Connecting and Mobilizing with the Power of Location During COVID-19

To say that these are unusual times is an understatement. One way or another, everyone everywhere is witnessing the global crisis of COVID-19. In many ways, we are united in this fight for our health! I hope each one of you is hanging in there to the best of your ability – personally and professionally.

COVID-19 outbreak map as-of April 1, 2020

This global health crisis has highlighted three key observations for me: we are mobilizing our expert community, realizing that location is critical, and working to connect the world with location.

 

 

OGC members and community experts are mobilizing:

It has been inspiring to see how the geospatial and location community is using their collective expertise, data, and tools to support decision makers at all levels. Our members have stepped up and are staying agile to provide solutions for analyzing, tracking, and visualizing the spread and impacts of the virus.

OGC has started collecting these resources here. Contact us if you know of any additional sources that can help analyze, integrate, visualize, exchange, etc. location-based virus information.

Location information is critical to our health and safety:
With each news story, post, or tweet, location is being acknowledged as critical in our collective ability as human beings to understand what’s happening around us and better prepare our response. 

As location experts, this gives the OGC community a strong boost to our purpose of making location information Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. There has never been more potential - nor urgency - for interoperable location information. Our community of contributors must continue to apply geospatial standards that enable valuable virus-related data to be more easily discovered, accessed, and integrated. 

 

Despite the circumstances we’re still connecting the world:
In many ways OGC is fortunate to operate as a virtual organization. Our vision has never felt more timely – connecting people, communities, technology, and decision making for the good of society!

We’re charging forward doing what we do best: using passion and expertise to connect the dots and support our communities. We’re advancing interoperability and creating standards.

On the “connect” front, OGC is providing informational and technical webinars around our APIs, Data Science activities, and additional member resources. Learn more and sign up for our webinars and don’t forget to share them with your colleagues so we can remain connected virtually during these times.

OGC is also pivoting some face-to-face events to virtual. We’re hosting our first ever virtual Innovation Program Testbed kickoff, a virtual OGC API - Tiles Sprint, and a soon-to-be-announced New Space Workshop.  And for the first time, our June Technical Committee/Planning Committee Meetings will be entirely virtual. As always, see ogcmeet.org for details on that. 

If there’s one theme here, it’s that we’re remaining connected as people in a crisis, and as organizations fighting a global challenge. Thank you again for all you do for your customers, your partners, and the world overall! At OGC, we are proud of this community of location experts, and we are proud to support you when it comes to location.

Be safe,

Nadine Alameh
CEO, Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)