Wayland, MA, USA, August 8, 2001 – The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) hosted 41 representatives from 35 companies and organizations at a July 31st meeting addressing its upcoming Open Location Services (OpenLS) Initiative. Attendees of the event helped further define the requirements and scope of first activity, a testbed to develop fundamental interfaces and services to allow a wide variety of location solutions to interoperate.Response to a Call For Participation, issued in mid-July, has been brisk, with over 150 organizations downloading the document. That interest, combined with questions and discussion from attendees at the one-day meeting led to an updated Testbed Execution Scenario. Clarifications and the updated execution scenario, along with presentations from the meetings are available for review at www.openls.org. Submissions in response to the Call for Participation are due on Monday, August 13.The OpenLS Testbed follows several other successful OGC testbeds where software engineers work in a hands-on collaborative environment to develop candidate interoperability interfaces. Services based on location information are becoming increasingly valuable in emergency response, public safety, and disaster management as well as in commercial applications for people on the move. The tremendous social value and commercial opportunity depends on consistent communication of location (and time), route, types of service, etc. across technology platforms, application domains, classes of products, and national regions.Each of the sponsors sees the benefit of a truly interoperable location services framework. Sponsors for the testbed include Hutchison 3G UK, Sun Microsystems, In-Q-Tel, ESRI with SignalSoft, and Oracle with Webraska.Opportunities for sponsors and participants are still available. Interested organizations are invited to contact for Mr. Louis Hecht at (301) 320-5760 or lhecht@opengeospatial.org for additional information.OGC is an international industry consortium of over 200 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing specifications. OpenGIS Specifications establish common interfaces that “geo-enable” the Web and mainstream IT, enabling 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 and the OpenLS website at www.openls.org .– end –“