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Created: November 24, 2003.
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Open GIS Consortium Issues RFQ for OGC Web Services Phase 2 Interoperability Initiative.

The Open GIS Consortium Inc. (OGC) has announced a Request for Quotations from technology developers in connection with the OGC Web Services Phase 2 (OWS-2) testbed. OGC Web Services make up a the set of OpenGIS Specifications for interfaces, schemas, and encodings that comprise the interoperability framework for the emerging Spatial Web. "OWS-2 is part of OGC's Interoperability Program, a global, collaborative, hands-on engineering and testing program that rapidly delivers proven candidate specifications into OGC's Specification Program, where they are formalized for public release."

Participants in the OWS-2 initiative will develop enhancements and compliance tests for current OpenGIS Specifications, including Open Location Services, the Web Map Service (WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS), Web Coverage Service (WCS), Web Object Service (WOS), Catalog Services, and Geography Markup Language version 3.x. In OGC's Interoperability Initiatives, international teams of technology providers work together to solve specific geoprocessing interoperability problems posed by the Initiatives' Sponsors. The sponsors for this OGC initiative include: The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Spot Image (France), Sun Microsystems, and other organizations.

The Open GIS Consortium is "an international industry consortium of 257 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGIS Specifications support interoperable solutions that geo-enable the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. The specifications empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications."

Bibliographic Overview

The OGC Web Services Phase 2 (OWS-2) Testbed RFQ is available as a ZIP archive containing the following documents:

  • Request for Quotation and Call For Participation in the OGC Web Services Initiative Phase 2 and Demonstration. RFQ Issuance Date: 24 November 2003. Proposal Due Date: 9 January 2004. 13 pages.
  • Annex A: OWS Requirements and Work Breakdown Structure. 17 pages.
  • Annex B: OGC Web Services Architecture. 68 pages.
  • Appendix B: Scenario Narrative to Demonstrate Functionality to be Developed and Demoed in OWS-2. 5 pages.
  • Annex C: OWS Concept of Operations. 18 pages.
  • Annex D: OGC Web Services Communications Plan. 10 pages.

From the Announcement

Building on previous work in other OGC initiatives and technical working groups, selected OWS-2 participants will work collaboratively to extend and "ruggedize" existing and draft OpenGIS standards into a robust and complete interoperability framework for implementing multivendor enterprise -- and enterprise-to-enterprise -- solutions in government and business. The work will address a rich set of requirements provided by OWS-2's public and private sector sponsors.

Participants in the OGC Web Services Initiative Phase 2 will work in the following areas:

  • Common Architecture: using the W3C's WSDL and SOAP standards for "publishing, finding and binding" geoprocessing services.

  • Technical Baseline Maturation: Developing compliance tests for and improving the OpenGIS Specifications for Web Map Service (WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS), Web Coverage Service (WCS), Web Object Service (WOS), Catalog Services - Web (CS-W) and Geography Mark-up Language (GML 3.x.). Catalog Services will be prototyped in vendors' standards-based commercial off-the-shelf (SCOTS) product offerings. A Reference Implementation for Web Coverage Server and for an Integrated Client will be created under this initiative.

  • Image Handling and Decision Support Tools: "Finding, binding, and chaining" individual Web accessible image archival and processing functions sequentially into complete workflows.

  • Information Interoperability: advancing information interoperability using GML and advancing connections with Web Feature Server and GML 3.

  • Open Location Services: New additions and enhancements will be made to the existing Open Location Services framework.

The Request for Quotations can be downloaded from [the OGC web site]. A Bidder's Conference (a conference call) will be held, as announced in the RFQ, on December 18, 2003. Questions for the call must be sent by 2200 GMT on December 15, 2003. The conference call will be repeated at three times during the day to accommodate participants in European, American and Asian time zones. The response period begins November 24, 2003 and ends January 9, 2004. The OWS-2 kickoff will take place March 8-12, 2004 and the final demonstration of capabilities will take place in August, 2004...

OGC Specifications and Reports

  • OGC Reference Model. The OpenGIS Reference Model (ORM) provides a framework for the OGC Technical Baseline.
  • Adopted Document Baseline Specifications. These specifications "have navigated an exacting process for approval and acceptance which culminates in votes by both the TC and the PC; they are freely available to the public for education and implementation..."
  • OpenGIS Implementation Specifications "are written for a technical audience and detail the interface structure between software components. An interface specification is considered to be at the implementation level of detail if, when implemented by two different software engineers in ignorance of each other, the resulting components plug and play with each other at that interface."
  • The OpenGIS Abstract Specification "provides the conceptual foundation for most OGC specification development activities. Open interfaces and protocols are built and referenced against the Abstract Specification, thus enabling interoperability between different brands and different kinds of spatial processing systems. The Abstract Specification provides a reference model for the development of OpenGIS Implementation Specifications..."
  • OGC RFPs, RFQs
  • OpenGIS Recommendation Papers "are developed via OGC's Technology Development Process and reflect an official position of OGC. Recommendation papers are not Adopted Specifications, but set direction for specification development..."
  • OpenGIS Discussion Papers present technology issues being considered in the Working Groups of the Open GIS Consortium Technical Committee.

Also new: Emergency Mapping Symbology (EMS) Initiative

On November 20, 2003, OGC issued a Request for Quotations and a Call for Participation in the Emergency Mapping Symbology (EMS) Initiative:

This Call for Participation seeks interested technology providers to make proposals in response to a defined set of requirements addressing interoperability needs for the use of symbology in emergency mapping. The EMS Initiative will mature OGC's specification framework for interoperable geographic symbolization while simultaneously testing emerging standard map symbol sets for emergency response developed by national-level agencies.

Participants will be addressing sponsor requirements including the development of a client for publishing, managing, and previewing particular symbolization configurations, testing the assignment of symbols to particular feature types from a feature level data store, testing and enhancement of the Style Layer Descriptor (SLD) Implementation Specification and its use in Web Mapping Service implementations to support the portrayal specified symbol sets, and testing and enhancing the Style Management Services Specification (SMS).

EMS is an opportunity for vendors, users, and other interested parties to mutually define services, interfaces and protocols in the context of a hands-on engineering experience, resulting in Interoperability Program Reports. This initiative is expected to help shape the future of interoperable technology to meet Emergency Management and Response requirements. Sponsors have provided cost-sharing funds to partially offset development costs associated with this initiative.

Proposals are due by December 16, 2003.

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