OGC North American Forum to demo results of major interoperability testbed

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31 August 2015 - On October 14th, the  Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) will demonstrate the results of the eleventh OGC Interoperability Testbed. The demonstration is being organized by the OGC North American Forum.  The US Geological Survey (USGS) is hosting the event, which will take place from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon at the USGS  Auditorium in Reston, Virginia.

The  OGC North American Forum (NAF), a group of 53 OGC members in North America, addresses OGC standards requirements, OGC program coordination, outreach and education needs of government, academic, research and industry organizations in Canada, US and Mexico. The NAF provides a coordination mechanism to prioritize North American geospatial and location specific interoperability requirements and work towards incorporating these requirements into the OGC standards process.

In December 2014 the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) released a Policy Fact Sheet titled "Harnessing Climate Data to Boost Ecosystem & Water Resilience." The Fact Sheet notes OGC’s commitment to increase open access to climate change information using open standards. Testbed 11, sponsored by an international group of government agencies, is mentioned in the OSTP document.

Testbed 11 supports national climate-change preparedness by focusing on ways in which open standards support cross-community interoperability, urban-climate resilience (preparation for impacts of climate change), and secure exchange of spatial information in the context of the US National Information Exchange Model NIEM.

Nine Testbed 11 sponsors documented interoperability requirements and objectives for this activity. Thirty organizations selected to participate in Testbed 11 then developed solutions based on the sponsors’ use cases, requirements and scenarios described in a  Call for Proposals. Participants’ solutions implement existing OGC standards as well as prototypes of possible interface and encoding candidate standards. Some of the prototypes may ultimately become OGC standards, revisions to existing OGC standards, or best practices for using OGC standards.

Testbed 11 Sponsors include:

  • European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL)
  • Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
  • UAE Ministry of Interior Abu Dhabi Police GIS Center for Security (UAE ADP-GIS SC)
  • UK Defense Science and Technology Lab (UK-DSTL)
  • US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • US Geological Survey (USGS)

Testbed participants tied numerous sponsor requirements together within the Flood / Climate Change scenarios to demonstrate interoperable solutions to meet these goals:

  • Advance OGC Architecture with respect to REST and SOAP design patterns for synchronization of geodata across data stores, as well as storage and synchronization of geodata in GeoPackages;
  • Evaluate approaches to JSON and GeoJSON encodings as well as vector data and image streaming in the OGC standards framework;
  • Integrate high-resolution simulation models into geospatial infrastructures using the OGC Web Processing Service;
  • Advance use of Linked Data and semantic enabling of OGC Web Services, with a special focus on Hydrographic Data;
  • Advance use of OGC Catalog Services;
  • Advance use of spatially-enabled Social Media data;
  • Advance use of a common symbology that can be used to share common operational pictures in an international environment;
  • Advance compliance tests for the OGC Web Feature Service and Catalog 3.0 Service interface standards;
  • In Aviation, advance a Digital Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) validation service and enrichment service and advance use of Aviation Feature Schema (AFX). Also develop guidance on using geometrical constraints in the Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Rules (SBVR) (an Object Management Group standard).

Those testbed goals sort into these technology threads:

  • Urban-Climate Resilience (UCR) Thread
  • Cross-Community Interoperability (CCI) Thread
  • Aviation Thread
  • Geospatial Enhancements for NIEM (Geo4NIEM) Thread

The demo results have enormous potential for the testbed stakeholders – both technology users and the technology providers – and for the world at large. The return on the shared investment in spatial standards far exceeds the costs, not unlike the return on the original shared investments in http and html.

Some of the Testbed 11 sponsors have already begun assembling interoperability requirements for Testbed 12, which will begin in the fall. The sponsors and the OGC invite other organizations to bring their requirements into the discussion.

If you want to learn more about the upcoming Testbed 11 demo and/or the upcoming Testbed 12 opportunity, please contact Lew Leinenweber, Director Interoperability Programs (lleinenweber [at]   opengeospatial.org).  Learn moreabout the 15 year old OGC Interoperability Program in which OGC testbeds, pilot projects and interoperability experiments are organized, planned and managed.

Join the OGC North American Forum!  The networking, coordination and public exposure provided by the Forum help members maximize the value of their OGC membership.  Contact the OGC at  Email Contact.

The OGC® is an international geospatial standards consortium of more than 510 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/.

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