these technologies? 

To start to peer into the mist and get a feel of what might be the challenges our global society faces in the next decade the OGC Board has asked two of its Directors to initiate a study forum to start to explore these questions. Chris Tucker of Yale House Ventures and the MapStory Foundation (Christopher Tucker and Mike Jackson at the University of Nottingham, UK will over the next few months be exploring ways of tackling this challenge. Whilst having the vision of the OGC founding giants might be a tall order they will start the challenge by talking and exchanging ideas with both new and old OGC'ers, but more importantly, thought leaders and professionals from outside of the community in industry, academia and government.  Why not be part of this process? Send your thoughts and (un-) censored (semi-) lucid geo-dreams and geo-premonitions to Mike (Mike.Jackson [at] nottingham.ac.uk) and Chris (christopher.tucker [at] gmail.com) and perhaps contribute thoughts also to this blog.