OGC Newsletter - June 2004
News From The Southampton Meeting
Website of the Month
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The first OGC Plugfest, held at our meetings in Southampton, marked an important milestone in the evolution of the ability of developers to deliver the interoperable portals, architectures, and applications that the market now demands.
OGC Plugfests are a result of the 2003 OGC Compliance & Interoperability Test & Evaluation Initiative (CITE) which created a website that established automated compliance tests and software product validation tools for developers. It spurred growth in the number of compliant and implementing products, accelerated uptake of Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS) compliant products in the marketplace, and helped make OpenGIS Specifications an accepted part of enterprise architectures. In addition to developing the website, the CITE team recommended that OGC run plugfests.
A plugfest is an event at which vendors gather in a supportive environment to test interoperability between their product implementations. Plugfests go the next step beyond compliance testing, enabling vendors to ensure interoperability of products before they reach the market.
The first OGC Plugfest was a great success. Eight vendors queried each other's WMS and WFS servers in a testing schedule structured for efficient discovery, documentation and resolution of problems. All the participants were enthusiastic about the results, and it was agreed that OGC should organize more plugfests.
The geospatial technologies user community is the real beneficiary of the compliance testing program and the new plugfest interoperability testing program. Clearly, technology providers are serious about making all their systems work together. Users should expect nothing less.
NEWS FROM THE SOUTHAMPTON MEETING
Special thanks to Ordnance Survey for orchestrating an outstanding 50th meeting in Southampton.
Votes and Approvals
Two new Working Groups were formed at the meeting: the University Working Group (WG) and the GeoDRM (Digital Rights Management) Working Group. The formation of these groups attests to the continuing maturation of the OGC process and technical baseline. The University WG represents a desire by OGC's more than 80 university and research member organizations to focus their energies on advancing interoperability in those areas. The GeoDRM WG is being formed to insure that broader standards-based industry solutions for digital rights management will work with OGC's Web Services Framework. Transaction-based DRM capabilities are absolutely necessary to provide the level of service in licensing, authentication, pricing and other controls required to effectively manage a geospatial marketplace.
The Technical Committee (TC) approved a process for formal review and adoption of profiles. Members desiring a profile to be addressed by the consortium will submit the profile, documented in the current OGC Specification template, to the TC Chair. The Chair will assign the profile to the appropriate TC Working Group for consideration. After discussion and required edits have been made, the WG can recommend to the TC that the profile be considered as an (1) OGC Discussion Paper, (2) OGC Recommendation Paper, or (3) official normative annex to the relevant OGC standard.
The TC approved a recommendation by the OGC Coordinate Reference System (CRS) WG to revise the OGC Topic 2 Abstract Specification and provide an updated UML model to TC 211 as it considers an update to ISO 19111:2003. This action consolidates all of the relevant changes necessary for advancing the update to 19111 in concert with OGC work. Shell Oil is doing the editing on behalf of OGC and ISO.
The TC approved a recommendation from the Decision Support WG for the Geographic Objects (GO-1) Application Objects Discussion Paper to be adopted as an OGC Recommendation Paper. Although not an adopted specification, this action elevates the GO-1 document to an official position of the OGC membership. (Download the GO-1 Application Objects document 03-064r5 by visiting "Recommendation Papers" under "Documents" at www.opengeospatial.org).
As a result of the TC's approval of recommendations from the Image Handling WG, the public will begin seeing the fruits of OGC member work from the current OGC Web Services 1.2 testbed. Three documents were approved for release, after the WG completes some final editing, as OGC Discussion Papers. Please check the OGC website in coming weeks for the following Discussion Papers:
- OWS 1.2 image handling requirements
- OWS 1.2 Image Handling Architecture
- OWS 1.2 Image Handling Design
Other Meeting Highlights
At the meeting in Southampton, the Office of National Statistics geographic information strategist Alan Smith explained that the office is planning a relaunch of its Neighborhood Statistics website in 2005. "There will be a new architecture that allows us to concentrate more on the use of geography. We're thinking more about what end users want to see from the data," he said.
OGC, Ordnance Survey and the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) sponsored OpenGIS UK Industry Day, an all-day event on Monday 14 June. One hundred twenty invited members of the UK government and business executive community attended and learned about how open geoprocessing environments enable agencies to foster better interdepartmental use of geographic information and mapping. There was a special focus on how interoperability is important for delivering citizen-based services and meeting the UK's 2005 "Modernizing Government" targets.
