Wayland, MA, March 19, 2004 – The Open GIS Consortium Inc. (OGC) announced the successful March 8-12, 2004 kickoff of a major new Interoperability Initiative to develop and enhance OGC Web Services (OWS) standards that enable easy discovery, access and use of geographic data and geoprocessing services.Building on work from previous OGC initiatives and technical working groups, OWS-2 participants are now working collaboratively to extend and “ruggedize” existing and draft OpenGIS standards. The goal is a robust and complete interoperability framework for implementation within a multi-vendor enterprise and to achieve interoperability between enterprises for geoprocessing solutions in government and business. The initiative's sponsors – BAE Systems, Collaxa, The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), Lockheed Martin, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Questerra, Spot Image (France), Sun Microsystems, US Geological Survey (USGS), and other organizations — provided development requirements. Requirements categories include:– Common Architecture: Enabling OpenGIS® Web Services utilizing W3C's WSDL and SOAP standards.– Conformance & Interoperability Testing & Evaluation: Developing compliance tests for and improving the OpenGIS Specifications for Web Map Service (WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS), Web Coverage Service (WCS), and Catalog Services – Web (CS-W). A Reference Implementation for Web Coverage Server and for Catalog Services – Web will be created under this initiative.– Image Handling and Decision Support Tools: Establishing a new benchmark for creating value-added products for geospatially enabled decisions. User-defined workflow is enabled by web service access to data and chaining of image processing services.– Information Interoperability: Advancing information (semantic) interoperability of geospatial data sets using GML and advancing connections with Web Feature Server and GML 3. GML application schemas for civil and defense data products will be created using GML 3. Standards-based Commercial-of-the-shelf clients to OGC Web Services will be extended to meet the requirements of the government communities represented by the agencies sponsoring OWS-2.– Location Based Services. New services for Navigation and Location Refinement will be added to OGC's existing Open Location Services Standard.Technology provider participants in the initiative include: Autodesk, Collaxa, con terra, ESRI, Galdos Systems, George Mason University, interactive instruments, Intergraph, IONIC Software, Laser Scan, lat/lon, MapInfo, NASA, NAVTEQ, Northrop Grumman Information Technology, ObjectFX, PCI Geomatics, Polexis, Raytheon, Safe Software, SPOT Image, Tele Atlas, The Open Group, and University of Alabama, HuntsvilleThe final demonstration of OWS-2 capabilities will take place in August 2004. The initiative manager is Chuck Heazel from Lockheed-Martin. For more information on the OWS-2 Initiative, please contact Kurt Buehler, 812-320-1423, kbuehler@opengeospatial.org.OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 250 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGIS® Specifications support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. The specifications empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications. Visit the OGC website at www.opengeospatial.org.– end –“