Wayland, MA, USA, February 27, 2001: Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) announced that the OpenGIS Grid Coverages Implementation Specification, which reached general consensus in OGC last year, has been finalized and released to the public. It is available at http://www.opengeospatial.org/techno/specs.htm .The term “Grid Coverages” refers to satellite images, digital aerial photos, digital elevation data, and other phenomena represented by values at each post in a “raster” coordinate system (as opposed to “vector” geodata, in which digital map information is represented using polygons and lines). The specification describes an open interface that provides communication between software systems for purposes of requesting, viewing, and performing certain kinds of grid coverage analysis such as histogram calculation, image covariance and other statistical measurements. Interoperability for a wider range of image operations awaits the OpenGIS Image Exploitation Services Specification, which is in progress in OGC's Technical Committee.Yonsook Enloe, an OGC contributor and employee of SGT working in NASA's Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) projects, is Coordinator for a CEOS task team creating prototypes that implement OpenGIS interfaces in support of land cover management. She states: “This specification will accelerate the extraction of valuable earth information from earth observation satellites and provide for more rapid studies of important earth dynamics such as temperature distributions, agriculture, forestry, forest fire management and global trends.”The OpenGIS Grid Coverages Implementation Specification sets forth an extensible framework supporting the industry's progress toward interoperable geographic image processing and analysis. It has been a major catalyst for increasing cooperation between all the major standards groups working in the area of earth imagery. Experts in ISO's Technical Committee 211 and JTC1's Subcommittee 24, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) EOGEO initiative, the GeoTIFF effort, and others have all worked with OGC to bring the various groups work into alignment.The OpenGIS Grid Coverages Implementation Specification was written with COM and CORBA implementations in mind, but is general enough in nature to be extended to include other Distributed Computing Platforms (DCPs) such as JAVA. Most implementations will involve client/server processing over the web. The specification allows for efficient access to very large datasets, and supports N dimensions even though most implementations of the specification will be 2D. The specification also supports: GeoTIFF, an industry standard geographic image format; a wide range of grid data from raw to thematically classified grid coverages; a number of color models; variable value sequencing and pixel ordering; and all grid geometries and spatial referencing systems consistent with geometries and spatial referencing in the OpenGIS Simple Features Specification.The following companies submitted this implementation specification, in response to the an OGC Request For Proposals:- Cadcorp Ltd – ESRI – Intergraph Corporation – Laser-Scan, Ltd. – Oracle – PCI Geomatics, IncOGC, an international consortium of more than 200 corporations, agencies and universities, coordinates collaborative development of the OpenGIS Specification and collaborative business development to support full integration of geospatial data and geoprocessing resources into mainstream computing.– end –“