Wayland, MA, USA, December 4, 2001. Staff and members of the Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) (Wayland, MA) contributed significantly to the recent top-level IIR “GIS in Telecoms” Conference held November 12-15 in Geneva, Switzerland. Seventy leading technologists and managers at telecommunications and GIS companies gathered to hear and present talks related to the spatial data needs of the telecoms market.OGC's first Open Location Services (OLS) Forum was held in conjunction with the meeting. In the conference and at the OLS Forum, Louis Hecht, OGC's VP Business Development, spoke about the importance of an open standards infrastructure for Location Based Services. Forum participants learned of the progress in OGC's OpenLS-1 Testbed, a fast-paced, multivendor effort to develop candidate open interfaces and protocols to support exchange of spatial information and spatial service requests in a heterogeneous environment of web servers and mobile Internet devices. (OGC's presentation slides are available at http://www.openls.org/docs/200111.OLSforum.ppt.) The conference workshop was an all day course on OGC's GML (Geography Markup Language), the world standard XML encoding system for spatial data and spatial processing.OpenLS-1 Testbed Sponsors include Hutchison 3G (UK), Oracle, Webraska (France), ESRI with Sun Microsystems, SignalSoft and Syncline, In-Q-Tel, and Sun Microsystems with LocatioNet. Sponsors' market assessments determined the technology requirements and constraints for the testbed. The new open interfaces and protocols will support an initial set of Core Services based on these requirements and the present state of technology in communications, Internet, and GIS. Location Services is at the intersection of these three technology areas.OpenLS-1 Testbed Participants include: Cquay (Canada), Galdos (Canada) with Hitachi (Japan), Galdos with NTT Data (Japan), BigTribe, Intergraph's IntelliWhere division with Compaq and Navigation Technologies, ESRI, IBM, University of Illinois, LocatioNet, MapInfo, Telecommunications Systems (TCI), SignalSoft, Sun Microsystems, Syncline, Navigation Technologies, MobileGIS (Ireland) with Telcontar and Tele Atlas (Netherlands), Opt[e]way (France), SICAD Geomatics (Siemens) (Germany), Vodafone (UK), Webraska, Ionic (Belgium), Laser-Scan (UK) with Yeoman Group (UK), and Tata Infotech (India).OpenLS Testbed Sponsors and Participants will use the new standards-enabled Core Services to expand the market opportunity for applications such as Personal Navigator, Traffic Service, Proximity Service, Business Finder, Location Recall, Mobile Field Service, Driving Directions, Proximity Movies Finder, Companies Finder, Corporate Asset Optimization, Concierge, Routing & Portrayal, Vector Map Portrayal and Interaction, Friend Finder, Route Display & Guidance, and Geography Voice-Graphics.OGC is an international industry consortium of over 225 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing interface specifications. OpenGIS Specifications support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT, and 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 .IIR offers a CD-ROM containing all the GIS in Telecoms presentations. See http://www.iir-conferences.com/gis or call +44 20 7915 5156 for details. IIR is the world's largest independent conference company, with offices in more than 35 countries providing strategic, technical, product, legal and financial information to over 300,000 individuals each year.– end –“