Wayland, MA, USA, March 29, 2002. The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) today announced a Request For Quotation and Call For Participation in the Geospatial Information for Sustainable Development Initial Capability Pilot (GISD-ICP). In collaboration with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), OGC is providing cost-sharing funds to partially offset expenses of technology providers who participate in this first of a series of projects to help make geographic information more accessible and useful to decision makers working on sustainable development problems. The “RFQ/CFP documentation can be downloaded at http://ip.opengeospatial.org/gisd/index.html .”Sustainable development, like many other activities that require sharing of geographic information, is hampered by the lack of interoperability between types of geoprocessing systems, vendor brands, data sources, and computing platforms. Diverse collections of data relevant to sustainable development in Africa are stored at the local, national and international levels in different vendor formats, and are available via multiple web sites and portals. But it is difficult for a researcher or practitioner to efficiently discover, access, retrieve and apply data of interest without considerable effort to visit multiple web sites, conduct many different queries, download files, reconcile different vendor formats and bring all the data into the same Spatial Reference System so that the information can be used.This project will result in a limited but operational framework of interoperable clients and servers operating as a single network and enabling data sharing by transparent communication among Standardized Commercial Off the Shelf (SCOTS) software products with interoperability interfaces based on OpenGIS® Specifications from OGC.For information on becoming a sponsor or participant in this initiative, please contact Mark Reichardt of OGC at (301) 840-1361 ( mreichardt@opengeospatial.org ).OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 230 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 www.opengeospatial.org .– end –“