Wayland, MA, USA, October 28, 2002 – The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) today announced a Call for Sponsors for a Feasibility Study that will support the next phase of the OGC Web Services (OWS) Initiative. The OWS Phase 2 (OWS-2) Feasibility Study will seek community input and technology concepts to support efforts directed at understanding emerging technology areas for the next-generation of web based interoperable geoprocessing and location services. This effort will support planning for subsequent OGC Testbed activities to develop and extend existing OpenGIS® Specifications, enabling interoperable geoprocessing and location services to better support government, business, education, research, and consumer needs.OGC is actively seeking sponsoring organizations to help shape the common vision and technology scope for OWS-2. Future phases of OWS will extend engineering specifications developed during the current OWS Initiative, scheduled for completion in January 2003. Past OWS initiatives significantly advanced interoperability and enhanced access, integration, maintenance and update capabilities for distributed geoprocessing services and sensors. This increased capacity is already enabling the implementation of spatial data infrastructures that support hazard mapping, infrastructure protection, command and control, disaster response, geospatial intelligence, sustainable development and other application areas with new interoperable capabilities.OWS-2 Feasibility Study is an important step in planning for the next OGC Web Services Testbed. Through Sponsorship of OWS-2 Feasibility Study, organizations will be invited to establish the specific requirements that are input into an upcoming Request for Technology, thereby establishing the high-level goals and requirements of the OWS-2 Testbed, and significantly affecting the interoperable technology development process. Based on Sponsor requirements, the next phase of OGC Web Services will emphasize extensions to the current baseline to increase usability, utility and commercial viability of emerging and existing OpenGIS® Specifications. Potential focus areas may include developing and testing open engineering specifications to enable service chaining, decision support, federated geoprocessing services, sensor webs, geospatial information interoperability, symbology and presentation, e-commerce architectures for geoprocessing, and location services.The OWS-2 Feasibility Study 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 offer products that “plug and play” with other offerings in the marketplace. For more information on becoming a Sponsor of the OWS-2 Feasibility Study, please contact Mr. Jeff Harrison, OGC Executive Director, Interoperability Program, at (703) 628-8655, or at jharrison@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 –“