OGC’s 2018 year in review


2018 was another productive year for OGC, as well as a year of adaptation to a rapidly changing global location information and technology marketplace. I am writing to share with you a few of our major accomplishments in 2018.


The OGC has worked to formally implement OGC’s Technology Strategy and roadmap process across all OGC programs. The process has been well received by members and others in the broader community as a tool to help OGC anticipate and address emerging trends in OGC and alliance partner processes. I encourage you to visit the OGC Technology Trends public GitHub site to learn more about - and contribute to - the process.


We also have a number of developer-friendly activities underway in OGC. An initial suite of OGC Developer Guides have been published to provide focused resources that will help simplify developer implementation of OGC standards. OGC has also introduced Hackathons and Challenges into our Innovation and Standards programs to invite developer testing and feedback on OGC standards work at all phases of our work. Expect to see more such events in 2019.


We have been working to further enhance the quality of our quarterly Technical Committee meetings. Working groups are now being organized in logical groupings or clusters to make it easier for members to engage in discussion on related topics. Each quarterly meeting will also feature a topical summit to focus member dialog on an important emerging area of interest. We have also improved our web meeting infrastructure, helping those who are unable to participate in working group and committee meetings in person. All of our upcoming quarterly meetings planned through 2019, as well as other select events, can be found on the OGC Event Calendar.


We recently implemented a new OGC Definition Server. This has been designed as an update to the one previously used by the OGC Naming Authority Subcommittee, which was reaching the end of its lifecycle. With the new Definition Server, OGC will initially provide a web-accessible endpoint for technical terms and elements from OGC standards. The Definitions Server is being extended to contain much of the knowledge incorporated in OGC documents as well as a single reference site for Coordinate Reference System (CRS) definitions, Discrete Global Grid Systems (DGGS), sensor models, and other specialized catalogs or ontologies.


A redesign of the OGC Web Services (OWS) standards suite is underway with a focus on evolving this broadly implemented framework so that it’s more applicable to today’s developer environment. The new OWS standards will provide API building blocks. Our work will focus on developer utility and compatibility between the new framework and the existing OWS standards suite.


The OGC Innovation Program advanced a record number of Innovation Program initiatives – interoperability testbeds, pilots, concept development studies, experiments, and expert engineering services. Initiatives spanned a range of domains and technologies including smart cities, disaster information management, earth observation and more. A Call for Participation for OGC Testbed 15 should be released in January.

As part of OGC’s Communications and Outreach Program, we had a number of notable events:

  • Location Powers - OGC hosted a successful Urban Environment in Singapore in September this year, setting the stage for OGC Committee meetings in Singapore this February. We are looking forward to our next Location Powers event in London in the first half of 2019, which will focus on Autonomous/Connected Vehicles. Coming in the later half of 2019 will be another LP event concerning Machine Learning. Information on the London event will be posted to LocationPowers.net early in the new year.
  • OGC Update was reinstated in 2018 as a quarterly online publication. The publication is receiving positive feedback from OGC membership and the broader community of readers. If you have a story to share regarding OGC standards in the community, please contact us at editor [at] opengeospatial.org.


I am also happy to announce that OGC will be launching an online e-learning certificate program in early 2019. The program will initially offer training certificates for the Web Map Service standard, and we anticipate offering training for an OGC Geospatial Architect certificate – covering a comprehensive array of OGC Web Service standards in the second quarter of 2019. For the latest developments in our growing e-learning program visit: www.opengeospatial.org/learning.


2018 was a year of transition for OGC Staff and the OGC Board of Directors.

  • Lew Leinenweber is departing for retirement. We thank Lew for his years of outstanding leadership and service to the Consortium’s Innovation Program. Lew leaves the OGC for well-deserved retirement at the end of December.
  • Lynne Janbergs departs for retirement. Lynne has been a major team member in our Wayland Administrative office since March 2000. Lynne is looking forward to some well-deserved globetrotting in the months to come.
  • Catherine Walline – joined the OGC Wayland staff in December as OGC’s new staff Accountant.
  • Josh Lieberman joined the OGC Innovation Program team in August and is now leading several key Innovation Program initiatives and brings a tremendous level of expertise to the Consortium.
  • David Maidment – departed from the board this year. Thanks to David for his leadership on the Board of Directors and his contributions to advance interoperability for water resources. 
  • Mike Jackson and Jack Pellicci retire after decades of service. As part of our Technical Committee reception event in Orleans France this March, we thanked both Mike Jackson and Jack Pellicci for their year of support of and contributions to the OGC Board of Directors
  • We welcomed Kumar Navulur and Frank Suykens to the board in September of this year, and we are looking to benefiting from their collective insight from years of experience in the geospatial market place.


I will be stepping down from my role as President and CEO in a few weeks, on my journey (eventually) to retirement. I have thoroughly enjoyed representing the OGC, and working and visiting with members, implementers and users of OGC standards from around the world. I am impressed with how our work is being leveraged to improve location information sharing and application for more informed decision making on a range of social, economic, and environmental topics. I look forward to welcoming my successor and my transition to a part-time strategic support role for OGC in early 2019.

My best wishes to all for a safe and enjoyable holiday.