OGC Newsletter - March 2004
GML 3.1.0 Approved as a Recommendation Paper
New Free Client Products
Website of the Month
IP Update, New Members, OGC In The News, Events, Contact, Subscribe/Unsubscribe
Back issues of OGC News are available.
Going to the Next Level
Now that users of spatial technology can rely on a strong standards based interoperability foundation, we frequently hear the question, "What is the next step for OGC?" Many supporters of our programs say it is time for OGC, on behalf of the spatial industry, "to move to the next level of growth as an organization," and begin acting more like the world leader in geospatial standardization.
It is encouraging for OGC staff and members to observe this level of expectation and to hear the community asking the same questions about "What Next" that we ask ourselves. In fact, such community expectation indicates that OGC is doing exactly what it should be doing, and that there is, both inside and outside the Consortium, a latency of aspiration that can be harnessed to solve and promote increasingly challenging development and outreach programs.
But it is also useful to consider the question, "What do people really mean when they suggest that the OGC should move to the next level?" Do they mean more members? Do they suggest that OGC needs to expand into new areas of technology and new markets? Or is their interest in having OGC further evolve its business model? Since the measure of OGC's success is based on the outcomes that provide value for its members and the markets they represent, it is important for us to be able to answer these questions.
The consortium has already created a core group of specifications, known as the OGC Technology Baseliner, that enable service and product suppliers to deliver new, interoperable, technologies into the globally networked computing environment. OGC Web Services, OpenLS (location based services), Geography Markup Language, Information Interoperability and Catalog Services, all consistent with a unifying baseline architecture, together have dramatically expanded the spatial technology envelope. Sensor Web, Imagery Archive access, alignment with mainstream IT standards, such as SOAP, are in progress. These significant technical accomplishments, along with the remarkable industry cooperation within the OGC, are together helping to define the future of spatial processing in our networked world. Thus, perhaps the really important question is: "With a set of mature specifications now implemented in a range of technologies, how much does 'going to the next level' in fact depend on technology providers committing the marketing investment necessary to make them succeed?"
OGC has so far carried much of the burden of promoting the potential of spatial interoperability for the market. Beyond facilitating the development of interoperability and working with organizations like ISO, OASIS, W3C and FGDC, OGC has put a great deal of effort into coalescing a message that members can use to motivate uptake and begin building a broader market base. Our assumption has been that if OGC members "sing from the same page" about interoperability, there can be a significant increase in market activity. The possibilities continue to expand. For example, we believe many markets beyond the traditional GIS market, such as remote sensing, LBS, RFID and Wi-Fi, all will require OpenGIS Specifications to reach their full market potential. But for the potential of these awakening markets to be fully realized, it will take more than just the few of us "singing the same song." The key players in these markets need to show their customers the benefits of interoperability. This seems to me what "going to a new level" is really all about.
From the beginning, OGC has been a constant experiment in leveraging technology for broad market impact -- starting with the consortium's initial focus on basic GIS and remote sensing and continuing through its recent work with location based services and spatial enablement of the enterprise. As object-oriented computing in the 90's produced a requirement for standards-based object systems, innovative members of OGC collaborated to extend that approach to the spatial technology domain. Now that the Web services market is maturing, our members are again keeping pace by successfully addressing "spatial enablement of the Web." Each time OGC has broadened or changed its focus -- taken the risk, spent the resources, and made the effort -- the membership has succeeded in growing its collaborative capabilities and baseline architecture.
"The next level," then, refers to the question of whether market makers in the consortium will together follow through on their investment in building a broadly expandable technology infrastructure. What are the conditions for broad market adoption? The key requirement now is focused market development by the spatial technology leaders who command a huge base of users, as well as the database and IT infrastructure companies and integrators who serve major commercial and public sector clients. There is also a requirement for user organizations to pull the vendors and integrators in the right direction by demanding products that implement or are compliant with OpenGIS(R) Specifications. In market development as in specification development, going to the next level for all will require a shared vision and active participation by both users and providers.
There is no question that the infrastructure created by the OGC technology community is ahead of the market. That is to say, there hasn't been time enough for the larger IT community to assimilate the concept of "spatial enablement of the enterprise." Or, more likely, there hasn't been enough focused investment for significant conflicting forces to mature and begin a major struggle in our arena. In either case, the evolving requirements of physical infrastructure and environmental protection, security, transportation, energy, defense and logistics, and a dozen other traditional and emerging markets are certain to raise the profile of geospatial information and produce a level of market growth that will attract far greater interest.
