Wayland, MA, May 2, 2005 – The Open Geospatial Consortium Inc. (OGC) has established a Risk and Crisis Management Working Group (RCM WG) to address the global need for better sharing of geospatial information in risk management and emergency management.The purpose of the RCM WG is to establish requirements and best practices for Web service interfaces, models and schemas for enabling the discovery, access, sharing, analysis, visualization and processing of information related to natural and human-caused risks and the management of related crises. The RCM WG will communicate the benefits of the OGC consensus process and specifications to the risk and crisis management communities and will work to validate and assess OGC's OpenGIS(R) specifications and other interoperability specifications in risk and crisis management scenarios.A key factor for establishing the RCM WG was the September 2004 launch of ORCHESTRA (Open ARCHitEcture and Spatial Data InfrasTRucture for Risk MAnagement), a project funded by the European Commission (EC) within the 6th Framework Programme. The work of the RCM WG will also relate to the U.S. Homeland Security effort, the development of the Infrastructure of Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE), the Global Monitoring of Environment and Security (GMES) project in Europe, and other initiatives including the EC Joint Research Centre's Global Disaster Alert System GDAS and the risk and crisis management scenarios used in the Australian Spatial Interoperability Demonstration Project (SIDP).The RCM WG had its first meeting on April 5, 2005 at OGC Technical Committee and Planning Committee meetings in Frascati, Italy.The OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 270 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 http://www.opengeospatial.org.”