Wayland, MA, USA, August 31, 1998: The Telecommunications Special Interest Group (Telco SIG) of the Open GIS Consortium (OGC) Technical Committee issued a Request for Information (RFI) which is critical to the future use of geospatial information in telecommunications organizations. OGC seeks responses from Outside Plant Engineers, Inside Plant Engineers, Planners, Forecasters, Inspectors, Cartographers, Accountants, Locators, Database Administrators, and people working in Purchasing, Customer Service, Construction, Material Management, Marketing, Install and Repair, Operations, IT/IS, and Management who have experience with spatial data flows within and across functional areas of telcos.OGC, a 147 member international consortium, is developing the OpenGIS Specification for standard software interfaces. Diverse GIS, AM/FM, earth imaging, and navigation systems with OpenGIS Specification conformant interfaces will be able to communicate directly in terms of earth coordinates, geometry, geographic feature attributes, etc. In addition to providing interoperability between geoprocessing systems from different vendors, the OpenGIS Specification will ultimately enable componentization of geoprocessing software and the integration of functions such as thematic map overlays, proximity analysis, and other spatial operations into information systems of all kinds.An RFI solicits information from an industry to help guide the OGC Technical Committee in defining interfaces and services to support that industry. Responses to the Telco RFI's questions about metadata, requirements, architectural framework, and interfaces will be used by the Telco SIG to extend and detail the OpenGIS architecture on behalf of the telecom industry, on a schedule that reflects the industry's priorities.The Telco SIG's mission is to ensure that the OpenGIS Specification results in interoperable geospatial products which meet the needs of the telecommunications industry. Telcos rely heavily on GIS and AM/FM software because their facilities and customers are widely distributed geographically. Telco operations will benefit in many ways from geoprocessing interoperability: Different operating units with different kinds of geoprocessing software will be able to share data easily, often over the Internet. Software will be selected on the basis of application suitability rather than consistency with a proprietary legacy system. Merged Telcos will work together more smoothly because the merged companies' geoprocessing systems will work together. Administrative workers will be able to take advantage of data collected by and for field operations. Customers' geodata accesses over the Internet will produce revenue for Telcos. And OpenGIS Specification conformant interfaces will make it much easier to provide new online geospatial services, such as multimedia yellow pages that can tell a customer how to reach a destination.Tom Strickland of Byers Engineering is the chair of the Telco SIG, in which many of the telecommunications industry's geoprocessing software vendors are represented. GTE Internetworking, a Principal Member of OGC, and other telcos also participate in the SIG.The OGC Telecommunications RFI is available at http://www.opengeospatial.org. Responses to the RFI are due by January 18, 1999.– end –“