I fully expect that this growth will spark the sort of competition among major IT forces that we have seen in other emerging "critical" markets. When this conflict occurs, we will see weekly articles about geospatial issues in the IT business press. Such articles may mention the difficulties inherent in geospatial processing and infer that it is not the small problem that the IT titans assumed could be handled in passing -- that the devil is indeed in the details, and that devil has already been mastered by the OGC membership. Then, perhaps, we will learn what "going to the next level" really means.
GML 3.1.0 APPROVED AS A RECOMMENDATION PAPER
The OGC membership last week approved the release of the OpenGIS Geography Markup Language (GML) Implementation Specification Version 3.1.0 as a publicly available OpenGIS Recommendation Paper. OGC's GML Revision Working Group and ISO/TC 211/WG 4 (Geographic Information/Geomatics) are currently working together to edit the document. The ISO version is at the Committee Draft level (ISO/CD 19136), while the OGC version is a Recommendation Paper. While this may seem confusing, the goal is an important one - to maintain alignment as the document moves through the ISO editing process.
GML defines an XML encoding for the transport and storage of geographic information. The GML Specification Version 3.1.0 has been edited by Simon Cox (CSIRO), Paul Daisey (U.S. Census Bureau), Ron Lake (Galdos Systems), Clemens Portele (Interactive Instruments), and Arliss Whiteside (BAE Systems). The 601-page prose document is supported by thirty-three (33) separate XML Schema files.
GML Version 3.1.0 adds new geometries and is more compliant with the ISO/TC 211 family of specifications. There are changes to increase efficiency and simplicity. Version 3.1 maintains backward compatibility with GML version 3.0.0 and 2.1.2 instance documents by preserving, but deprecating, some schema components that have been replaced by different constructs in the current version.
Further details are available.
- IBC's Mobile Location Services Conference 2004
OGC is a sponsor for the upcoming Mobile Location Services Conference organized by IBC. This 8th annual event is scheduled for 26th and 27th May in Amsterdam. Last year's conference drew 125 people from 26 countries. OGC will be presenting a paper on OpenLS. OGC members are entitled to a 10% discount on registration. Contact Mark Reichardt for visit the website for details.
- GML Days 2004
Galdos Systems is pleased to be hosting GML Days 2004 in Vancouver, BC from July 25th to July 29th. As in the past, the conference will include keynote speakers, panel sessions, product demonstrations, workshops and educational sessions. The host organization is now actively soliciting abstracts for possible presentation. Papers should be of general interest to the conference participants and be related to GML.
- Interoperability Demonstrations
OGC will be hosting on the exhibit floor interoperability demonstrations at GITA, April 25-28 in Seattle and Multi-INT 2004, May 18-19 in Arlington, VA. These are great opportunities to see how different products, from different vendors can plug and play. OGC members and staff will be on-hand to explore how these solutions can solve real world challenges.
- Interoperability Day
There will be an Interoperability Day event in connection with the OGC meeting in Ottawa, Canada in April. These are opportunity for local GIS users to explore OpenGIS specifications, technology and provide input to the process.
NEW FREE CLIENT PRODUCTS
Two free OGC based viewers were announced this month.
Freeware Gaia, from Nuke Goldstein, is a WMS/WFS/GML standalone client. Goldstein has a long history of involvement in OGC and is looking to continue that.
Cadcorp released its Cadcorp SIS Map Browser, a free OpenGIS data viewer for the Web. Map Browser will work only in conjunction with OpenGIS Web services and is client for OpenGIS Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS) specifications. It also supports Geography Markup Language (GML) 2.1.2 and Web Map Context XML data sources.
WEBSITE OF THE MONTH
Dr Raymond Arritt and Daryl Herzmann at Iowa State University, Ames, IA are behind the publicationof NEXRAD (Next Generation Radar, which can measure precipitation andwind) data using the OpenGIS Web Map Service Specification.
They describe their work this way, in paper delivered at the 20thInternational Conference on Interactive Information and ProcessingSystems (IIPS) for Meteorology, Oceanography, and Hydrology.
