Using geospatial information to plan routes for travel and logistics is among the most common uses of geospatial and location-based technologies, with countless routes being generated daily by smartphone users, logistics companies, and others. In support of this, road network data, routing & navigation algorithms, and route calculation services are now available from many different providers and sources. While this diversity in the marketplace is generally beneficial to consumers of route information, it makes accessing, integrating, overlaying, or comparing routes from different routing services overly complex.
The OGC API - Routes will enable a simple method for an application to query any number of routing and/or data providers, even across multiple modes of transport, and present the resulting routes to the user in a single place. The capability for a client to request and retrieve routes from a routing API provider and share routes between applications will improve interoperability for many users, communities, and enterprises.
- For providers of routes, the API and route exchange model will provide a simple model to publish and offer those routes as resources for use by other systems.
- For developers building infrastructures, the API will provide common methods to describe and leverage existing routing engines and algorithms using modern APIs - saving the time and costs associated with developing and deploying custom interfaces.
- For users, applications, and enterprises, the capability to get routes via a common API, regardless of the underlying routing data, engines, or algorithms will provide a significant step forward in geospatial interoperability and modularity.
The proposed OGC API - Routes will provide the methods and apparatus for the execution of basic commands to retrieve, update, share, and delete routes, and will interface with other geospatial resources that use OGC APIs. The proposed route exchange model will provide a method to share routes, regardless of the underlying proprietary data, routing engine software, or algorithms.
Draft specifications for a routing API and route exchange model were successfully demonstrated in the OGC Open Routing API Pilot, the OGC Smart City Interoperability Reference Architecture (SCIRA) Pilot, and other efforts. Coordination with W3C on OGC API - Routes has begun with discussions in the joint W3C/OGC Spatial Data on the Web Interest Group.
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