August 4, 2004, Wayland, Massachusetts. The Open GIS Consortium (OGC) has issued a call for sponsors for an OGC Web Services (OWS 3) interoperability initiative, a test bed activity to advance OGC's open framework for interoperability in the geospatial industry. Interested organizations are invited to attend an all day informal planning meeting on 25 August 2004 in Herndon, Virginia. The OWS 2.0 initiative, which began in March 2004, is drawing to a close. OWS 2.0 participants developed and enhanced specifications relating to “common architecture” (applications of W3C's WSDL and SOAP standards), image handling and decision support, semantic interoperability of geospatial data sets, and location services. The initiative also resulted in enhanced capabilities for conformance and interoperability testing.The Sponsor Meeting on 25 August will be the first of three meetings to review the OGC technical baseline, to discuss OWS 2.0 results, and to identify OWS 3.0 requirements. To date, OGC members have expressed interest in advancing standards for dynamic sensor webs, geospatial digital rights management, grid technology, geospatial semantics and knowledge management, and other priority areas. The second meeting will be held during OGC's Technical Committee meeting week in September in Chicago. A third meeting will be held in the Washington, DC area in early November. Through these sponsor meetings, OGC will formalize requirements for OWS3 and other key interoperability activities to commence in early 2005.If your organization is interested in leading the advancement of geospatial standards development for greater system and enterprise interoperability, register for the 25 August sponsor meeting at the following URL:, or contact Mark Reichardt at +1 (301) 840-1361, or initiatives are part of OGC's Interoperability Program, a global, hands-on and collaborative prototyping program designed to rapidly develop, test and deliver proven candidate specifications into OGC's Specification Program, where they are formalized for public release. In OGC's Interoperability Initiatives, international teams of technology providers work together to solve specific geoprocessing interoperability problems posed by the Initiative's sponsoring organizations. OGC Interoperability Initiatives include test beds, pilot projects, interoperability experiments and interoperability support services – all designed to encourage rapid development, testing, validation and adoption of OpenGIS standards.The 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”