March 28, 2001: OGC, Inc. (the Open GIS Consortium) announced the release today of a Request for Technology (RFT) for a major OGC Web Services Initiative. The RFT is available at . Responses to this RFT, along with financial commitments from sponsor organizations will help determine the focus areas that are undertaken as part of this initiative scheduled to commence in September 2001.OGC Web Services are envisioned as an evolutionary, standards-based framework that will enable seamless integration of a variety of online geoprocessing and location services. OGC Web Services will allow distributed geoprocessing systems to communicate with each other using technologies such as XML and HTTP. OGC Web Services will provide a vendor-neutral interoperable framework for web-based discovery, access, integration, analysis, exploitation and visualization of multiple online geodata sources, sensor-derived information, and geoprocessing and location capabilities.The OGC Web Services Initiative is part of OGC's Interoperability Program, a global, collaborative, hands-on engineering and testing program designed to deliver prototype interoperable technologies and proven candidate specifications into OGC's Specification Development Program. In OGC's Interoperability Initiatives, international teams of technology providers work together to solve specific geoprocessing interoperability problems posed by Initiative sponsors.The content of the OGC Web Services Initiative has grown out of previous OGC Testbeds and Pilot Projects. It represents an appreciation of the need to consolidate what OGC and its members have learned in the previous Interoperability Initiatives, with emphasis on moving toward a more coherent model of heterogeneous services and clients interoperating in a distributed setting. The OGC Web Services Initiative RFT provides details on several proposed focus areas:– Web Mapping Testbed Phase 3 – will consolidate the progress made in previous testbeds with work accomplished in the OGC Web Services Initiative and refine Basic and General Services Models. This activity will also investigate future web services for visualization, feature and coverage data access, and other services.– 3D / 4D – will extend OGC's Geographic Markup Language (GML), Simple Feature Access, and Web Feature Server specifications, with the goal of bringing time, topology, and more complex geometric representation capabilities into these OGC data access and manipulation services.– Web Based Exploitation – will focus on an open e-commerce architecture that dynamically connects earth imagery and other geospatial information providers, maintainers, and users in collaborating communities, providing users with interoperable Web-based exploitation capabilities.– Sensor Web – will produce open specifications for information gathering from distributed, heterogeneous, dynamic information sensors, and Web resources through common gateways and interfaces (“Ask it, task it, see it”). Sensor Web will result in common interfaces (and an XML-based Sensor Markup Language) for managing sensor information and metadata independent of application. One goal is transparent integration of data from earth imaging platforms and ground collection systems (e.g. water quality monitoring, space-based imaging, GPS correction stations, etc.).– Geoanalysis and Decision Support – will develop interoperable service chaining (common expression and execution) and service metadata extensions for complex spatial models (e.g., science models). Goals include extending the OGC Basic Services Model and exercising key concepts in ISO 19119.– Information Communities – will create a new technical standards approach to overcoming the problem of semantic differences in geospatial data and associated metadata. It will focus on supporting “Information Communities” using OGC Web Services, fielding data models across communities, and building tools for application schema creation, mapping, and migration.Interested participants must reply to this RFT by May 14, 2001. Please contact Mr. Jeff Harrison, OGC Interoperability Program Manager, by telephone at (703) 628-8655, or by e-mail at if you are interested in being a sponsor of this initiative, or for more information about participation in the OGC Web Services Initiative.OGC is an international industry consortium of over 200 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing specifications. OpenGIS Specifications establish common interfaces that “geo-enable” the Web and mainstream IT, enabling technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications. Visit the OGC website at .– end –“