Over the course of the last two decades technology has made incredible strides in both scalability, and accessibility creating a new landscape for innovation. Small businesses became more and more agile, being able to provide competitive services, and partner with big industry and government to deliver major benefits, oftentimes through innovation, and with the recent big boom in location technology, geospatial is not an exception.
There is a new wave of excitement in the location community since the Geospatial Data Act (GDA) of 2018 became law in 2018 in the United States. Beyond codifying the committees, processes, and tools used to develop, drive and manage the US National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), the GDA effectively represents a formal recognition of the essential role of geospatial data and technology in understanding and managing our world. For those not familiar, the US Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) fact sheet serves as an excellent summary.
OGC Member Intel recently launched Intel Geospatial, a cloud-based geospatial data management, visualization, and AI platform with applications in asset management across utilities smart cities, energy, and other industries. We sat down (virtually) with Intel Geospatial General Manager, Vijay Krishnan, to discuss AI, the Cloud, and what the future of data integration, visualization, and analysis may look like.
Defense and Intelligence has had a long history of both successes and struggles when it comes to leveraging new technologies and open standards. Over the years, the domain has become a focal point in OGC’s own mission: making location information Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR), and thanks to collaboration across industries, this mission is being achieved through best practices across industries. OGC’s own June Member Meeting has a core focus on Defense and Intelligence because of the criticality of this mission.
In almost all cases, location data is involved. For decades, OGC has driven toward open solutions for location data integration from heterogeneous sources that are diverse in their purposes, business rules, underlying concepts, and enabling technologies. With this vast experience, OGC has evolved into a collective problem-solving community, and is uniquely positioned to address location data integration challenges at all scales.
Today’s SDIs span across jurisdictions, regions, and communities, and environmental data is a core example of this. As environmental data changes drastically depending on economic, health, and social impacts, analysis of vast amounts of data has become a necessity to help meet key challenges, such as combating climate change and preventing and mitigating the impacts of disasters.
Producing and providing reliable information for climate services requires huge volumes of data to come together and process from different scientific eco-systems - requiring standards and collaboration to support evidence-based decision making. The OGC membership has already decades of experience in providing expertise, innovation, standards and operational best practices in various sectors. To convene the community, OGC organized a special session at the 118th Member Meeting (March 25). The session invited experts worldwide to help us consolidate our thinking, identify areas for contribution to this global challenge, determine next steps, and begin collecting elements in an OGC Community Practice document, discussing how to realize FAIR guiding principles for climate services and how to enable high level climate services information systems.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown clear gaps in the global preparedness necessary to face this kind of threat – a threat that disease ecologists expect will likely recur in our lifetime. On the other hand, this pandemic has also highlighted specific opportunities for making the needed improvements. The OGC Health Summit thus brought together global stakeholders and experts to capture those gaps and the geospatial tools poised to address them. Speakers and panelists included leaders in data analytics from the World Health Organization (WHO), government representatives from both large and small US cities, scientists, health systems leaders, and a funding organization. There were five core takeaways to consider as we move to improve global pandemic preparedness.
From February 17-19, 2021, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), and the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) hosted a joint virtual code sprint. Part of the motivation for holding the code sprint was the growing uptake and use of location information across the global developer community. The code sprint brought together developers of Open Standards, Open Source Software, and Proprietary Software, providing a rare opportunity for developers across these communities to focus on common challenges within a short space of time in a shared collaborative environment.
The last three years have been unprecedented when it comes to disasters. In 2019 alone there was billions of dollars’ worth of damage, and thousands of fatalities were caused by hundreds of catastrophes ranging from earthquakes to wildfires. To address this decades-long trend of ever larger and deadlier disasters, OGC and the greater location information community work together to showcase how open standards can mitigate damage and loss of life during a critical event and allow quicker, more efficient responses. With interoperability at the core, OGC, industry, government and academia members highlighted how location is everything when protecting populations of the modern world from hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters.