Wayland, MA, April 12, 2005 – The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Review Board has approved the launch of the Geospatial Semantic Web (GSW) Interoperability Experiment (IE). The Interoperability Experiment will take several important steps towards the development of the Geospatial Semantic Web, where discovery, query, and consumption of geospatial content are based on formal semantic specification. The GSW will enable the meaning of geographic queries to be easily shared among different software systems and online services.Many pieces of the GSW puzzle have been under development in the last several years. This experiment aims to augment existing Web focused mapping specifications (OpenGIS® Web Feature Service and Filter Encoding) with a semantic query capability, through the definition of an ontology (a hierarchical structuring of knowledge) for the geospatial intelligence community. The experiment will explore an appropriate distributed architecture to support specific use scenarios.Currently nine organizations are participating in the Interoperability Experiment including players from the public, private and academic areas. Other interested parties are welcome to join the effort and should contact George Percivall at gpercivall@opengeospatial.org for further details.The OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 270 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 http://www.opengeospatial.org.”