Wayland, MA, USA, March 25, 2003 – The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) is issuing a Call for Sponsors for a Planning Activity that may support future development of an OGC Property and Land Information (PLI) Initiative. This planning activity will seek interested Sponsors to provide input on technology requirements and concepts to foster development of next-generation interoperable networked architectures and capabilities to enable broader sharing and application of property data and land information between collaborating organizations.Property and land information databases are an important resource that is essential to many activities such as managing property ownership, development, tax assessment, and government service provision. Property and land information are also vital to a range of other complimentary government, business and consumer services such as emergency response and recovery, real estate transactions, land planning, flood mapping, and risk assessment.The ultimate goal of the OGC Property and Land Information Initiative is to promote increased understanding of the application of OpenGIS® Specifications to the challenge of cross-organizational and cross jurisdictional access to critical information. The Initiative would seek to design, test and operationally validate open architectural frameworks for distributed property and land information networks. As part of the growing “Spatial Web”, these networks will allow information to be easily exchanged between consumers, governments, and businesses for many different purposes. This information would be accessible online through OpenGIS Interface Specifications and other standards consistent with best practices defined as part of National and Global Spatial Data Infrastructures and E-Government initiatives. This initiative will demonstrate how standards-based distributed networks of databases and information services can help consumers and citizens to access vital data, businesses to offer premium customer services, and governments to provide more effective service to citizens.This Planning Activity will fuel future domain-focused OGC Interoperability Program initiatives designed to mature the emerging OGC baseline of open standards for interoperability. Through sponsorship of the PLI-1 Planning Activity, organizations will be invited to establish the common vision, design principals, and architectural and testing requirements for the project. These requirements may be leveraged to develop upcoming OGC Request for Quotation/Call for Participation, thereby establishing high-level goals of the initiative, and significantly affecting the interoperable technology testing and development process.Interested Sponsors should contact OGC to participate in the first planning meeting to be held in late April 2003, which will focus on establishing the high-level goals of the initiative. If you would like more information on becoming a Sponsor of the PLI-1 Planning Activity, please contact Mr. Jeff Harrison, OGC Executive Director, Business Development, by telephone at (703) 628-8655, or by e-mail at jharrison@opengeospatial.org .OGC's President, David Schell, says, “The OGC PLI will support development of Web-enabled channels for public- and private-sector access to property and land information across jurisdictions and organizational boundaries. Such access will foster quicker and more reliable decision-making by individual citizens, businesses of all sorts, and governmental bodies. Ultimately, organizations of all types will have a much greater ability to conduct cross-jurisdictional analysis on property data in support of real estate transactions; hazard, risk, and environmental assessments; right of ways; infrastructure development; facilities management; and many other activities.”Susan Marlow, President of OGC member Smart Data Strategies says, “The property data layer provides important context that makes other data layers more useful in solving real-world problems. Cross- and multi-jurisdictional access to property data is critical to activities such as risk mitigation, emergency response, transportation planning, disease control, and many others. OGC initiatives and member organizations are working together to lower the technical barriers that currently prohibit the interoperability of property data from multiple sources, and SDS is proud to offer our expertise toward this effort.”The PLI-1 Planning Activity 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 Sponsors. OpenGIS specifications allow technology developers to develop and offer products that “plug and play” with other offerings in the marketplace.OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 250 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 –“