Wayland, MA, USA, August 9, 2002 – The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) kicked off the second threadset of its Web Services Initiative Phase 1 (OWS-1.2) recently with a four day meeting in Herndon, Virginia. OWS is long-term project that aims to advance interoperable geospatial and imagery web services technology, support development of a multi-vendor portable demonstration, and feed requirements and recommendations into OGC's OpenGIS Specification process. OWS 1.2 will focus on developing new OGC interface specifications in the areas of image handling, sensor web enablement, service chaining, and feature handling, as well as, extending existing OGC interface specifications, and draft engineering specifications developed in OWS1.1 and other OGC Interoperability Initiatives.OWS-1.2 is sponsored by BAE SYSTEMS, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin (LMC), National Aeronautics and Space Admininstration (NASA) and National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA). Areas of interest for the OWS-1.2 sponsors include continuing work on the Common Architecture using Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) a phone book-like directory for Web services, web-based image exploitation, feature handling via Web Feature Services and GML 3.0 and further refinements of SensorWeb Enablement.Twenty-one participants will address these and other topics working toward a demonstration on November 21, 2002. This phase of the initiative is expected to produce twenty Interoperability Program Reports (IPRs) and various prototypical software components exercising the interface specifications defined in those IPRs.OWS 1.1 resulted in an extensive demonstration using data from New York City. OWS 1.1 participants also developed a series of Interoperability Program Reports (IPRs). IPRs are not public documents, nor do they reflect official OGC positions, but they are key stepping-stones to future work and specifications. IPRs from OWS 1 included technology discussion about geospatial service interactions and dependencies, common mechanism to classify, register, describe, search, maintain and access information about OGC Web resources, the sharing of gridded or image data on the Web, the sharing of map features on the Web, map delivery, and the management and communication of data from real time sensors.OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 230 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 www.opengeospatial.org .– end –“