Wayland, Massachusetts, USA, February 27, 1998 – The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) announced today two important milestones in the development of its OpenGIS Specification, a specification for software interfaces that will give computer users easy access to complex geospatial data and geographic information processing capabilities.On February 12, 1998, in meetings hosted in Munich, Germany by Siemens Nixdorf Informationssystemes (SNI), an OGC Principal Member, OGC's Technical Committee and Management Committee approved two Requests For Proposals (RFPs). The RFPs request the submission of proposed detailed engineering specifications for software interfaces which implement recently completed parts of OGC's OpenGIS Abstract Specification.One of the RFPs is called the Grid Coverages RFP, which goes the next step beyond the first OpenGIS Implementation Specifications for Simple Features. The previously completed Simple Features Implementation Specifications provide standard methods for systems to communicate simple geometry, spatial reference system, and attribute information. OpenGIS Grid Coverages.Implementation Specifications will provide standard methods for systems to share additional types of geospatial information, such as satellite images, scanned maps, digital elevation models, and computer map displays. Conformant interfaces will enable diverse systems to interoperate in performing tasks such as merging, interpolation, resampling, evaluation, and map algebra analysis.The other RFP approved recently is the Catalog RFP. OpenGIS Implementation Specifications for Catalogs will provide standard methods for publishing and discovering information about network-resident geodata. Conformant interfaces will be used, for example, in interoperable “geospatial search engines”, for which queries might typically consist of a specified place name, area or point location and a specified information theme, such as roads, hotels, or population density. The information returned would consist of a list of geodata servers that contain the desired information, together with metadata that will help the user select the most appropriate sources.The Open GIS Consortium is an international organization of 118 members engaged in a cooperative effort to create open computing specifications in the area of geoprocessing. OGC envisions the full integration of geospatial data and geoprocessing resources into mainstream computing and the widespread use of interoperable, commercial geoprocessing software throughout the information infrastructure. See http://www.opengeospatial.org .– end –“