The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) recently announced a new Request for Proposals (RFP) policy by which geoprocessing software vendors will deliver specifications for interoperable geoprocessing software on targeted distributed computing platforms (DCPs) such as OLE/COM, CORBA, and Java. Each RFP will request a DCP-specific engineering specification and accompanying demonstration software for a specific part of OGC’s OpenGIS® Specification (OGIS). Once approved, a proposal becomes the industry standard for software compliant with the specified part of the specification on a particular DCP. RFPs will be announced in various publications and on OGC’s Web site.The OGC document detailing the RFP process also describes policies that enable OGC to quickly standardize on existing technology that has been developed outside the consortium and to formally solicit information from industry about particular technologies that might be under development.For users, OGC’s new RFP policy is significant because it means that products based on the OpenGIS Specification will reach the market on a defined schedule, and it institutes a compliance and labeling program which will assure software buyers of interoperable software products.Part 1 of the specification is available as a book titled “The OpenGIS® Guide, An Introduction to Interoperable Geoprocessing” (140 pages, downloadable and available in hardcopy through The OpenGIS Specification includes an “abstract specification,” which is a model for the implementation specifications, or engineering level specifications, that will be created for each of the major DCPs.About OGCOGC, a consortium of more than sixty corporations, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and universities, coordinates collaborative development of open geoprocessing software technologies and helps organizations work together to develop business approaches related to this new technology. OGC’s goal is to create common interfaces that integrate geographic information systems (GIS), Earth imaging, digital cartography, facilities management, navigation, surveying, and other spatial technologies so that users will have unimpeded network-based access to heterogeneous geodata and geoprocessing resources. OGC’s efforts ensure that geographic information of all kinds will be an important and fully integrated part of the emerging national and global information infrastructures, serving a wide range of human needs.– end –“