Wayland, Mass., July 23, 2009 – The European Space Agency (ESA) has implemented OGC’s geospatial interoperability standards in interfaces and encodings that are essential parts of the Heterogeneous Mission Accessibility (HMA) initiative. HMA is ESA's interoperability framework for coordinated data discovery and access set up in collaboration with the European and Canadian Space Agencies of the GSCB. HMA will be exploited within the Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security activity (GMES) to ensure interoperability among some 40 different Earth Observation satellite missions. GMES is the European Initiative for the establishment of a European capacity for Earth Observation. The main objective of GMES is to monitor and better understand our environment.

ESA’s most recent HMA contract, awarded to EOX IT Services GbmH — an Austrian company leading a consortium that includes GIM from Belgium, Jacobs University Bremen from Germany and Spot Image from France — is “HMA Follow On – Online Data Access.” Under this contract, an Earth Observation extension to the OGC Web Coverage Service (WCS) Interface Standard will be submitted to the OGC, possibly leading to a community-specific profile.

To foster industrial implementation of the standard in products and broad uptake of those products in the marketplace, the contract has as one of its deliverables an open source software implementation of the EO-WCS.

The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 385 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OpenGIS® Standards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org.