December 4 , 2000, Wayland, MA: The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) today released a Call for Sponsors (CFS) for a pilot project to promote collaborative development and testing of interoperable, Web-based geospatial and intelligence information infrastructures.The Web Mapping Testbed Military Pilot Project (WMT MPP) will bring the combined technological skills and problem solving power of over 200 OGC member companies and organizations to the complex interoperability challenges facing next-generation military geospatial infrastructure development. A key aspect of these development efforts is the requirement for a “common thread of interoperability” extending across coalition and national boundaries, especially because many military operations in the future, from humanitarian relief to war, will be multinational in nature. Success in these operations will require a wider range of interoperability with coalition, multinational, interagency, and non-state partners than available today.The CFS and associated Conceptual Architecture provide an opportunity for Defense and Intelligence organizations to take a proactive role in planning and managing collaborative testing of interoperable, web-based technologies for next-generation military geospatial infrastructures. Both documents are available for viewing and download at .Since its founding, OGC has become one of the world's leading software consortia, devoted to the development of interoperability standards to improve access to and exploitation of “spatial” or “location” information on the Internet. OGC's fast-track Interoperability Program, organized to work in conjunction with its consensus-based standards process, accelerates the development of standards and standards-based infrastructures by means of hands on prototyping. As part of OGC's Interoperability Program, the WMT MPP will benefit from programmatic guidelines and organizational resources already in place to ensure that the end-to-end process of prototyping standards-based infrastructures is efficient and effective in producing desired results in minimum time.The WMT MPP Call for Sponsors defines both the role of sponsoring organizations and the benefits sponsoring organizations derive from collaborating on critical interoperable, Web-based geospatial and intelligence-information, infrastructure development efforts. The WMT MPP Conceptual Architecture supports the CFS by describing an initial set of functional requirements designed to assess the capability of new OGC interface specifications to discover, access, maintain, value add, fuse, disseminate, and visualize common forms of geospatial and intelligence content on Web-based networks. Sponsoring organizations will have the opportunity to refine these requirements, establish the technical architecture for the pilot, and significantly affect the interoperable technology development process.The objectives of the WMT MPP are to:- Incrementally evolve a multinational technology base and vendor pool. – Develop and demonstrate prototype interoperable infrastructures based on OGC Specifications and configuration-controlled commercial components. – Conduct testing of OGC Specifications and Standards-based components against military-specific problem sets. – Provide input into OGC's Specification Development Program. – Promote interoperable geospatial infrastructure development in classified and unclassified network environments.Dan Specht, Web Mapping Technology Program Manager for the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and a WMT MPP Sponsor stated, “WMT MPP will test new technologies to enable organizations to share geospatial information within and across coalition and national boundaries.”David Schell, President of OGC explained, “The Web Mapping Testbed Military Pilot Project is an excellent opportunity for defense and intelligence organizations to strengthen communications, affect the interoperable technology development process, and reduce the cost of realizing standards-conformant geospatial infrastructures. The Pilot will also provide value to the many organizations engaged in humanitarian relief, peacekeeping and disaster management operations-any situation where a diverse community of organizations converge to address critical issues of mutual importance.”OGC is an international industry consortium of over 200 companies, government agencies and universities working together to develop commercial standards to enable the full integration of spatial data and processing into mainstream computing.– end –“