"With the public release of the NIDS [a format for displaying NEXRADdata] dataset, almost every weather site on the Internet has capabilityof NEXRAD display. Unfortunately, these displays are final products forthe user's interpretation with utility only in [a] Web browser. Thesedisplays are mostly generated by meteorological programs that consideran image the final result of a data processing system.
"GIS changes this paradigm by asserting that raster images aredescribable with metadata and can be further processed within GISsystems. The Iowa Environmental Mesonet (IEM) has been working onmethods to provide NEXRAD imagery in GIS systems using Open SourceSoftware (OSS) utilizing Open GIS Consortium (OGC) standards.
"The IEM produces a nationwide composite of base reflectivity everyfive minutes in GIS raster format. This theme is dynamically servedover the Internet as an OGC Web Map Service (WMS) to OGC Web MapService clients. The underlying server technology is open sourceMapServer."
Know of a website that uses OpenGIS specifications to solve a real world problem or demonstrates an interesting use? Drop the adena [at] opengeospatial.org (editor)an e-mail with the details including the URL, organization behind thewebsite, specifications used, technology used and the goal of thewebsite.
OGC Web Services (OWS-2)
OWS-2 participants are now working collaboratively to extend and "ruggedize" existing and draft OpenGIS standards. A kick off earlier this month set participants Autodesk, Collaxa, con terra, ESRI, Galdos Systems, George Mason University, interactive instruments, Intergraph, IONIC Software, Laser Scan, lat/lon, MapInfo, NASA, NAVTEQ, Northrop Grumman Information Technology, ObjectFX, PCI Geomatics, Polexis, Raytheon, Safe Software, SPOT Image, Tele Atlas, The Open Group, and University of Alabama, Huntsville to work. Sponsors BAE Systems, Collaxa, The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), Lockheed Martin, National Atmospheric and Space Administration (NASA), Questerra, Spot Image (France), Sun Microsystems, US Geological Survey (USGS), and other organizations are looking for a robust and complete interoperability framework to support interoperability between enterprises.
Emergency Mapping Symbology (EMS-1)
EMS is winding down and currently has several servers online. Internal demonstrations took place in late March. Look for informal demonstrations of EMS capabilities as part of the Interoperability Day to be held at the conclusion of OGC meetings in Ottawa (23 April 2004). An invitation only session will be held in the Washington DC area in May.
OGC welcomes new members who joined us recently.
Great-Circle Technologies, Inc.
OGC IN THE NEWS
OGC in the Press
New OGC Web Services Initiative Announcement
March 29, 2004
Autodesk Location Services Announces the Release of LocationLogic 5
March 22, 2004
Intergraph Continues Interoperability Advancement through Participation in Open GIS Consortium Interoperability Initiative
March 22, 2004
IONIC Supports ArcSDE, Cascading WMS and OGC-WCS in RedSpider Web 3.1
March 15, 2004
Exclusive Supply Agreements - Who Benefits?
March 12, 2004
Enterprise Enablement: The New Economics of Spatial Processing (A special section in the magazine)
Building the Sensor Web
Critical Infrastructure Protection a Central Focus for GITA
March 5, 2004
DeLorme's XMap Web complies with OpenGIS Web Map Service Implementation Specification, 1.1.1, WMS 1.1.1
March 4, 2004
A Conversation on the State of GML
March 4, 2004
Sensors on the March
March 1, 2004
Hitachi Software Announces Any * GIS Version 3.5
Feb 20, 2004
The OGC Uses a Global Consensus Process
OGC Press Releases
Mar 22, 2004
Mar 19, 2004
Mar 19, 2004
Mar 18, 2004
March 1, 2004
April 19-22, 2004
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings
April 23, 2004
Canadian Interoperability Day
April 25-28, 2004
GITA Annual Conference
April 27-28, 2004
AGILE Tutorial and Workshop on Interoperability for Geoinformation
May 18-19, 2004
May 24, 2004
Global EAI Summit 2004
May 26-27, 2004
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
IBC Mobile Location Services Conference 2004
June 14-18, 2004
50th OGC TC/PC Meetings - special events planned, stay tuned!
July 5-23, 2004
Near Florence Italy
Summer School on Geographic Information Science
July 25-29, 2004
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
GML Days 2004
For further info on events please contact gbuehler [at] opengeospatial.org (Greg Buehler).
Please send comments and suggestions to:
adena [at] opengeospatial.org (Adena Schutzberg)
Editor, OGC News
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Copyright 2004 by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.