October 4, 2010. On September 22, in Toulouse, France at the OGC's 12th annual Kenneth D. Gardels Award Ceremony, OGC director Philippe Delclaux of EADS/Astrium presented the Gardels Award to Ingo Simonis. The Gardels Award, a gold medallion, is awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to advance OGC's vision of geographic information fully integrated into the world's information systems.

Ingo Simonis, co-founder and principal of the International Geospatial Services Institute (iGSI) GmbH, has been an active participant in the OGC Technical Committee since 2001 and has been a key player in the design, development and promotion of the OGC's Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) standards. Ingo co-founded and is Community Lead for 52°North, a German open source software company that has developed the primary open source software available for SWE services. This software has contributed significantly to uptake of SWE standards globally. In addition to software development and business management, Simonis advises PhD candidates, participates in dissertation reviews on SWE-related topics and presents at conferences around the world.

“Ingo Simonis's success is richly deserved,” noted Vanessa Lawrence, Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Ordnance Survey Great Britain. “He exemplifies the kind of results that are possible when open standards are developed in an inclusive international process that involves industry, government and academia. OGC members from the UK, France and Germany have played a leadership role in establishing OGC's position at the forefront of managing geographic information, not only for sensor webs but also in the fields of Geo Rights Management, urban 3D models (CityGML) and Security. European funded research projects, such as Orchestra, have contributed to this progress.”

François Robida, Deputy Head of Information Systems and Technologies Division at BRGM (Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières), said, “Monitoring and reporting on the environment in Europe requires the integration of a multitude of data coming from a variety of sensors. Those sensors are part of different networks owned and managed by many stakeholders from all the member states. Without standards for accessing the information for these sensors, much effort is wasted in data conversion and management. The same rule applies to the understanding of climate change, at a global scale. The achievements of European researchers in standardization are therefore useful for European initiatives (such as INSPIRE or SEIS) but also applied internationally. Ingo has played a major role in these efforts.”

The Gardels Award is given annually in memory of Kenneth Gardels, a founding director of OGC and OGC's former director of academic programs. Mr. Gardels coined the term “Open GIS,” and devoted his life to the humane and democratic uses of geographic information systems. He died in 1999. The Gardels award has become the most prestigious award in the geospatial technology world. The nomination committee for the award is comprised of the 15 prior recipients of the award, several founders of the OGC Technical Committee, and leading scientists from Canada, Australia, Germany and the US. The community from which the selection is made comprises hundreds of the world's leading geospatial information technology experts.

For the first time, in Toulouse this year the OGC's Board of Directors met at the same venue with the Consortium's Technical and Planning Committees. The meeting was sponsored by Principal Member EADS/Astrium and French government agencies BRGM, IGN France (National Geographic Institute) and Météo France. European members now comprise the largest world region membership group in the OGC, and six leading European geospatial professionals from industry, government and academia hold leadership positions on the OGC board of directors.

About the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®)

The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 395 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. 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/contact.