Wayland, MA, August 27, 2002 – Today, the Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) released a Request for Quotations (RFQ) for the Conformance and Interoperability Test and Evaluation (CITE) Initiative. The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) and United States Geological Survey (USGS) are sponsoring the initiative to advance conformance testing within the consortium.The OGC Interoperability Program and the OGC Specification Program have produced several recently published OGC Web service specifications. As consumers in the geospatial industry modernize their systems based on these web services, they will require verifiable proof of conformance to OGC specifications in order to achieve interoperability.Validating conformance to an OGC specification means verifying that a software product has implemented the specification correctly by testing the software interface for response and behavior that is outlined in the specification. Geospatial application vendors want to provide their potential consumers a means to verify adherence to OGC standards as a measurable discriminator for the interoperability of software products. The Conformance and Interoperability Test and Evaluation (CITE) Initiative is intended to provide the geospatial industry (consumers and vendors) a methodology and tools which will test conformance to OGC web services specifications and to determine whether products that conform are interoperable with one another.The CITE Initiative has three focus areas: a Planning and Feasibility Study, a Conformance Engine, Scripts and Guidelines, and a CITE Portal and Reference Implementations. The CITE Initiative Planning and Feasibility Study will research alternative models for conformance and interoperability testing within the OGC. The Conformance Engine, Scripts and Guidelines workgroup will develop a web-based conformance-testing engine, test guidelines, and test scripts for testing and validation of products with interfaces implementing OpenGIS Web Map Server and Web Feature Server Specifications, the Geography Markup Language (GML), and, potentially, other OpenGIS Implementation Specifications. The conformance testing engine will be available through the OGC-Network at the completion of the CITE Initiative. The Portal and Reference Implementation workgroup will design and implement a portal for access to CITE resources (test guidelines, scripts, documentation, related links) and reference implementations.The CITE Initiative is part of OGC's Interoperability Program, a global, collaborative, hands-on engineering and testing program that rapidly delivers proven candidate specifications into OGC's Specification Program, where they are formalized for public release. In OGC's Interoperability Initiatives, international teams of technology providers work together to solve specific geoprocessing interoperability problems posed by the Initiative's sponsoring organizations. For more information, please contact Mr. Jeff Harrison, OGC Interoperability Program Executive Director, (703) 491-9543, or jharrison@opengeospatial.org .The RFQ is available at: http://ip.opengeospatial.org/cite . Responses are due October 4, 2002 and initiative is expected to begin in the end of October.OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 230 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing specifications. OpenGIS® Specifications support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web and mainstream IT, and 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 –“