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As the successor to the WPS standard, OGC API – Processes provides a means to build simple-to-understand Web APIs through which complex computational tasks can be executed.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is excited to announce that the OGC Membership has approved the OGC API – Processes – Part 1: Core specification for adoption as an official OGC Standard.
As the successor to the popular OGC Web Processing Service (WPS) standard, used by thousands of organizations to simplify the processing of their geospatial data, the OGC API – Processes Standard provides a means to build simple-to-understand Web APIs through which complex computational tasks – geoprocessing or otherwise – can be executed. By wrapping a server’s potentially complex data processing tasks into a list of processes available for execution by a client, OGC API – Processes allows the processes designed by geospatial experts to be integrated into simplified workflows and applications, unlocking the value of data and making it accessible to non-experts.
Further, if deployed as a Web API on Cloud hardware, OGC API – Processes allows the execution of these sometimes complex computational tasks to occur on powerful hardware that’s potentially at or near the source of the data, improving efficiency.
In many cases, geospatial (aka location) data, including data from sensors, must be processed before the information can be used. The OGC API – Processes Standard provides a standard interface that simplifies the task of making these computational geospatial processes available as services that can be accessed via the web or private networks. Such services could include well-known processes found in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), specialized processes for spatiotemporal modeling and simulation, or even non-spatial processing tasks.
The OGC API - Processes Standard addresses all of the use cases that were addressed by the WPS Standard, while adding the advantages gained by leveraging the OpenAPI specification and a resource-oriented approach. As such, the OGC API - Processes Standard is a newer and more modern way of programming and interacting with resources over the web that also allows simple integration into existing software packages.
The resources that are provided by a server implementing the OGC API - Processes Standard include a landing page, conformance declaration, process list, process description, process execution, job status information, and a job results report. Furthermore, OGC API - Processes supports both synchronous and asynchronous execution of processes.
A selection of examples of computational processes that can be supported by implementations of this standard include raster algebra, geometry buffering, constructive area geometry, routing, imagery analysis, Extract-Transform-Load (ETL), and several others.
As with many other OGC APIs, the OGC API – Processes Standard offers a modular approach to implementation. The Standard has thus been divided into several parts, each offering different capabilities. Implementers of the Standard need only implement the parts that are relevant for their service, thus simplifying code management and compliance. OGC API – Processes – Part 1: Core, defines the minimum amount of capabilities required for a functioning, compliant service.
Future parts currently in development include:
- Part 2: will enable the dynamic deployment and execution of processes as application packages. An application package is a file that provides a description of a process(es) to be deployed, including the inputs and outputs of the process(es) as well as other ancillary metadata required for the process to be deployed.
- Part 3 aims to provide the ability to: chain nested processes; refer to external processes and collections accessible via other OGC API standards; and trigger execution of processes through OGC API data delivery specifications (such as OGC API – Features, Tiles, Maps and Coverages).
OGC Members interested in staying up to date on the progress of this standard, or contributing to its development, are encouraged to join the OGC API – Processes SWG via the OGC Portal.
To learn more about how the family of OGC API Standards work together to provide modular “building blocks for location” that address both simple and the most complex use-cases, visit ogcapi.org.
As with any OGC standard, the OGC API – Processes – Part 1: Core 1.0 standard is free to download and implement. Interested parties can view and download the standard from the OGC API – Processes webpage.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is a collective problem-solving community of experts from more than 500 businesses, government agencies, research organizations, and universities driven to make geospatial (location) information and services FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.
The global OGC Community engages in a mix of activities related to location-based technologies: developing consensus-based open standards and best-practice; collaborating on agile innovation initiatives; engaging in community meetings, events, and workshops; and more.
OGC’s unique standards development process moves at the pace of innovation, with constant input from technology forecasting, practical prototyping, real-world testing, and community engagement.
OGC bridges disparate sectors, domains, and technology trends, and encourages the cross-pollination of ideas between different communities of practice to improve decision-making at all levels. OGC is committed to creating an inclusive and sustainable future.
Visit ogc.org for more info on our work.