On Wednesday June 16, software developers participated in the first OGC Plugfest. It was a chance to test specific product's interoperability with one other product at a time. Participants included Cadcorp, ESRI, Galdos Systems, Intergraph, Ionic Software, lat/lon, Ordnance Survey and the University of Delft. OGC plugfests help technology developers deliver more robust and interoperable products to the market by ensuring interoperation between specific product pairs available from different vendors.
At the meeting's banquet, Martin Daly received the annual Kenneth G. Gardels Award. The Gardels Award is awarded each year to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to advancing the OGC vision of geographic information fully integrated into the world's information systems. Daly is Technical Director at Cadcorp, Ltd. (Hertfordshire, UK). Active in OGC since 1997, Mr. Daly has committed Cadcorp to a policy of developing a full suite of products that comply with or implement OpenGIS Specifications.
Mark Reichardt and Sam Bacharach
WEBSITE OF THE MONTH
Want to visit Australia? Look no further than the Geoscience Australia Map Server (URL for services: http://www.ga.gov.au/bin/getmap.pl). It hosts dozens of layers from geological information, to transportation layers, to topography to Landsat imagery and serves them up via Web Map Service 1.0.0. All the data layers and a lot of metadata are documented here.
To view the data you can use the client provided or any client you like. Data is served up via open source MapServer.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 the website, specifications used, technology used and the goal of the website.
The next TC/PC meeting, sponsored by NAVTEQ, will be held in Chicago, September 13-17. OGC understands that there are major religious observances during this week and hopes that organizations can find ways to participate in the event.
The Institute for Defense & Government Advancement is holding Interoperability 2004 in October 20-21 in Washington DC. OGC is a supporting organization and invites members and those interested to attend. The conference will generate high-level discussions from the Services, OSD, Joint Staff, Combatant Commands, Federal Agencies and Industry on ways to manage, process, and integrate systems, processes, and organizations across the Department of Defense (DoD) and related federal departments. Interoperability can create synergy in the DoD enterprise and increased joint warfighting advantage in the operational theater. OGC will host a conference workshop titled "Net Centric Interoperability for Multi-Source Integration and Application." A panel of OGC members will illustrate a standards-based interoperability architecture that allows critical planning and operational functions to be accomplished across a variety of computing platforms, networks and devices.
OGC Web Services 2.0 (OWS 2.0)
OWS 2.0 continues with progress in all threads: Common Architecture, Information Interoperability, Image Handling and Decision Support, CITE, and OpenLS. A public demonstration of OWS 2.0 results will be held this fall.
Emergency Mapping Symbology Initiative (EMS)
On June 25 OGC Emergency Mapping Symbology Initiative (EMS) sponsors hosted a demonstration of standards based capability for on-the-fly management and application of symbols and styles to geospatial data. The demonstration showed how existing OpenGIS specifications form a scalable, flexible Style Management Service Architecture capable of supporting management, discovery, access and application of symbols and styles to geospatial data served across the Web. Although the EMS initiative focused on Emergency Management, there were other outcomes. Homeland Security and Military Standards symbol sets and the SMS architecture developed for this initiative marked a significant step towards a standards-based process to rapidly provide geospatial data tailored to meet the specific training and needs of different users.
OGC welcomes new members who joined us recently.
OGC IN THE NEWS
- OGC in the Press
The National Map Open for Business
Open-Source Software Creates a Community of Solutions
OGC Looks to Enable the Sensor Web
IONIC's RedSpider Technology is Selected by Ordnance Survey
June 9, 2004
Making the Ultimate Map
May 29, 2004
- OGC Press Releases
OGC Celebrates Decade of Cooperation in the Geospatial Industry
June 28, 2004
Martin Daly Receives OGC's Gardels Award
June 28, 2004
Partnership Announces Workshop on Web Enabled Modeling and Simulation
June 11, 2004
July 5 - 23 2004
Near Florence Italy
Summer School on Geographic Information Science
July 19-23, 2004
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Boundaryless Information Flow: Enterprise Information Management
Special rates for OGC members; see upcoming member e-mail for details
July 25-29, 2004
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
GML And Geo-Spatial Web Services Conference 2004
September 13-17, 2004
OGC Technical and Planning Committee Meetings - NAVTEQ
September 20-24, 2004
Monitoring Science & Technology Symposium
September 26, 2004
October 12, 2004
Second Annual Workshop on Web Enabled Modeling and Simulation
For further info on events please contact gbuehler [at] opengeospatial.org%20">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.