May 24, 2004
Special Geospatial World 2004 Report, Part 2
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Message from the Editor -

Welcome to GISWeekly! A session on Geospatial Data Availability at Geospatial World spotlighted the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA)'s Softcopy Search project, which is designed to demonstrate the capability of commercially available off-the-shelf Win/Intel based hardware and software to conduct broad area searches over large geographic areas. The session also provided an overview of the OGC Web Services Phase 2 (OWS-2) Testbed. This and much more are covered in this week's Industry News.

GISWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, New Products, Going on Around the Web, and Upcoming Events.

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Special Geospatial World 2004 Report, Part 2

By Susan Smith

Geospatial Data Availability Technical Session

National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA)'s Softcopy Search

This session spotlighted the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA)'s Softcopy Search project, which is designed to demonstrate the capability of commercially available off-the-shelf Win/Intel based hardware and software to conduct broad area searches over large geographic areas. The session also provided an overview of the OGC Web Services Phase 2 (OWS-2) Testbed.

Intergraph is part of a contract awarded by the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, (NIMA), now known as the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), for Phase II of its Softcopy Search project. The contract team, led by Eastman Kodak Company, also includes Hewlett Packard/Compaq, Paragon Imaging and Idelix Software.

At the heart of the softcopy search solution is Intergraph's GeoMedia Image Professional product. According to Andrew Mitchell of IMGS, this software allows analysts to fuse various forms of geospatial data without translation, providing a single view of the data and imagery of interest. Intergraph's TerraShare imagery management system can be used as a separate server application, from which the analyst can retrieve imagery, ADRG, CADRG, CIB®, and other raster products using GeoMedia's spatial and feature query capabilities. Some specific features include:
- Finding out the location of your imagery and using thumbnail capability (which is actually more than a thumbnail - you can zoom in to make a very large image).

- Querying attributes for imagery - you don't have to recall the names of your images

- User specific metadata can be added.
The softcopy search product provides orthorectified files. You could use a single raster backdrop for a whole country. The example cited was one where backdrop images were composed of four maps that the system retrieved - in this case DRGs. It put them together to create a backdrop without stitching files together. It also brought in vector data that happened to be in shapefiles. You can also bring in point features.

A broad search area on imagery is available with this search. The purpose of softcopy search is to allow you to load images into the system, and ask the system to create a virtual search path. It has a smooth roam feature.

OGC Web Services Phase 2 (OWS-2) Testbed

OGC Web Services 2.0 Initiative was discussed by Carl Reed, Ph.D., executive director specifications program, and John Vincent of Intergraph. Reed informed the audience that the OGC is a non-profit organization with the vision of “a world in which everyone benefits from geospatial information.” It is the quest for a global geospatial and IT community.

The organization's mission is “to lead global development, promotion of open standards and architecture that enable integration of geospatial data and user services.”

What is an OGC Interoperability Initiative? Reed posed the question. International teams of OGC members work with a rapid collaborative engineering process to solve specific geospatial interoperability problems. The first specification of this kind took six months, and now new specifications are derived from this environment in less time.

Development initiatives are:



He asked the question of the audience: when was the first publicly accessible web mapping deployed? The answer: Xerox Parc Map in 1993 - before MapQuest.

Some companies have tried to patent the concept of web mapping, said Reed, and added that even the geospatial industry is not immune to patent issues.

What are web services? Asked Reed. The definition he gave of web services is as follows: a programmable application logic accessible using standard Internet protocols. It combines the best of aspects of component-based development and the Web. It incorporates the classic “find-bind-publish” web services model.

Web Services Network provides reliability, security, manageability, partner enablement.

Web Services Broker provides registry of available Web services.

Web Services Platform is the provider/requester of
WSDL Generation

UDDI Browsing

Web Services Providing

EIS Integration
One of the great benefits of Web Services is its ability to provide “just-in-time integration” for many organizations.

Open GIS Web Services (OWS) faces the task of defining a standards based reference.
One user can use:

Web Feature Server

Web Coverage Server

Web Map Server

Web Terrain Server
OGC is advancing OGC technical baseline to support multisource network-centric environments:
Overall OGC Service Framework

Common Source and product processes

Feature, Mapping and Intelligence

The talk about sensors was rife at this conference, and another question Reed posed to the audience was: how can you integrate sensor web into other services?

OWS-2 participants will work together closely to extend and ruggedize existing and draft OpenGIS standards with a robust interoperability framework for implementation in a multi-vendor enterprise.

Something else he brought up was Business Process Engineering Language (BPEL) which provides OWS enabled decision support to the client. Intergraph is working on a lead editor to BPEL for image handling and decision support report. They are developing a list of clients that work with SOAP, WSDL and UDDI.

OGC is using existing specifications of which the baseline are:

WMS 1.3

WFS 1.1

WCS 1.0

CS-W 1.0

Location Services 1.0

WMS can get multiple maps with one Get Map request.

WFS returns physical feature data.

It can get both a picture and physical data

WCS can do scope retrieval of gridded TIN and other coverage data in binary or OWS Common Architecture Catalogs. It can collect metadata and define the framework of guiding concepts and terminology and organize principles for implementation and deployment.

How do you deal with semantics at runtime? There are problems with road network data in that where roads meet at a state border, for example, the linear referencing is different in each state. Intergraph and OGC are working with virtual feature data to find commonality there. Reed also mentioned the testing and feasibility studies done with GML for generating conformance to standards.

Diverse applications need data from diverse sources. John Vincent spoke of the Intergraph Web Map Viewer built with WMS server with WMS implemented in the client. WMS can reach into the database to get data and load it into layers automatically. Geomedia has a live connection to WMS.

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-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.


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